Moammar Gadhafi’s son, a military commander who has played a leading role in the regime’s brutal response to the popular uprising in Libya, was in the United States on a State Department-approved internship when the unrest began.
Khamis Gadhafi, 27, commander of the elite 32nd brigade, also known as the Khamis Brigade, was on a four-week tour of the U.S. organized by AECOM, a Los Angeles-based global infrastructure company, ABC News
The internship, which had the State Department’s blessing, included jaunts to Los Angeles, San Francisco, Houston, Colorado, Washington, D.C., and New York City, where the dictator’s son toured the New York Stock Exchange and took in a Broadway performance of the ABBA musical “Mamma Mia.”
He also got a VIP tour of Universal Studios in L.A. and had meetings with execs at high-tech companies such as Google, Apple and Intel in Northern California, ABC reported.
The trip was cut short when the uprising, part of massive anti-government protests sweeping the Middle East and North Africa, broke out in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi. As leader of the Libyan special forces, Khamis has since played a key role in the regime’s violent crackdown on the protests.
Libyan TV this week aired video of a young man who looked like Khamis receiving a hero’s welcome as he parades through Gadhafi’s compund in Tripoli. The video appears designed to quell rumors that Khamis had been killed in a kamikaze attack by a Libyan fighter pilot.
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