As Gaddafi’s regime enters its end-game, the future prospects of the eccentric and depraved Libyan dictator and his children do not look bright. All his children, with the notable exception of Saif al-Arab Gaddafi, have not been slow to take advantage of their father’s position or to invoke diplomatic immunity whenever they have been pulled up for misbehaviour in European countries.
Muammar Gaddafi has a total of eight children, one with his first wife Fathia Khaled and seven with his second wife Safia Farkash, who was his nurse. He has a nephew who he has also adopted as his son. His adopted daughter supposedly killed in a US attack probably never existed. According to WikiLeaks, a third woman, Galyna Kolotnytska his personal nurse, is now his current favourite but there are no reports of any offspring and she is on her way back to Ukraine.
That they are all eccentric and a little odd is no surprise and probably genetically inevitable. Together they make up a soap-opera with characters who include plagiarists, wife-beaters, maid-torturers, playboys and a footballer. But they are a dangerous lot and their posturing and positioning could prolong the bloodshed in Tripoli.
- Mohammed Gaddafi, the Libyan leader’s son from the first marriage, is an engineer who heads the Libyan Olympic Committee that owns 40% of the Libyan Beverage Company. He is also head of the General Post and the Telecommunication Committee.
- Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, an architect, is the eldest son with the Libyan leader’s second marriage. He graduated from al-Fateh University in Tripoli in 1994. Saif al-Islam is most known for his chairmanship of the Gaddafi International Charity and Development Foundation (GICDF). According to WikiLeaks, Saif al-Islam’s role as the spokesman of the Libyan regime has been both a blessing and a curse: a blessing because it strengthened his position in the West and a curse because it made Libyans consider him a subordinate of foreign countries. He was also criticized by conservatives for his love of women and partying. Saif al-Islam is not on good terms with his brothers Mutassim, Hannibal, al-Saadi and his sister Ayesha.He was awarded a PHD by the LSE but his PhD thesis is suspected to contain plagiarised material and may have been partially or wholly ghost-written.
- Al-Saadi Gaddafi, known for his obsession with football, is a shareholder in his favorite football club — Italy’s Juventus — and is also head of the Libyan national team. He runs the Libyan Football Federation and signed for various professional teams including Italian Serie A team U.C. Sampdoria, although without appearing in first team games. Saadi also heads a military battalion. Saadi was described by WikiLeaks as a man with a turbulent past who is known for misbehavior including clashes with the police in Europe, especially Italy, taking drugs and alcohol as well as throwing extravagant parties.
- According to WikiLeaks, Mutassim Gaddafi is his father’s national security advisor and in this capacity he met with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. In 2008, he requested an amount of $1.2 billion to establish a security unit similar to the one headed by his younger brother Khamis. Between 2001 and 2005, Mutassim lost several of his companies when his brothers took advantage of his absence to control his businesses.
- Hannibal Gaddafi, consultant to Management Committee of the General Libyan Marine Transport Organization that monopolizes the transport of Libyan fuel, was arrested in 2008 in Geneva with his wife for mistreatment of two maids. This led to a diplomatic crisis between Libya and Switzerland. According to his Lebanese wife Aline Skaf, they both met in 2003 in Copenhagen. She lived in Paris after marrying him then she moved to Lebanon and used to go to Paris occasionally. Hannibal once beat Skaf up while in a hotel in Switzerland six years ago when she was pregnant. This incident took place in the hotel’s café a few days before she gave birth to their only son. Hannibal beat his wife until she fainted. Employees at the café saw he was armed, so they attacked him and seized the weapon. After Skaf was transferred to the hospital, the police arrested Hannibal. On 15 July 2008, Hannibal and his wife were held for two days and charged with assaulting two of their staff in Geneva, Switzerland and then released on bail on 17 July. The government of Libya subsequently put a boycott on Swiss imports, reduced flights between Libya and Switzerland, stopped issuing visas to Swiss citizens, recalled diplomats from Bern, and forced all Swiss companies such as ABB and Nestlé to close offices. In December 2009 police were called to Claridges Hotel in London after staff heard a scream from Hannibal’s room. Aline Skaf, now his wife, was found to have suffered facial injuries including a broken nose, but charges were not pressed after she maintained she had sustained the injuries in a fall. Hannibal is also known for running a red traffic light in Paris while driving his luxurious car in 2004. The police chased him for a long time until they were finally able to arrest him. Hannibal appeared for the first on the French radar screens when he was driving under the influence at a speed of 150 kilometers per hour. He was arrested then released for his diplomatic immunity.
- Ayesha, Gaddafi’s only daughter, is a Lieutenant General in the Libyan army and was a mediator between her country and the corporations of the European Union. A book was written about her life under the title Ayesha Muammar Gaddafi: Princess of Peace, by Geneva-based Tunisian writer Sami al-Jalouli. The 92-page book tells Ayesha’s autobiography in 16 chapters. In 2006, Ayesha got married to Ahmed al-Gaddafi al-Qahsi, her father’s cousin and an officer in the Libyan army. Ayesha, who was known as the Claudia Schiffer of Libya for imitating the German actress before wearing the veil, is said to be her father’s favorite. Ayesha met with late president Saddam Hussein before the fall of his regime and headed his defense team after he was arrested by American troops. Before this, in 2000 when sanctions were imposed on Iraq, she boarded a Libyan plane and arrived in Baghdad on top of a delegation made up of 69 officials. There, Ayesha said that her father will be the first Arab leader to visit Iraq by air despite the blockade, but he never did. When Hannibal was arrested by the Swiss police in 2007, she threatened to get back at Switzerland for devising what she labeled “a cheap conspiracy” to defame her family and vowed to take all the necessary measure to preserve the dignity of Libyans abroad.
- Saif al-Arab Gaddafi is the most low-profile of Gaddafi’s sons and spends most of his time in Germany.
- Khamis Gaddafi, a captain in the Libyan army, is the leader of the 32nd brigade, based in the Mediterranean city of Benghazi.
- Adopted son, Milad Abuztaia al-Gaddafi is also Gaddafi’s nephew. Milad is credited with saving Gaddafi’s life during the April 1986 bombing of the Gaddafi compound. After the United States bombed several Libyan military airbases and barracks that had been used in supporting terrorism in Europe and elsewhere, the regime’s media claimed that Gaddafi’s “adopted daughter” had been killed. The name “Hanna” was given to the press. Nobody had ever heard of such daughter. Information about her also conflicted, for example, her age varying from 12 months to 6 years.