Monday, August 22, 2011

Saif is Safe? Gadhafi's Son is Apparently Not in Rebel Custody

Is it the fog of war, or just a wicked whopper by the loose-tongued Libyan rebels?

Just hours after Mohammed Gadhafi, the eldest son of Moammar Gadhafi, reportedly escaped his rebel-imposed house arrest, his brother Saif al-Islam Gadhafi defiantly showed up at the Rixos Hotel in Tripoli to dispute rebel claims that he too had been captured and was being held at an undisclosed location.

"I am here to refute all the allegations," said Saif Gadhafi, according to a translation provided by Sultan Al Qassemi via @SultanAlQassemi. "My father is fine and he is in Tripoli."

Saif Gadhafi even shrugged off the charges he faces from the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

"Screw the ICC," Saif Gadhafi said.

The images of a clearly free Saif Gadhafi were carried in the past hour by CNN, whose gallant reporter Matthew Chance spoke to the cocky heir-apparent son of the dictator-in-hiding.

"Saif Gadhafi told me that he had been travelling around Tripoli in an armored convoy the whole time," Chance Tweeted via @mchancecnn. "Major PR coup for Gadhafi – if the rebels lied about this – what can we believe?"

The rebels also claim to have captured, Saadi Gaddafi, the Libyan leader's third son, but who knows until he is actually produced for the Western media.

Throughout the Arab Spring it routinely has been state television and Arab-owned media Al Jazeera and Al Arabiya that routinely have provided premature or just outright misinformation, but this time even the Western press bought into the rebel claims.

Meanwhile, Chance and other journalists at the Rixos are essentially under a house arrest themselves by armed guards loyal to the Gadhafi regime.

"All electricity down, running low on food and water. Sitting at #Rixos in the dark as bullets fly outside," Chance Tweeted. "It's no fun being stuck in one of Gadhafi's few remaining strongholds. Rixos gunmen now refusing to let us leave."

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