The Envoy
  • Gadhafi wife, children flee to Algeria

    Moammar Gadhafi's children Aisha, Hannibal and Mohammed, and wife Safia entered Algeria. (Al Arabiya)As Libyan rebels continue to hunt for Moammar Gadhafi near his hometown of Sirte, the one-time Libyan strongman's wife and three of his children have entered Algeria, the official Algerian Press Agency reported Monday, citing an Algerian foreign ministry press release.

    Gadhafi's second wife "Safia, daughter Aisha, sons Hannibal and Mohamed, accompanied by their children entered Algeria at 08h45 AM [Monday] via the Algerian-Libyan border," the news agency reported. The "UN secretary general, UN Security Council and Mahmoud Jibril, head of Executive Council of Libyan National Transition Council were informed, the release added."

    The Algerian Embassy did not immediately respond to a query from The Envoy about the report.

    An American analyst on North Africa issues who blogs pseudonymously under the handle "the Moor Next Door" told The Envoy in a telephone interview Monday that it's not so surprising Gadhafi relatives would seek refuge in Algeria. Two of Gadhafi's sons already live there, the analyst noted; one son is married to an Algerian, while the other lives in Algiers.

    Furthermore, he said, Algeria has maintained a more studiously neutral posture toward Gadhafi's regime than other regional powers have. Many Arab nations have long been hostile to Gadhafi and the Arab League voted to approve the NATO-led no-fly zone against Gadhafi; Algeria, meanwhile, has pursued the African model of nonalignment in the Libya crisis.  The African Union has not approved of the international intervention in Libya and has still not recognized the Libyan opposition National Transition Council, as the United States, Europe and most Arab nations have.

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  • US asks Libya rebels to review Lockerbie bomber case

    Abdel Basset al-Megrahi in Tripoli. (CNN)Libyan rebels are consolidating their hold in the capital city of Tripoli--but the end of Moammar Ghadafi's strong-arm rule may not create an opening to secure the extradition of Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, who'd been convicted for helping to plot the 1988 bombing of Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland.

    In August 2009, a Scottish prison board  released al-Megrahi from serving a life sentence and allowed him to return to Libya, on humanitarian grounds: Doctors determined that the bomber, who was suffering from terminal cancer, had just three months to live. But last month--some two years later--al-Megrahi was spotted on video attending a pro-Gadhafi rally in Tripoli.

    It seems that al-Megrahi's health has lately taken another turn for the worse, however: When CNN's Nic Robertson found al-Megrahi over the weekend at a villa in Tripoli, he was unable to question him about his role in the terrorist attack  that killed 270 people. Al-Megrahi was unable to focus on any questions, since he was drifting in and out of consciousness, Robertson reported Sunday:

    "I was expecting al-Megrahi to be in a comfy armchair, but he was not," Robertson reported. "Beneath the blankets [of his hospital bed] was al-Megrahi, eyes shut, inert. ... The oxygen mask on his face, ... the drip hanging a foot from his head. His skin seemed paper-thin, his face sallow and sunken. ... There is no movement. His eyes remain shut."

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  • Undated file photo of Taliban leader Mullah Omar. (File/AP)• The killing of senior operative Atiyah abd al-Rahman in Pakistan last week is a "body blow" to al Qaeda. (David Ignatius)

    • Afghan president Hamid Karzai leaked international-Taliban talks because he wasn't at the table. (Associated Press)

    • Taliban leader Mullah Omar says Taliban won't participate in Bonn conference. (Tolo News)

    • EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton wraps up trip to Israel and Palestine amid frustrated international efforts to push relaunched peace negotiations. (European Union)

    Read More »from Daily planet: Karzai leak scuttles U.S.-Taliban talks

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