Official: Qaddafi spy chief in Mali; Son next?

October 28, 2011

CBS News on October 27, 2011 released the following:

“(CBS/AP) DAKAR, Senegal – Muammar Qaddafi’s intelligence chief, who is wanted by Interpol, fled to Mali overnight after making his way across Niger where he has been hiding for several days in the country’s northern desert, an adviser to the president of Niger said Thursday.

The official, speaking on the condition of anonymity due to the sensitive nature of the matter, said that Abdullah al-Senoussi entered Mali late Wednesday night via the Kidal region, which shares a border with Niger. He is guarded by a unit of about a dozen people and arrived in a convoy that was piloted by ethnic Tuaregs from Mali.

The official said that Qaddafi’s hunted son, Saif al-Islam, is also on his way to Mali and is traveling across the invisible line separating Algeria from Niger. The area, an ungoverned expanse of dunes stretching for hundreds of miles, has been used for years by drug traffickers as well as by an offshoot of al Qaeda.

“Senoussi is in Mali … he arrived yesterday,” said the adviser, an influential elder in the ethnic Tuareg community which overwhelmingly supported Qaddafi and remained loyal to him despite Niger’s official stance backing the country’s new rulers.

“Saif is going to Mali too. He is right now between Niger and Algeria. He is in the territory at the frontier between the two, heading to Mali,” the adviser said. “For the moment, they do not plan to approach the government. They are protected by the Tuaregs … and they are choosing to stay in the desert.”

Speculation about Saif al-Islam’s whereabouts has been rampant in recent days, with Transitional National Council officials claiming he is planning to turn himself in to the ICC. On Thursday, Reuters reported on a TNC official’s claim that Saif al-Islam is looking to arrange for an aircraft to transport him to The Hague.

However, none of these claims have been confirmed.

U.N. votes to lift Libya no-fly zone on Oct. 31
Complete Coverage: Anger in the Arab World

Meanwhile, the U.N. Security Council has voted unanimously to lift the no-fly zone over Libya on Oct. 31. NATO has been expected to announce the end of military operations in Libya but has not made an official statement.

The region through which al-Senoussi and Saif al-Islam are said to have traveled is the traditional home of the Tuaregs, the desert dwellers whose members live in the nations abutting the Sahara desert from Mauritania in the east, through Mali, Niger, Libya and Chad. The group felt a kinship with Qaddafi who elevated the nomadic life by pitching his tent in the courtyards of four-star hotels in Europe.

Hundreds of Malian and Nigerien Tuaregs were recruited by Qaddafi to fight as hired guns in Libya in the final months of the conflict. The video showing how Qaddafi was manhandled after he was caught has deeply offended Tuareg communities throughout Africa.

Starting at dinnertime Wednesday, Tuareg elders met in Agadez to discuss the conflict posed by the arrival of Qaddafi’s most trusted collaborators in light of the Niger’s government’s commitment to hand over anyone wanted by the world court. Both the son and the intelligence chief are wanted by the International Criminal Court which issued warrants for their arrest in May for crimes against humanity committed during the monthslong struggle for power in Libya.

About 30 other regime loyalists, including another Qaddafi son, al-Saadi, fled to Niger in September, but were apprehended by Niger’s government and placed under house arrest.

“We are hearing the same reports as you, that Saif is in our zone. But our security forces have not run into him,” said Massoudou Hassoumi, the chief of staff of Niger’s President Mahamadou Issoufou. “The day that we run into him we will arrest him. He is pursued by the ICC, and we will hand him over in keeping with our international obligations.”

In Mali, a tribal elder from the country’s north where the fugitives are believed to be hiding, said that he doesn’t think Mali will shield them from the ICC.

“People on the ground are saying that Senoussi is there,” said the elder who asked not to be named because of the delicate nature of the issue.

“I don’t know if Qaddafi’s son is there too. It’s a small group of vehicles which is to the northeast of Kidal Town. It’s possible that they are with other Tuaregs who have returned from Libya,” the elder said. “I think they know if they came here that Mali is going to hand them over to the ICC. In fact I think that’s why they came here because they want to be safely handed over.”

Niger’s government, which is heavily dependent on aid, has been put in an impossible spot, forced to choose between its obligations to the international community and its powerful Tuareg community. The problem is similar in Mali, but President Amadou Toumani Toure is at the tail-end of his second term and is not seeking re-election, making him possibly freer to choose a course of action without fear of political repercussions.”

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
INTERPOL Red Notice Removal Lawyers Videos:

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To find additional global criminal news, please read The Global Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.


INTERPOL issues Red Notice for Assaadi Gaddafi at Libya’s request

September 30, 2011

INTERPOL on September 29, 2011 released the following:

Red Notice is first such notice requested by Libya since Transitional National Council came to power

LYON, France – INTERPOL has published a Red Notice for Assaadi Gaddafi after Libyan authorities requested an internationally-wanted persons notice against the son of ousted Libyan leader Col Gaddafi for allegedly misappropriating properties through force and armed intimidation when he headed the Libyan Football Federation.

With INTERPOL confirming reports that Assaadi Gaddafi, aged 38, was last seen in Niger, the Red Notice for the Libyan national represents a regional and international alert to countries neighbouring Libya and Niger, and those with travel connections to Niger, to seek their help in locating and arresting Assaadi Gaddafi, with a view to returning him to Libya where an arrest warrant for him has been issued by the General Attorney at the Office of the Public Prosecutor.

As the Commander of military units allegedly involved in the repression of demonstrations by civilians during Libya’s uprising, Assaadi Gaddafi is also subject to a United Nations travel ban and assets freeze issued in March this year.

