Reports of Saif al-Islam Qaddafi’s Capture False, Appears in Tripoli
Saif al-Islam, the son of Col. Muammar al-Qaddafi, appeared at a Libyan hotel early Tuesday morning despite widely circulated reports of his capture during the rebels’ move into Tripoli a day earlier.
Saif arrived in a convoy with armed men at the Rixos Hotel in Tripoli and told Fox News that the rebels had been lured into a trap and that pro-Qaddafi forces will crush them. He also said his father remains in Tripoli and he is alive and helping to coordinate the defense of the city.
He also said his forces were winning the fight with the rebels.
The Transitional National Council had informed the media of the capture, but provided no proof of the seizure. The International Criminal Court had previously confirmed the capture of Seif al-Islam, who along with his father faces charges of crimes against humanity.
Meanwhile, the Libyan leader was nowhere to be found Monday as his 42-year rule teetered on the brink of collapse.
Months of NATO airstrikes have left his Bab al-Aziziya compound in Tripoli largely demolished. Most of his security forces fled or surrendered when rebel forces rolled into the capital Sunday night and took control of most of the city. Three of his sons were under arrest.
A mood of joy mixed with trepidation settled over the capital, with the rebels still fighting pockets of fierce resistance from regime loyalists firing mortars and anti-aircraft guns. Rebel spokesman Mohammed Abdel-Rahman, who was in Tripoli, said the “danger is still there” as long as Qaddafi remains on the run.