Reuters logo
Factbox: Gaddafi's children
October 21, 2011 / 2:21 PM / 6 years ago

Factbox: Gaddafi's children

Oct 21 - Muammar Gaddafi’s eight children, who led lives ranging from security chief and U.N. goodwill ambassador to playboy and professional footballer, earned reputations for extravagance, violence and dysfunctional behavior almost equaling their father‘s.

Amid the chaos of war, three now appear to be dead like the deposed Libyan leader himself, four are scattered in exile and one remains on the run.

Below are details on Gaddafi’s children.



Once national security adviser, Mo‘tassim was killed on Thursday near Gaddafi’s last stronghold of Sirte. Mo‘tassim’s body was put on display, naked from the waist up, and a doctor who examined it said he had apparently died after his father.

During the uprising against Gaddafi senior, Mo‘tassim kept out of the public eye and was not believed to have had a formal role, although there were reports he was involved in efforts to put down the rebellion.


Khamis was reported killed at least three times during the conflict. However, a Syrian-based television station that supported Gaddafi confirmed earlier this month that he had died in fighting southeast of Tripoli on August 29.

Khamis was wounded in a 1986 U.S. bombing of Tripoli, but he still became commander of the 32nd Brigade, one of Libya’s best equipped units, which played a leading role in Gaddafi’s effort to crush the revolt.

Around the time of his death, the prosecutor at the International Criminal Court said Khamis might be put on the wanted list after the brigade he commanded was accused of killing dozens of detainees in Tripoli.


Saif al-Arab was killed in a NATO bombing raid on Tripoli. As a four-year-old, he was wounded in the 1986 air strike on his father’s compound ordered by U.S. President Ronald Reagan.

The spoilt son of an indulgent father, he studied in Germany and was reported to have been involved in a scuffle at a Munich nightclub. In U.S. diplomatic cables, Saif al-Arab was said to have spent “much time partying.”



Saif al-Islam is fleeing south from Sirte toward Libya’s border with Niger, a senior military commander of the interim National Transitional Council (NTC) said on Friday.

Once seen as the acceptable face of the Libyan regime, Saif al-Islam, like his father, was wanted by the ICC for crimes against humanity.

English-speaking Saif al-Islam, who studied at the London School of Economics, had been considered a possible heir-apparent. His bellicose rhetoric during the rebellion forced Libyan analysts to rethink views that he was a reformer.



Saadi fled to Niger in September. Niger’s justice minister said he would not be extradited if there was a possibility he would not get a fair trial or risked getting the death penalty.

Saadi had attempted to negotiate with the NTC in late August after its fighters swept through Tripoli.

He had a brief career as a professional in Italy’s Serie A soccer league between 2003 and 2007, though he had little time on the field. He also had business dealings with Juventus, a club in which one of Libya’s sovereign wealth funds owned a stake. He played for the Libyan national team. Libya’s former Italian coach, Francesco Scoglio, was quoted as saying he was fired for not picking Saadi to play.

A Libyan prosecutor said the NTC had approved a request for an investigation to be opened into Saadi’s role in the murder of a Libyan soccer player in 2005.


Hannibal fled with Gaddafi senior’s wife and daughter, along with another son, Mohammed, to Algeria in August.

An incident involving Hannibal in a Geneva hotel caused a diplomatic row with Switzerland. In 2008 Swiss police arrested Hannibal and his pregnant wife on charges of mistreating two domestic employees. They were soon released and the charges dropped. Within days, Libya withdrew millions of dollars from Swiss bank accounts and halted oil exports to Switzerland.

In Libya, two Swiss expatriates were not allowed to leave the country for two years. Libyan officials said their case had nothing to do with Hannibal’s arrest but supporters of the businessmen said they were innocent victims of a Libyan vendetta against Switzerland.


Gaddafi’s son from his first marriage, Mohammed was in the family group that fled to Algeria in August. A president of the Libyan Olympic Committee, he was also effectively in charge of the country’s telephone network, which was used to eavesdrop on anti-Gaddafi activists and put them in jail.


A lawyer by training, Aisha also fled to Algeria in August. She largely stayed out of politics but appeared at pro-Gaddafi rallies in Libya after the uprising began.

Gaddafi’s daughter, in her mid-30s, ran a charitable foundation and in 2004 joined a team of lawyers defending former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein. She said in an interview last year with a British newspaper: “I would say that now the future of Libya is very promising, bright and optimistic. It is taking its rightful place in the international community and everyone is seeking good ties with us.”

Her glamorous image led some to describe her as the Claudia Schiffer of North Africa. Her role as a goodwill ambassador for the United Nations did not survive the onset of the popular uprising in Libya in February.

Algerian sources said she gave birth to a daughter shortly after arriving in the country. (Writing by Christian Lowe and David Stamp)

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
0 : 0
  • narrow-browser-and-phone
  • medium-browser-and-portrait-tablet
  • landscape-tablet
  • medium-wide-browser
  • wide-browser-and-larger
  • medium-browser-and-landscape-tablet
  • medium-wide-browser-and-larger
  • above-phone
  • portrait-tablet-and-above
  • above-portrait-tablet
  • landscape-tablet-and-above
  • landscape-tablet-and-medium-wide-browser
  • portrait-tablet-and-below
  • landscape-tablet-and-below