Al-Mutassim Billah al-Gaddafi (Arabic: مُعْتَصِمٌ بِٱللهِ ٱلْقَذَّافِيّ‎, also transliterated as Al-Moa'tassem Bellah or Al-Mu'tasim; 18 December 1974[1] – 20 October 2011) was a Libyan Army officer, and the National Security Advisor of Libya from 2008 until 2011.[2] He was the fourth son of former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, and a member of his father's inner circle.[3][4][5][6] His mother was Safia Farkash. He was captured during the Battle of Sirte by anti-Gaddafi forces, and executed along with his father.

Mutassim Gaddafi
مُعْتَصِمٌ بِٱللهِ ٱلْقَذَّافِيّ
Al-Mu'tasim-Billah al-Gaddafi.jpg
National Security Advisor of Libya
In office
Preceded byPosition established
Succeeded byPosition abolished
Personal details
Born(1974-12-18)18 December 1974
Tripoli, Libyan Arab Republic
Died20 October 2011(2011-10-20) (aged 36)
Misrata, Libya
Resting placeLibyan Desert
Military service
AllegianceLibya Libyan Arab Jamahiriya
Branch/serviceLibyan Army
Years of service2008–2011
RankLieutenant Colonel
Battles/warsLibyan Civil War

Role in Libyan politicsEdit

Negotiations with the USEdit

In April 2009, Mutassim Gaddafi met U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the highest-level diplomatic exchange between the two countries since they resumed diplomatic relations several years earlier.[7] For Gaddafi, it was a serious display of his new responsibilities as the National Security Advisor. He overreached his role as NSA in 2008 by requesting $1.2 billion from the National Oil Corporation to form his own special forces brigade.[8]

Mutassim Gaddafi met U.S. Senators John McCain and Joseph Lieberman in 2009, expressing a strong need for military support in Libya. Gaddafi warned, "There are 60 million Algerians to the West, 80 million Egyptians to the East, we have Europe in front of us, and we face Sub-Saharan Africa with its problems to the South." He was concerned about upgrading Libya's military equipment, and said he could purchase arms from Russia and China, but wanted to buy material from the United States.[9]

Possible successorEdit

Mutassim Gaddafi lived in Egypt for several years after allegedly attempting to take control of Libya from his father. His return led to a reconciliation with his father and a high-ranking position as National Security Advisor of Libya. In 2009, a story linking Mutassim Gaddafi to the death of Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi was published in Libyan newspaper Oea with permission from his brother Saif al-Islam.[2]

Libyan civil warEdit

During the Libyan Civil War, Gaddafi commanded the units in the Brega region notably during the Battle of Brega–Ajdabiya road and the skirmishes in the area. He had been subject to a travel ban and an asset freeze over his close links and membership of his father's inner circle.[10]

Gaddafi was allegedly in Tripoli in the Bab al-Azizia compound, and assisting in commanding what remained of pro-Gaddafi forces in the city during the Battle of Tripoli. However, no evidence of his presence was found by rebels when they captured the compound, nor was there evidence of a presence of any of his sons.

He commanded the loyalist forces in their unsuccessful defense of Sirte, Muammar Gaddafi's hometown,[11] until the city fell.

Personal lifeEdit

He was the fourth son of Muammar Gaddafi by his second wife, Safia Farkash. According to his ex-girlfirend, Talitha van Zon, Mutassim Gaddafi paid for Beyoncé and Mariah Carey to sing at his parties.[12] Model Vanessa Hessler also admitted to a four-year relationship with him (2007–2011), and she continued to defend him after his death.[13]


Mutassim Gaddafi was captured when Sirte fell on 20 October 2011. NTC commanders at the front in Sirte and officials in Tripoli claimed that he was captured as he was trying to leave the city in a family car, and sent off to Benghazi.[14]

Published film and photographs of Mutassim Gaddafi indicate that he was unconscious and injured—the front of his shirt was heavily stained with blood—but he was very much alive when he was captured by a group of young men appearing to be in their late teens or early twenties after apparently succumbing to nerve gas. He was made to drink water and requested a cigarette. [15] Later photographs released by Saudi TV channel Al Arabiya show Mutassim Gaddafi lying dead on a hospital bed, with gaping wounds in his throat and abdomen and one of his arms had been dislocated. Amateur photographs and videos showed his young captors and others defiling his corpse after his death. Like his father, he was denied a burial within a day after death in accordance with Islamic law.[16]


  1. ^ "Mutassim's ID Card". Arabic Forum. 20 March 2012. Archived from the original on 4 January 2013. Retrieved 28 July 2012.
  2. ^ a b Kohlmann, Evan (October 2009). "Ibn al-Sheikh al-Libi: October 2009" (PDF). NEFA Foundation. Retrieved 5 October 2009.
  3. ^ "Inside Gaddafi's inner circle". Al Jazeera. 27 February 2011. Retrieved 20 June 2011.
  4. ^ United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (26 February 2011). "UN Security Council, Security Council resolution 1970 (2011), 26 February 2011". Retrieved 26 April 2014.
  5. ^ "Schweizerischer Bundesrat: Verordnung über Massnahmen gegen gewisse Personen aus Libyen vom 21 February 2011" (PDF). Retrieved 26 April 2014.
  6. ^ Spencer, Richard. "Libya: Who's who in Gaddafi's inner circle". The Telegraph. Retrieved 26 April 2014.
  7. ^ "Photo: Secretary Clinton With Libyan National Security Adviser Dr. Mutassim Qadhafi". U.S. Department of State. 21 April 2009.
  8. ^ "Muatassim's Washington Debut: Burnishing His Image and Testing U.S. Waters Tripoli 00000310 001.2 of 004". The Telegraph. London. 31 January 2011.
  9. ^ "CODEL McCain Meets Muammar and Muatassim Al-Qadhafi". The Telegraph. London. 31 January 2011.
  10. ^ "Gaddafi funds frozen". Metro US. 27 February 2011. Retrieved 27 August 2011.
  11. ^ "TV: Gaddafi son Al Mutassim in Tripoli compound". Silobreaker. 22 August 2011.[dead link]
  12. ^ "Gaddafi dead: Dictator's son Mutassim pictured moments before execution - Daily Mail Online". Mail Online.
  13. ^ ABC News. "Model Vanessa Hessler Defends Gadhafis, Loses Job - ABC News". ABC News.
  14. ^ Farmer, Ben; Sherlock, Ruth (12 October 2011). "Libya: Col Gaddafi's son Mutassim 'captured trying to flee Sirte'". The Telegraph. Sirte. Retrieved 15 October 2011.
  15. ^ "Amateur video shows Gaddafi son Mutassim alive after Sirte capture". The Daily Telegraph. 20 October 2011.
  16. ^ "End of an era for Libya: Qaddafi is killed in Sirte". Al Arabiya News. 20 October 2011. Retrieved 21 October 2011.