US Doesn’t Know Where Gadhafi Is, Doubts Rebels Do Either

Raises Doubts About Claims of 'Surrounded' Dictator

Yesterday Libya’s rebels claimed to have Moammar Gadhafi surrounded, a claim which has come up a few times in recent weeks, but this time was conspicuous in that it lacked even the suggestion of where he might be surrounded.

US officials, however, say they don’t believe the claim, with one official saying the US had no clue where Gadhafi is right now and doubted that the rebels did either. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta would only say Gadhafi was likely “on the run.”

Speculation earlier in the week had the dictator in the far south of the country, and reports that he was intended to cross into Chad or Niger, with some saying he might eventually make for Burkina Faso.

Gadhafi has made a number of allies across the region over the past few decades, using Libya’s vast oil wealth to buy influence. There is a belief that he may attempt to parlay that into sanctuary in some other north African nation, but with his wealth in large measure seized, it is unclear what if anything he would have to offer in return.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.