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Entries in Khamis Gadhafi (3)

Wednesday
Aug102011

Moammar Gadhafi’s Son, Rumored Dead, Reappears on Libyan TV

Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi. (Salah Malkawi/ Getty Images)(TRIPOLI, Libya) -- After being reported dead for the second time this year, one of Moammar Gadhafi's sons, the head of an elite Libyan military unit, appears to be alive and well.

A man who Libyan state television called Khamis Gadhafi, head of the feared 32nd Brigade or Khamis Brigade, appeared on the channel overnight in an apparent attempt to dismiss rebel claims that he had perished in a NATO airstrike last week.

The video shows the man, who closely resembles the 28-year-old, touring a hospital in Tripoli where he visited several people state TV said were wounded in a NATO airstrike.

A rebel spokesperson had said Friday that Khamis was killed in a NATO airstrike on the front line city of Zlitan, but a NATO spokesperson in Naples, Italy, said the international organization could not confirm that report.

If genuine, the video marks the second time this year that Khamis has been rumored dead only to reappear on state television. In March, it was widely reported by the opposition that he had died of severe burns after a defecting Libyan pilot crashed his plane into Libya's central military compound in Tripoli. Days later, Khamis reappeared on state television greeting jubilant regime supporters in Tripoli.

According to several leaked U.S. State Department documents posted on the website WikiLeaks, Khamis Gadhafi is seen within the family as an important source of military strength and legitimacy should a succession battle break out among Moammar Gadhafi's five sons. The military unit Khamis commands, the Khamis Brigade, is the best trained and best equipped military unit in the country and is charged with protecting the regime at all costs.

"It seems only natural that anyone intent on assuming power would try to align himself with Khamis," a U.S. official wrote in one of the cables.

Other cables reveal that representatives of Khamis were directly involved in negotiations for the sale of non-lethal U.S. military equipment to the regime in the years before the popular uprising in mid-February, a sign of the improved relationship Libya and the U.S. had been enjoying since the U.S. took Libya off the list of state sponsors of terrorism in 2006.

In fact, when popular protests spread through Tripoli, Khamis was not there. Instead, he was visiting Wall Street, just one stop on a cross-country tour of the U.S. organized by an American company with U.S. State Department approval.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Mar292011

Libyan State TV Claims Khamis Gadhafi Alive, Despite Death Rumors

KTRK(TRIPOLI, Libya) -- A man who appears to closely resemble one of Moammar Gadhafi's sons appeared on what Libyan state television said was a live broadcast Monday night, following rumors the son had been killed last week after a kamikaze attack by a Libyan pilot.

The footage purports to show 27-year-old Khamis Gadhafi, head of Libya's elite military squad, the Khamis Brigade, on Monday in a truck surrounded by guards as he greeted jubilant Libyans at his father's compound in Tripoli.

The U.S. State Department did not immediately reply to requests for comment on the video, but Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told ABC News last week the U.S. government had heard of the death of one of Moammar Gadhafi's sons "from many different sources," but said the evidence was lacking.

"I can't confirm it, but I've heard it," Clinton said. "We hear it from many different sources. That's why I can't confirm it. I can't give any confirmation because the evidence is not sufficient." Khamis' death from severe burns suffered in the kamikaze plane attack on Libya's central military command compound was widely reported in opposition media.

In several leaked U.S. State Department cables posted on the website WikiLeaks, U.S. officials say Khamis Gadhafi and his elite military unit, which is "widely known as the most well-trained and well-equipped force in the Libyan military," served as effectively "a regime protection unit." Khamis received military training in Russia, including earning a Ph.D. in military science in 2007, according to one leaked document.

One cable from December 2009 notes that the continuation of the regime's power in the event of Moammar Gadhafi's death or resignation rested in part with Khamis. "It seems only natural that anyone intent on assuming power would try to align himself with Khamis," the cable says.

Despite his role as protector of the regime, when the popular uprising exploded in Libya in mid-February, Khamis was not there. Instead, he was waltzing down Wall Street, just one stop on a whirlwind, cross-country tour of the U.S. organized by an American company with U.S. State Department approval.

The trip was part of an internship program with Los Angeles-based engineering giant AECOM, set to span just over a month, and take Khamis to tours and meetings with high-profile universities and companies from Houston to L.A., San Francisco, Denver, Chicago, Washington D.C., New York and Boston, according to travel documents obtained by ABC News.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
Mar282011

During Libya Protests Khamis Gadhafi Hurried Home...From Wall Street

KTRK(NEW YORK) -- When a popular uprising exploded in Libya in mid-February, Moammar Gadhafi's son and military commander, Khamis Gadhafi, charged with protecting the regime at all costs, was not there. Instead, Khamis was waltzing down Wall Street, just one stop on a whirlwind, cross-country tour of the U.S. organized by an American company with U.S. State Department approval.

The trip was part of an internship program with Los Angeles-based engineering giant AECOM, set to span just over a month, and take Khamis Gadhafi, head of Libya's elite Khamis Brigade, to tours and meetings with high-profile universities and companies from Houston to L.A., San Francisco, Denver, Chicago, Washington D.C., New York and Boston, according to travel documents obtained by ABC News.

After beginning in Houston with an extensive tour and presentations at the Port of Houston Authority, Khamis jetted off to L.A. where he was scheduled to go on an "exclusive" VIP tour of Universal Studios. After that, it was a short trip to San Francisco for meetings with technology giants Google, Apple and Intel, among others. In Colorado the next day, Khamis toured the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs and then hopped a plane to Chicago where he toured Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management.

By mid-February, Khamis was scheduled to visit the nation's capital to see famous landmarks like the National Mall before high-powered meetings with defense contractors including Northrop Grumman and Lockheed Martin, among others.

Next up, Khamis headed to Wall Street in lower Manhattan to walk through the heart of the U.S. economy at the New York Stock Exchange before taking in the Broadway show Mamma Mia. But on the day he visited the floor of the stock exchange and was also scheduled to tour New York's Columbia University, protests against his father's regime rang out in Benghazi, Libya. A spokesperson for Columbia told ABC News the University canceled the visit in light of the protests and an AECOM spokesperson told ABC News that instead of heading uptown to Columbia, Khamis hopped a plane and flew back to his home country that night.

That meant Khamis missed out on further scheduled events including a tour of the West Point Military Academy, MIT and Harvard University.

Less than a month later, Khamis was rumored to have been killed in an attack by a Libyan kamikaze pilot. The reports have not been confirmed. 

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







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