Remember the 1986 raid ordered by Ronald Reagan on Tripoli in retaliation for a terrorist attack that killed American servicemen in what was then West Germany? Libyan dictator Moammar Qaddafi had ordered the terrorist attack, and claimed after the bombing raid that the US raid killed his adopted infant daughter, Hana. Qaddafi put on a great show of mourning for his lost child — but according to a report this morning from the Irish Times, he needn’t have bothered:
The adopted daughter of Muammar Gadafy, whom he claimed died as an infant in the 1986 US bombing of his Tripoli compound, appears to be alive and worked as a doctor in the Libyan capital, documents discovered byThe Irish Times indicate.
A room belonging to Hana Muammar Gadafy in the section of the Bab al-Azizia compound where the Gadafy family lived contained several documents that appear to indicate she grew up to study medicine in Tripoli and took English classes at the British Council in the Libyan capital. …
Among the items discovered by The Irish Times yesterday are an examination paper from a Libyan university medical faculty signed “Hana Muammar Gadafy” in Arabic, and photographs of Hana including one showing her with Gadafy’s blood daughter Aisha. A British Council certificate, dated July 19th, 2007, showed that Hana Muammar Gadafy had achieved an overall A grade in an English language course there.
In February, a German newspaper obtained a copy of a document related to the freezing of Muammar Gadafy’s assets in Switzerland after Libya’s uprising began. The document listed 23 members of the Gadafy clan, including Hana, whose date of birth is given as November 11th, 1985, making her six months old at the time of the US air strike.
Well, there are two possible explanations for this apparent discrepancy. One, Qaddafi lied about the death of his daughter as a means to garner sympathy and cast the US as an evil, infant-murdering nation. According to the report, it didn’t work, not even at home, where Libyans doubted that Hana had been killed at all. It certainly didn’t win Qaddafi any friends abroad, not while he conducted terrorist operations in Western nations.
The second explanation? Qaddafi can raise people from the dead. If so, that’s going to be a skill that will come in handy when rebels finally discover where he’s hiding. He’d better hope that someone in his entourage has the same power, because Qaddafi himself will likely require those services in a very short period of time.
The British aren’t making assumptions that Qaddafi is still in Tripoli. They bombed Qaddafi’s home town of Sirte today, hitting a command-and-control bunker:
British warplanes took aim at Moammar Gadhafi’s hometown of Sirte overnight and pounded a “large headquarters bunker,” the UK Defence Ministry said on Friday. …
The ministry said Tornado aircraft fired a salvo of precision-guided missiles in Sirte, east of Tripoli on the central coast. Britain is part of NATO’s mission to enforce a U.N. Security Council resolution calling for the protection of Libyan people against Gadhafi regime forces.
Tornado aircraft destroyed one of Gadhafi’s “few remaining long range surface to air missile systems, near Al Watiyah, close to the Tunisian border on Thursday, the ministry said.
The rebels are desperate for funds. They have put in another request for the US to unfreeze Libyan assets, currently frozen under UN sanctions. The UN authorized an unfreezing of $1.5 billion yesterday for the rebels, but almost $100 billion remains inaccessible.