Muammar Qaddafi may be protected by Tuareg tribesman who remain loyal to him for his support of their rebellions in neighboring countries.
Libya's interim government said today that they believe Muammar Qaddafi is being protected by tribesmen in the desert along the Algerian border – far from the cities where his remaining supporters are fighting a last stand against rebel forces.
Hisham Buhagiar, a National Transitional Council (NTC) official, told Reuters that they suspect Qaddafi is hiding in the town of Ghadames, with protection by Tuareg tribesmen who also supported Qaddafi before he was ousted from power. The former leader supported their rebellions against the governments of Mali and Niger.
Mr. Buhagiar also said that they suspect that Qaddafi's son Said al-Islam is hiding in Bani Walid, one of the loyalist holdouts, and that his son Mutassem is in Sirte, Muammar Qaddafi's hometown.
Members of the Qaddafi family taking refuge in Algeria – his daughter Aisha, as well as two of her brothers – were ordered by the Algerian government to remain out of the fray after Aisha told the media her father was still fighting.