Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi has kept his family well-appointed throughout his 42-year rule. Details of his children's oppressive and abusive exploits were revealed earlier this year in cables released by Wikileaks. Gaddafi's oldest son, Muhammad, dominated telecommunications in Libya while another son Muatassim, was National Security Adviser. A 2008 report claimed that Muatassim had once put pressure on Shukri Ghanem, the chairman of the National Oil Corp., to give Libya $1.2 billion in gas and oil shipments. Ghanem has said that he considered resigning for fear of Muatassim seeking revenge if Ghanem did not pay up.
On other fronts, son Hannibal was influential in maritime shipping, Khamis commanded a top military unit, and daughter Aisha was for a short time the UN Development Program National Goodwill Ambassador for Libya, until being stripped of that role in February. Another son, Saadi, was given the job of setting up an Export Free Trade Zone in western Libya. Saif al-Islam maintained his role as Libya's unofficial diplomat to the West and had earned support as his father's heir apparent, but hurt that image by threatening to crush antigovernment protests with civil war.