Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi, the son of the late Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi, is preparing a comeback in Libyan politics after spending six years in prison, the Guardian reported on Wednesday. He claims to be leading a military campaign against terrorist groups around Tripoli.
According to a spokesman for Gaddafi, he is inside Libya. “Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi is committed to his word, which he gave to all Libyans in 2011, when he said that he will remain in Libya to defend its territory or die a martyr for it,” he explained in a written statement supplied through a US contact. “The forces who fought in Sabratha against [Daesh], the gangs of illegal immigrants and the oil-smuggling mafias were mainly members of the tribes who support Saif Al-Islam, and those who were part of the former Libyan army, also loyal to Saif Gaddafi.”
Gaddafi, who studied in the London School of Economics, is known as a moderniser, said the Guardian. He is currently accused of ordering the killing of protesters during the 2011 revolution, which ousted his father. However, it is unclear whether Gaddafi himself has actually fought against terror groups because most of the latest battles were carried out among tribal militants who fought to control smuggling routes.
Monitors of the situation in Libya are not sure whether he would be able to mobilise enough supporters to be a real threat to Tripoli.