x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Interpol 'red notice' issued for Qaddafi

Most-wanted alert also includes the Libyan strongman's son and the country's former military intelligence chief, who are being sought by the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity.

PARIS // Interpol said Friday it has issued red notices - its top most-wanted alert - for the arrest of the former Libyan strongman Moammar Qaddafi, his son Seif al-Islam and the country's ex-head of military intelligence, Abdullah al-Senoussi.

The move comes in response to a request by the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, which is seeking the men for alleged crimes against humanity.

Qaddafi hasn't been seen in public for months and went underground after anti-regime fighters swept into Tripoli on Aug. 21.

Interpol said in a statement Friday it had transmitted the red notices to its 188 member countries. A red notice is the equivalent to being on the Lyon, France-based international police body's most-wanted list.

Friday's statement quotes Interpol Secretary General Ronald K. Noble as calling the notices "a powerful tool" in helping lead to the capture of the Qaddafis and al-Senussi. He added the notices will "significantly restrict the ability of all three men to cross international borders."

The question of Qaddafi's whereabouts has been the subject of extensive speculation in Libya, and rumors have put him everywhere from deep in a bunker under Tripoli to safe in exile in neighboring Niger or Algeria.

On Thursday, Qaddafi himself dismissed talk of his flight, saying in an audio broadcast that he's still in Libya, and exhorting followers to keep fighting.