“The INTERPOL Red Notice against Assaadi Gaddafi will significantly restrict his ability to travel and cross international borders. It is a powerful tool that will help authorities locate and arrest him,” said INTERPOL Secretary General Ronald K. Noble.

“This first Red Notice issued at the request of Libya since the Transitional National Council came to power is a compelling demonstration of the commitment of Libya’s new authorities to work with the world police community.”

“INTERPOL will continue to offer Libya’s Transitional National Council the full support of its global resources and services and is asking its member countries in the region to take all measures to apprehend Assaadi Gaddafi,” added the head of INTERPOL.

The publication of the INTERPOL Red Notice for Assaadi Gaddafi will see INTERPOL’s Fugitive Investigative Support unit and its Command and Coordination Centre at its General Secretariat closely liaise with its National Central Bureaus in the region and worldwide to pool and update all relevant intelligence to ensure that the Libyan national is located, arrested and returned to Libya to face the serious charges against him.

Earlier this month INTERPOL issued Red Notices for Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi, his son Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi and former director of military intelligence Abdullah Al-Senussi after the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Luis Moreno-Ocampo, requested the world police body to issue internationally-wanted persons notices against the Libyan nationals for alleged crimes against humanity, including murder and persecution.

Since March 2011, through the publication that month of Orange Notice global alerts against Colonel Gaddafi and other Libyan nationals, including his son Assaadi Gaddafi and other members of his family and close associates, INTERPOL has been warning member states of the danger posed by the movement of these individuals and their assets following the sanctions established by United Nations Security Council resolutions 1970 and 1973 (2011) imposing a travel ban and assets freeze on the individuals.”

To find additional global criminal news, please read The Global Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

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Interpol Widens Net in Hunt for Qaddafi and Sons

September 29, 2011

The New York Times on September 29, 2011 released the following:

“By KAREEM FAHIM and RICK GLADSTONE

TRIPOLI, Libya — Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi, the fugitive former Libyan leader toppled from power a month ago, is likely to have taken refuge near the Algerian border under the protection of sympathetic nomadic tribesmen who have fought for him, an official of the new Libyan government said Wednesday.

On Thursday, Interpol also widened its net for members of his family.

The government official said Colonel Qaddafi’s son and heir apparent, Seif al-Islam el-Qaddafi, was likely to be hiding in the loyalist desert enclave of Bani Walid, and that a second son, Muatassim el-Qaddafi, a militia commander and former national security adviser, was probably in Surt, the Qaddafi clan’s hometown on the Mediterranean coast.

On Thursday, Interpol, the international police agency based in Lyon, France, placed a third son, Saadi el-Qaddafi, 38, on the equivalent of its most wanted list, publishing what it called a Red Notice for him to be sought on charges of “allegedly misappropriating properties through force and armed intimidation when he headed the Libyan Football Federation.”

In a statement, Interpol said it had confirmed reported that Colonel Qaddafi’s third son who had a reputation for dissolute behavior as a soccer player in Italy was last seen in Niger. Interpol said the alert was the first to be issued at the request of Libya’s Transitional National Council.

Previous such alerts for Colonel Qaddafi himself and members of his family and entourage were issued at the request of the International Criminal Court, where they are accused of crimes against humanity, Interpol said.

The Interpol statement said the younger Mr. Qaddafi had commanded military units “allegedly involved in the repression of demonstrations by civilians during Libya’s uprising” and, since March, had been subject to a United Nations travel ban and a freeze on his assets. Interpol Secretary General Ronald K. Noble was quoted as saying the Red Notice would “significantly restrict his ability to travel and cross international borders” and would enable neighboring countries to arrest him with a view to returning him to Libya.

Armed supporters of Colonel Qaddafi in Bani Walid and Surt have defied demands for surrender by anti-Qaddafi forces who have besieged both towns. And despite days of bombardment by NATO warplanes, the colonel’s loyalists, with a seemingly plentiful supply of ammunition, have repelled repeated advances. On Wednesday, anti-Qaddafi commanders sent at least five tanks into Surt; they quickly came under fire by Grad rockets, which barely missed the tanks, Reuters reported.

The fierce resistance has helped fuel the speculation that senior Qaddafi family members are hiding in the two towns. In recent weeks, military commanders from Misurata, who have led the fight to take Surt, have said that they have heard Muatassim el-Qaddafi’s voice on radio transmissions, and witnesses have told anti-Qaddafi fighters that Seif al-Islam has been seen in Bani Walid.

The latest information about Colonel Qaddafi and his two sons was reported by Hisham Buhagiar, a military official in the Transitional National Council, in an interview with Reuters.

He said Colonel Qaddafi, who has not appeared in public since his opponents overran Tripoli in late August and drove him underground, was sheltering near the western town of Ghadamis, near the border with Algeria, under the protection of the Tuaregs, tribesmen who roam the Sahara traversing Libya and its neighboring nations.

Mr. Buhagiar did not explain the sources of his information. Previous assertions by the Transitional National Council about their whereabouts have not proved accurate.

The council’s political leaders continued their efforts to try to form a working government, a process that has stalled amid in-fighting and regional rivalries. A list of cabinet members released unofficially on Wednesday by a person with knowledge of the deliberations included prominent names from the eastern city of Benghazi and seemed intended to placate leaders from that region, but it was not clear whether former rebels from other areas would be satisfied.

A powerful Tripoli militia leader, Abdel Hakim Belhaj, warned that Islamists should not be ignored in the new government.

Mr. Belhaj, a former leader of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, wrote in The Guardian on Tuesday: “What worries us is the attempt of some secular elements to isolate and ignore others. Libya’s Islamists have announced their commitment to democracy; despite this, some reject their participation and call for them to be marginalized.

“We will not allow this.””

To find additional global criminal news, please read The Global Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

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