Who's who in Moammar Gadhafi's family tree
Seif al-Islam Gadhafi, son Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi talks during a meeting with foreign diplomats, in Tripoli, Libya Tuesday March 23, 2010. (AP / Abdel Magid Al Fergany)
CTV.ca News Staff
Published Wednesday, February 23, 2011 2:39PM EST
Libyan ruler Moammar Gadhafi has eight biological children -- seven of them sons -- and two adopted children, most of whom are intimately involved with the running of their father's dictatorship.
Now WikiLeaks, the website devoted to baring secrets, has published assessments by U.S. diplomats in Libya that point to growing anger at the behaviour of some Gadhafi offspring as being part of the excesses that brought fed up and frustrated Libyans boiling into the streets and sparked the blood riots that have been going on for more than a week.
More than 300 people have been killed in the clashes as security forces and the leaked documents say Gadhafi has vowed to fight to the "last drop of blood" to put down the uprising against his 42-year rule of the North African nation.
Pro-Gadhafi gunmen roam the streets and shootings have forced citizens to hide in their homes rather than join the scores of bodies littering the streets of the nation's capital city Tripoli.
The bloody clashes are forcing Libyans to flee the country to escape what they say are ultra-violent methods being used by the security forces to quell the protesting voices.
Among the WikiLeaks documents published is a cable sent a year ago that says: "The family has been in a tailspin recently."
The diplomats at the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli describe how Gadhafi's children have carved out spheres of influence, seemingly treating the country as their personal fiefdom.
The diplomats also noted that there was intense rivalry among the Gadhafi children, as no clear successor has been named while the dictator's health is allegedly failing.
According to the leaked documents, among the allegations is that Gadhafi's fifth son, Hannibal Gadhafi, who is known for violence and wild partying, paid U.S. music superstar Beyonce $1 millions to ring in 2010 at his private party on the French Caribbean island of St. Barts. Guests included Lindsay Lohan, music mogul Russell Simmons, the band Bon Jovi and Beyonce's husband, multi-millionaire rapper and music mogul Jay-Z.
- Eldest son Muhammad al-Gadhafi runs the Libyan Olympic Committee and is a huge influence in the country's telecommunications sphere.
- Second son Saif al-Islam Muammar al-Gadhafi is an architect and the Gadhafi who has been seen on television recently threatening that a civil war could develop from the current crisis. He is seen as a possible successor to his father. Aged 38, he runs a charity which has been involved in negotiating freedom for hostages taken by Islamic militants. He has a PhD from the London School of Economics and speaks English fluently. He is widely seen as belonging to a camp that aims to open Libya's economy. He left the country in 2006 after a clash with his father and criticizing his regime, but returned two years later. He has said he has no interested in inheriting his father's mantle.
- The third eldest, Saadi Gadhafi, 36, is a soccer fanatic and was signed on various professional teams, including one in Italy, but his career did not include first team appearances. He has been reported to be involved in problems outside Libya that involve drugs and alcohol. He was the Libyan national soccer team captain and now runs the Libya Football (Soccer) Federation and is married to the daughter of a military commander. He is said to have an interest in the film industry and to have invested more than $100 million in a film group.
- Gadhafi's fourth son, Muttassim Gadhafi, who is a Lieutenant Colonel in the Libyan army, is now also seen as a possible successor to his father despite once being forced to flee the country in fear of his life when he was accused of being behind a plot to overthrow his father. He returned from Egypt after being forgiven his trespasses and now heads his own army unit. He is also Libya's National Security Advisor and in charge of the country's National Security Council. He is also said to be something of a "party animal," who drinks heavily and rubs shoulders with the rich and famous -- including American pop stars.
- The fifth eldest, Hannibal Gadhafi, once worked for General National Maritime Transport Company, a company that specializes in Libyan oil exports. He has earned a reputation for being volatile after being involved in a series of violent incidents throughout Europe, including allegations of assaults on his wife, and incidents of attacks on other people in which both he and his wife Aline were allegedly involved.
- Gadhafi's two youngest sons are Saif Al Arab, who reportedly spends most of his time in Germany and of whom not much is heard, and
- Khamis, who is a Russian-trained police officer in Libya and in charge of a special forces unit. He is reportedly in charge of the suppression of protests in Benghazi, a major Libyan city, in which several protesters were killed.
- Gadhafi's only daughter is Ayesha al-Gadhafi, a lawyer who had joined the defence team of executed former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein and that of Iraqi journalist Muntadhar al-Zaidi, who became famous for throwing his shoes at U.S. President George W. Bush during a 2008 press conference in Baghdad. She married a cousin of her father in 2006.
- His adopted daughter, Hanna, was killed when the United States bombed Libya in 1986.
- His adopted son, Milad Abuztaia Al-Gadhafi, is also his nephew. This son is said to have saved Moammar Gadhafi 's life when the U.S. warplanes bombed the family compound in April 1986, the same incident that killed Hanna.
- Another family member, Abdullah Senussi, who is married to the sister of Moammar Gadhafi's second wife Sofija Farkas, is said to be the country's head of military intelligence.