Bloody and chaotic video footage of the last moments of oppressive Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi’s life in 2011 has surfaced, showing the once-merciless strongman at the mercy of a mob of armed and shouting rebels.
The agonizing, gory demise of the man Ronald Reagan called the “mad dog of the Middle East” was captured on a cell phone by rebel fighter Ayman Almani on Oct. 20, 2011.
Thrown on the hood of a truck, swarmed by angry captors and covered in his own blood, the bruised and battered Gaddafi can be seen gesturing and begging the rebels for his life.
"He deserved it," declared Ayman. "Islam teaches us not to mistreat a prisoner, not to bear a grudge. But the people got carried away in the stampede and no one could stop them."
The tumultuous video shows a man pointing a gun at Gaddafi’s head from above as the colonel searches the crowd for someone who might show him mercy.
But there was no savior for the committed enemy of the U.S. — Gaddafi was shot dead just after this footage ends. In all the chaos, it was impossible to know for certain who pulled the trigger or what exactly ended his life.
The official account of the NTC rebel group said Gaddafi was caught in a crossfire and died from bullet wounds. Alleged eyewitnesses in the crowd said Gaddafi was fatally shot in the stomach by rebels. Libya's chief forensic pathologist, Dr. Othman al-Zintani, performed an autopsy and told media that Gaddafi died from a gunshot to the head, but his official report has never been released.
Later, a rebel identifying himself as Senad el-Sadik el-Ureybi claimed responsibility for shooting the oppressor, but that could not be verified. A 17-year-old rebel named Mohammed Elbibi picked up Gaddafi’s trademark gold handgun off the ground, and other rebels mistakenly assumed he had used it to kill the dictator — briefly making him the hero of the revolution.