Did nothing wrong against people, says Saif al-Islam Gaddafi

Did nothing wrong against people, says Saif al-Islam Gaddafi

The world had gone to war with Libya based on nothing more than rumour and propaganda, the 38-year-old Saif-al-Islam Gaddafi, the second son of Gaddafi, said in an interview to the Washington Post.

He claimed the UN Security Council resolution for establishing a no-fly zone over Libya was based on claims that Libyan air force was bombing Tajoura and Fashloom districts in Tripoli and killing thousands, but there was "zero" evidence of such a bombardment.

"Show me one trace, one evidence that we bombarded Tajoura. Zero," Saif said. "So you go there and ask anybody. So everything was based on rumours. It's exactly like the WMD. WMD, WMD, WMD, go and attack Iraq. Now, civilians, civilians, civilians, go and attack Libya. It's the same thing, it's a repetition of history," he said.

Blaming the rebellion against his father's regime on al Qaeda, Saif said the Americans, should have rather helped Libya root out the "terrorists". A defiant Gaddafi scion also said he had been betrayed by his friends who defected to join the rebels, and said nobody in the Middle East had thought that "one day President Barack Obama will attack Libya or an Arabic country".

Saif said he had brought many reformers into the government in the past decade, as part of a promise that Libya would move towards democracy and freedom of expression.

Several of those men have since defected and played leading roles in the rebel Transitional National Council, a fact that could help explain the younger Gaddafi's keenness to emphasise his nationalist credentials, the paper said.

Dismissing accusations against the Gaddafi government, Saif said the army was fighting terrorists, "just as the Russian army did in the Chechen capital, Grozny, just as Americans did in Fallujah in Iraq". "It's exactly the same thing," he said. "I am not going to accept it, that the Libyan army killed civilians. This didn't happen. It will never happen."

Instead of attacking Libya, he said, the United States should be helping it fight al-Qaeda. Then, once the "terrorists" are removed from Misurata and Benghazi, he said, it will be time to talk of national reconciliation and democracy, under a new constitution that would reduce Gaddafi's role to a "symbolic" one.

"The biggest issue is the terrorists and the armed militia... Once we get rid of them, everything will be solved," Saif said.