I-Team Report: Son of a Tyrant

April 6, 2011 8:45:09 PM PDT
Khamis Gadhafi was in Chicago just weeks before he helped lead deadly attacks on rebels protesting his father's regime in Libya.

Khamis Gadhafi leads several elite military battalions aimed at controlling anti-government rebels in Libya.

U.S. defense officials say Mohammar Gadhafi's sixth son is known as the "man of dirty tasks". But here in the United States, for one month this year, Gadhafi's son was treated as a dignitary and a diplomat, arriving in Houston on January 20; then traveling to Los Angeles, San Francisco, Denver, Washington, New York and Chicago on February 8. Click here to see Gadhafi's Chicago, US itinerary

For three days in February, Khamis Gadhafi attended class at Northwestern University under a fake name and bogus identity.

Gadhafi and a Libyan companion sat in on a Kellogg School of Management leadership class on the Northwestern campus taught by the famous wellness doctor Deepak Chopra. It was a three day session entitled, "The Soul of Leadership."

"What motivates is power, influence peddling, cronyism, corruption and bureaucracy, very unhealthy traits," said Dr. Deepak Chopra, NU Kellogg School professor.

At that moment back in Libya, junior Ghadhafi's homeland was motivated by a revolution. Protests had already begun aimed at loosening the 41-year stranglehold by Gadhafi's father.

But students in the Kellogg MBA class had no idea who their new classmate was. According to Chopra, he claimed only to be "from north Africa," worked in the investment business and didn't use the name Gadhafi.

So, just a few weeks before the U.S. sent cruise missiles to Libya, Libya sent Mohammar Gadhafi's son to the U.S. on a so-called educational tour.

Northwestern University officials would not speak on camera about this or even let ABC7 onto the private campus to work on this story.

Kellogg Dean Sally Blount states that Gadhafi's "visit occurred prior to the uprising in Libya, and before the recent, very troubling allegations against him surfaced." She says Kellogg is committed to respecting human dignity and the integrity of the learning environment, and they promise to review all enrollment procedures and criteria and determine changes that need to be made.

The 27-year-old Gadhafi's American tour was officially an "internship" custom-designed for him by a U.S. company called AECOM, that until recently had a multi-billion dollar construction-training deal with the Libyan government.

In a statement, company spokesman Paul Gennaro told the I-Team they did not fund the trip. Gennaro said: "At the time, [GADHAFI] was registered as a student at a Spanish university pursuing an MBA degree."

"We were aware of the student's family relationship, but we were not informed of any military connection whatsoever...When we read reports citing the student's role in the crisis in Libya, we were shocked and outraged...Before this program began, the U.S. Dept. of State was aware of, and approved, all meetings."

However, State Department officials say they had no role in approving Gadhafi's visit or the 36-day itinerary that included meetings in Chicago with several Aecom attorneys on "global contract management, legal affairs training and foreign corrupt practices training."

In Texas, Gadhafi met with top leaders of the Port of Houston, officials who are now trying to distance themselves from prior knowledge that they were hosting a bloodthirsty military commander.

After visiting Washington to meet with defense contractors and New York where he toured the New York Stock Exchange, Gadhafi cut short his trip to return to Libya where a revolution was under way.

Gadhafi retook command of a ruthless special forces brigade named after him, according to reports from Libya. Last month that unit slaughtered civilians who opposed his father.

Northwestern officials say Gadhafi paid for the three day executive education course. However, the university did not respond to our questions about who arranged for Gadhafi to attend class, nor why northwestern agreed to let Gadhafi use a false identity. When Gadhafi returned to Libya he was reported to have been killed two weeks ago in allied air attacks, reports now denied by Libyan officials

Additional information gathered by the I-Team:

Investigation by ABC7's sister station KTRK looks into Gadhafi visit to Port of Houston

Khamis' visit was not the first time the U.S. has welcomed members of Gadhafi's regime with open arms. A secret diplomatic cable from December 2009 posted on the website WikiLeaks referred to an offer from the U.S. government inviting Khamis to "travel around the United States to tour U.S. military installations."

United States Embassy in Tripoli, Libya
libya.usembassy.gov/news-events/news-from-the-embassy2/the-united-states-and-libya-conduct-military-maintenance-training-seminar.html

Full statement to I-team from:
Paul J. Gennaro
Chief Communications Officer
AECOM

"Early this year, we participated in a short-term educational internship for a 27-year-old MBA student, Khamis Gaddafi, from an accredited university in Spain and with the knowledge and approval of the U.S. Dept. of State. We were aware of the student's family relationship, but we were not informed of any military connection whatsoever.

The educational internship, which consisted of publicly available information, was aligned with our efforts to improve quality of life, specifically in Libya, where we were advancing public infrastructure such as access to clean water; quality housing; safe and efficient roads and bridges; reliable and affordable energy; and related projects that create jobs and opportunity.

Before this program began, the U.S. Dept. of State was aware of, and approved, all meetings. The student was positioned to help oversee improvements in Libya's quality-of-life and infrastructure initiatives, which the country had been advancing since 2007.

The company did not fund or contribute to the funding of the educational internship program or its expenses; it did not receive any payments for the program; and, it did not compensate the student.

When we read reports citing the student's role in the crisis in Libya, we were shocked and outraged."

Kellogg School of Management
www.kellogg.northwestern.edu

Below full statement to I-Team from:
Sally Blount
Dean, Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University

"During a visit to the U.S. two months ago, Khamis Gaddafi, son of Muammar Gaddafi, attended a non-degree executive course at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University from Feb. 9 - 11. The U.S. State Department was aware of his visit. The visit occurred prior to the uprising in Libya, and before the recent, very troubling allegations against him surfaced.

At Kellogg, we are committed to respecting human dignity and the integrity of our learning environment. We will actively review all of our enrollment procedures and criteria, and will determine any changes that need to be made."