News / USA

Panetta: Gadhafi ‘On the Run’

US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta speaks to reporters after touring the National September 11 Memorial & Museum in New York, September 6, 2011.
US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta speaks to reporters after touring the National September 11 Memorial & Museum in New York, September 6, 2011.

Pentagon officials are among those guessing on the whereabouts of former Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi. 

The question of where Moammar Gadhafi is followed U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta Tuesday to New York, where he paid tribute to victims of the 2001 terrorist attacks as the 10th anniversary draws near.

“I wish I knew.  I don't have any information as to exactly where he's [i.e., Moammar Gadhafi] located.  The best information we have is that he's on the run.  But as to where he is, I don’t have any information,” he said.

In recent days, Pentagon officials have said they have no information to indicate that the former Libyan leader has left the country, despite speculation that he might have crossed the border into Algeria or Niger.  

U.S. aircraft are among the multi-national force enforcing a no-fly zone over Libya, helping Libyan insurgents with intelligence-gathering and other support.

Panetta on Tuesday toured the memorial to the New York terror victims and warned that the United States must remain vigilant in the face of continuing threats from al-Qaida.

“They continue to plan attacks and I don’t think we can take anything for granted.  The potential for that kind of attack remains very real,” he said.  

The defense secretary said Yemen has risen to the top of the list of countries to watch, following calls by al-Qaida there for new attacks on U.S. targets.

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