Gaddafi blames Al Qaeda, Daughter says I'm still in town...As Obama asks National Security Top Shots to prepare options
Muammar Gaddafi, the Libyan leader, has said in a speech on Libyan state television that al-Qaeda is responsible for the uprising in Libya, just as his daughter, Aisha denies a report she tried to flee to Malta.
There had been reports on Wednesday that a Libyan plane carrying Gaddafi's daughter had been turned back from Malta after it was denied permission to land.
Speaking late on Wednesday, Aisha Gaddafi, said: "I was surprised when my friends told me about this report.
"I would like to sayto the Libyan men and women who I love and love me, that know me well, that I am steadfastly here.
"In fact this demonstrates to the Libyan people the extent of lies and forgery these channels are resorting to in their reporting."
"It is obvious now that this issue is run by al-Qaeda," he said, speaking by phone from un unspecified location.
Meanwhile, the US president, Barack Obama, has said the violent crackdown in Libya violated international norms and that he had ordered his national security team to prepare the full range of options for dealing with the crisis.
"I have also asked my administration to prepare the full range of options that we may have to respond to this crisis," Obama said in his first televised comments on the Libya crisis on Wednesday.
The US president said he would send Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to Geneva for a meeting of the United Nations Human Rights Council at the weekend and for talks with allied foreign ministers.
The Obama administration said earlier that it was looking at imposing sanctions on Libya to punish it for a violent crackdown on protesters seeking ouster of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.
The State Department said freezing Libyan assets, including those belonging to Gaddafi, were among the options.
Gadaffi said that the protesters were young people who were being manipulated by al-Qaeda, and that many were doing so under the influence of drugs.
"No one above the age of 20 would actually take part in these events," he said. "They are taking advantage of the young age of these people [to commit violent acts] because they are not legally liable!"
At the same time, the leader warned that those behind the unrest would be prosecuted in the country's courts.
He called on Libyan parents to keep their children at home.
"How can you justify such misbehaviour from people who live in good neighbourhoods?" he asked.
The situation in Libya was different to Egypt or Tunisia he said, arguing that unlike people in the neighbouring countries, Libyans have "no reason to complain whatsoever". Libyans had easy access to low interest loans and cheap daily commodities, he argued.
The one reform he did hint might be possible was a raise in salaries.
He argued that he was a purely "symbolic" leader with no real political power, comparing his role to that played by Queen Elizabeth in England.
He said that the protests could cut off Libya oil production.
"If [the protesters] do not go to work regularly, the flow of oil will stop," he said