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Outspoken son highlights how far his father has fallen as he makes own bid to lead

ONE of Muammar Gaddafi's sons laid bare how endangered his father's dictatorship had become yesterday.

Saif al-Islam Gaddafi's (pictured) defiant speech could have been a last-ditch attempt to put forward his own claims to leadership, which has been long-touted in the West.

But as a leading voice for reform in Libya, Saif al-Islam needed his father to remain in office to have any chance of putting his ideas into effect.

With a PhD from the London School of Economics, he has been outspoken in backing more freedoms for his people.


Since Col Gaddafi's rapprochement with the West, Saif al-Islam became the public face of Libya to the outside world.

His other sons are not so well known.

Mohammed, the eldest son, is believed to have fallen into disfavour but remains head of the Libyan Olympic Committee.

Saadi played football professionally and was last heard of leading a brigade of troops in an attempt to retake Benghazi.

Mutassim has followed his father most closely, joining the army, becoming a lieutenant-colonel, and then his father's national security adviser.

Hannibal was once fined in Paris for beating his then girlfriend, now wife.

Saif al-Arab was once accused of trying to smuggle an assault rifle and other weapons from Germany to Paris, though charges were dropped.

Khamis leads a brigade in the armed forces, described in a leaked US cable as the best equipped in the army. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent