CAIRO, August 14. /TASS/. Militants and mercenaries operating on the territory of Libya have declared a manhunt for Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, a son of the deposed Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, after the country’s authorities had issued an arrest warrant for him, an army source has told TASS.
"Libyan armed groups [operating in the west of the country] and foreign mercenaries have declared a manhunt for Saif al-Islam, they are searching for him and are trying to capture him," he said.
The Al Wasat newspaper reported on Friday that the government in Tripoli "had issued an arrest warrant for Gaddafi’s son, on suspicion of his involvement in murders <…> during the Libyan National Army’s operation to seize Tripoli." According to the paper, the warrant was issued on August 5.
Before his father’s downfall and death, Saif al-Islam, now aged 49, was viewed as Gaddafi's most likely successor as the head of Libya. About a month after his father was brutally murdered in November 2011, he was captured by Zintan Brigades, a militia group operating in Libya, and spend five years and six months in captivity. The Tripoli court of appeal sentenced him to death in absentia, but Zintan Brigades refused to hand him over to the government due to a longstanding dispute with them. For many years, the International Criminal Court has sought extradition of Saif al-Islam.
In June 2017, Saif al-Islam was released from prison after Libya’s parliament passed a bill on general amnesty. Muammar Gaddafi’s supporters are seeking to nominate him as a candidate in the upcoming presidential election. In several media interviews, Saif al-Islam also hinted at a possibility of running for presidency to "restore the national unity" lost during decades of chaos.