Qaddafi’s Son Taunts Libyans as the Dictator Remains at Large

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A rebel fighter in Tripoli on August 22.
A rebel fighter in Tripoli on August 22. Photo: Filippo Monteforte/AFP/Getty Images

Libyans are waiting for history, but the Muammar Qaddafi regime hasn't entirely crumbled quite yet. So for now, news: After a relatively calm Monday, gunfire returned to Tripoli on Tuesday, especially near the dictator's compound. Meanwhile, in his hometown of Surt, rebels killed "dozens" of pro-Qaddafi loyalists. Qaddafi himself remains in an undisclosed location, but his son, Seif al-Islam, emerged yesterday to taunt rebels. Seif al-Islam, who showed up at the Rixos hotel, full of sequestered foreign journalists, was supposedly captured by the rebels on Sunday. Apparently not (or else he escaped), but either way, reports the Times, his appearance raises "significant questions about the credibility of rebel leaders." He's not the only Qaddafi kid suddenly at large, either, after his brother Mohammed escaped house arrest yesterday.


Meanwhile, even as their momentum slows on the ground, Libyan rebels have been picking up steam on the diplomatic front. They've been formally recognized by Egypt, Oman, and Bahrain. The U.S. is trying to figure out how, exactly, to get money to the rebels. We recognized the rebels as Libya's ruling body last month, but still, to unfreeze the Libyan government's assets at this stage, with the Qaddafi regime not fully gone yet, would be a little complicated. The assets that are easiest to unfreeze aren't the most liquid. Cash is what the rebels need, not property deeds. Unless, of course, they come with the keys to the kingdom.

Tripoli Uneasy as Rebel Euphoria Fades [NYT]
U.S. Seeking Ways to Finance New Libyan Leaders [NYT]
Journalists Kept in Hotel as Battle Rages Outside [NYT]