Beirut —Libya’s late leader Moammar Gadhafi’s son was kidnapped in Lebanon by militants who demanded information regarding the whereabouts of a Shiite cleric who disappeared in Libya decades ago.
On Friday, Hannibal Gadhafi appeared in a video on local Al-Jadeed TV, stating that anyone with information about Imam Moussa al-Sadr should come forward. He seemed to have been beaten up. However, in the video, he said he is “in good health, happy and relaxed.”
Later that day, security officials said police caught Gadhafi from Baalbek, where he was being held by the Shiite militants. The official claimed that Gadhafi was being taken to Beirut.
“I am with people who have a cause and they are loyal to their cause.We should respect their loyalty to their cause and at least give them the truth,” said Gadhafi in the video.
The disappearance of al-Sadr in 1978 has been a longing sore point in Lebanon. His family believes he may still be alive in a Libyan prison, though most Lebanese presume al-Sadr is dead. Today, he would be 87 years old.
Al-Sadr was the founder of a Shiite political and military group that took part in the Lebanese civil war that began in 1975, which put Muslims against Christians. He was one of the pioneers of the Shiite movement that has become a force across the Middle East, incited by the 1979 Islamic revolution in Shiite Iran.
Since his disappearance, Libya maintained strength in the statement that the al-Sadr and his two companions left from Tripoli on a flight to Rome and suggested he was a victim of a power struggle among Shiites.
Most of al-Sadr’s followers firmly believe that Moammar Gadhafi ordered the killing of al-Sadr in a dispute over Libyan payments to Lebanese militants.
Moammar Gadhafi was killed by opposition fighters in 2011, which ended his four-decade rule of the North African country. Even after his death, al-Sadr’s fate is still unknown.
According to the New York Times, Hannibal Gadhafi was arrested in 2008 for allegedly beating up two servants in a Geneva luxury hotel, sparking a diplomatic spat that dragged on for months. In 2005, a French court convicted him of striking a pregnant companion in a Paris hotel. He was given a four-month suspended prison sentence and a small fine. He fled to Algeria after Tripoli fell, along with his mother and several other relatives.
Source: The New York Times