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He said he has no independent information about Mr. Gadhafi, but said he does believe media reports that his convoy is carrying gold, diamonds and cash - which could be his passport to freedom.

“I don’t doubt that they have a lot of money,” Mr. Alzubedi said. “They treated Libya like a private estate and their private bank. They could take any amount of money, any amount of gold.”

South Africa’s Beeld newspaper has quoted local mercenaries as saying a group of guns for hire is protecting Mr. Gadhafi.

ICC prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo has said South African mercenaries may be trying to spirit Mr. Gadhafi away to Zimbabwe, which does not recognize the international court.

Some fear Mr. Gadhafi could rally Tuareg fighters, newly and heavily rearmed while they fought to defend his father’s regime, to stage an insurgency.

Mr. Thiam said up to 500 Tuaregs in 130 vehicles had fled Libya to northern Mali after the fall of Moammar Gadhafi’s 42-year regime. Hundreds of other Tuareg fighters have gone home to Chad and Niger.

Many Tuaregs are furious about how Moammar Gadhafi was captured and killed.

Mosques in Tuareg towns across the Sahel dedicated Friday prayers to the memory of the slain Libyan leader, who used some of Libya’s oil wealth to build mosques and religious schools across the region and who glorified the tribes’ nomadic lifestyle.

A Western diplomat said last week that he has information suggesting that Mr. al-Senoussi crossed into northern Mali last week, though he cautioned that “a man like this could create false leads for people to follow.”

A Tuareg source said Mr. al-Senoussi was in northwest Mali on Oct. 31.

On Oct. 28, a Tuareg leader said Mr. Gadhafi was nearing the Mali border and could cross into the country that night. These sources spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the subject.

That same day, Mr. Moreno-Ocampo, the ICC prosecutor, said he was in indirect negotiations with Mr. Gadhafi about his possible surrender for trial. Libyan officials then announced that they want Mr. Gadhafi.

“We want to try Seif al-Islam in Libya,” said military spokesman Col. Ahmed Bani. “He committed his crimes here in Libya. He committed murder. He is our enemy.”

Since then, nothing has been heard of Mr. Gadhafi.

The ICC has asked all countries to refuse overflight rights to Mr. Gadhafi, but the Sahara is dotted with remote landing strips used regularly by smugglers.

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