[The following are excerpts from a report in today's edition of The Guardian:]
Abdullah Senussi, Muammar Gaddafi's brother-in-law and intelligence chief, must have been an easy choice for the prosecutor of the international criminal court: his close association with the worst excesses of the Libyan regime goes back many years, and he reportedly played a key role in attempting to crush the Benghazi uprising when it began, in February.
Luis Moreno-Ocampo, the ICC prosecutor, described Senussi as Gaddafi's "righthand man, the executioner". But Senussi was more than a hard man in one of the most repressive regimes in the post-cold war world: his brief extended to political and PR strategies after Gaddafi abandoned terrorism and his WMD programmes in 2003 and sought a complete makeover. (...)
Until now, Senussi's most notorious exploit was as mastermind of the bombing of a French airliner over Niger in 1989 in which 170 people were killed. That led to a 1999 case in which he was convicted in absentia in France. He has been unable to travel abroad freely since then.
In the 1980s, he headed Libya's external security organisation, in which capacity he was said to have recruited Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, the man convicted of the 1988 Lockerbie bombing, in which 270 people were killed. Like Megrahi, Senussi is a member of the powerful Megarha tribe. He is also a cousin of Abdel-Salam Jalloud, one of Gaddafi's oldest comrades.