Report: Gadhafi's children now commanding special brigades near Tripoli

Tuesday, March 1, 2011   E-Mail this story   Free Headline Alerts

WASHINGTON The sons of Libyan ruler Moammar Gadhafi have taken over the military in what could be a last-ditch attempt to save the North African regime.

A report said several of Gadhafi's five children have been authorized to command key units of the military amid the rebel drive on Tripoli. The report by the Foreign Policy Research Institute said Gadhafi has sought to avoid reliance on his military, rather he was focused on his mercenary-based security forces.

"Yet in any case, key players in the Gadhafi regime, including his children, have been placed in charge of special brigades essentially responsible for protecting the regime," the report, titled "Libya In Crisis: What's Next?" said.

The report, authored by analyst Dana Moss, cited one of Gadhafi's children, Khamis. Khamis has been commanding the 32nd Brigade, a special operations force assigned to protect the regime.

Another son, Mutassim, has been directing the military and security forces through his position as national security adviser. The report said both Khamis and Mutassim have also sought to procure weapons.

Other members of Gadhafi's family were involved in the security forces, which included more than 20,000 mercenaries from Africa. The report said the key organizations were the Libyan Security Organization and Military Intelligence.

"It is these security services that are guarding key installations and sensitive buildings-a central factor in assessing regime longevity," the report, released on Feb. 23, said.

The report did not expect Western military intervention to help the rebels or protect foreign investment in energy projects in Libya. Instead, Moss envisioned a protracted war in Libya which would result in repercussions for North Africa and the rest of the world.

"Either way, as for the past 40 years under Gadhafi, the Libyan people will be the ultimate losers, with stability and a functioning government nowhere in sight," the report said. "Meanwhile, the West will have its own repercussions, with increased illegal immigration to Europe, higher oil prices, and possibly a freer operating area for terrorists, including Al Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb."

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