Saif al-Islam Gaddafi captured in Libyan desert

The son and heir-apparent of the former dictator has been arrested by pro-government fighters.

Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, the son of the late Libyan dictator, has been captured in southern Libya, according to officials from the new government.

The second son of Muammar Gaddafi, 39 year old Saif was widely seen as his heir-apparent. He was arrested by pro-government fighters in the desert near the town of Obari. Reportedly, two aides - who have also been arrested - were trying to smuggle him out to neighbouring Niger.

Since Tripoli fell to revolutionary forces, Saif has been in hiding. Last month, he told the International Criminal Court that he was innocent of crimes against humanity. The court is seeking his arrest on charges related to the bombing and shooting of civilians during the civil war.

After his father and his brother Mutassim Gaddafi were killed by rebels soon after their capture, the ICC said that it had made contact with Saif and discussed the possibility of him surrendering through intermediaries. It is not immediately clear whether he gave himself up.

According to initial reports, Libyan officials are keen to try him at home and resist handing him over to The Hague. Militia commander Bashir al-Tayeleb said that it would be up to Libya's National Transitional Council to decide where Saif would be tried.

Saif studied for a doctorate at LSE and in the past has drawn western support, appearing to be a liberal reformer. However, when unrest broke out in Libya, he supported his father's brutal crackdown.

The new Libyan government has been keen to catch him, considering him the last dangerous member of the Gaddafi clan still at large, and capable of stirring up serious unrest or insurgency. He is said to be in good health.

 

Samira Shackle is a freelance journalist, who tweets @samirashackle. She was formerly a staff writer for the New Statesman.

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The US intelligence leaks on the Manchester attack are part of a disturbing pattern

Even the United States' strongest allies cannot rely on this president or his administration to keep their secrets.

A special relationship, indeed. British intelligence services will stop sharing information with their American counterparts about the Manchester bombing after leaks persisted even after public rebukes from Amber Rudd (who called the leaks "irritating") and Michael Fallon (who branded them "disappointing").

In what must be a diplomatic first, Britain isn't even the first of the United States' allies to review its intelligence sharing protocols this week. The Israeli government have also "reviewed" their approach to intelligence sharing with Washington after Donald Trump first blabbed information about Isis to the Russian ambassador from a "close ally" of the United States and then told reporters, unprompted, that he had "never mentioned Israel" in the conversation.

Whether the Manchester leaks emanate from political officials appointed by Trump - many of whom tend to be, if you're feeling generous, cranks of the highest order - or discontent with Trump has caused a breakdown in discipline further down the chain, what's clear is that something is very rotten in the Trump administration.

Elsewhere, a transcript of Trump's call to the Philippine strongman Rodrigo Duterte in which the American president revealed that two nuclear submarines had been deployed off the coast of North Korea, has been widely leaked to the American press

It's all part of a clear and disturbing pattern, that even the United States' strongest allies in Tel Aviv and London cannot rely on this president or his administration to keep their secrets.

Stephen Bush is special correspondent at the New Statesman. His daily briefing, Morning Call, provides a quick and essential guide to British politics.

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