Abdullah al-Sanussi: Gadhafi’s Spy Captured in South Libya.
Abdullah Al-Senussi, head of the Libyan Intelligence Service speaks to the media in Tripoli Aug. 21, 2011. Reuters

Moammar Gadhafi's brother-in-law and spy chief, Abdullah al-Sanussi, was captured Sunday near the city of Sabha in the southern Libya desert after being on the run for around three months, the new government said.

The former intelligence chief was seized just a day after Libyan fighters captured Gadhafi's son, Saif al-Islam, in the same region.

Sanussi, 62, was captured by transitional government fighters at his sister's home in the Al-Guira region. Often regarded as the right-hand man of Gadhafi, he orchestrated many killings in the dictator's regime.

The International Criminal Court has issued a warrant of arrest against Sanussi for criminal responsibility for the commission of murder and persecution of civilians as crimes against humanity from 15 February 2011 onwards throughout Libya in, inter alia, Tripoli, Benghazi, and Misrata, through the Libyan State apparatus and Security Forces.

Moreover, Sanussi is known for his acts of brutality since the 1970s. The Guardian reported that during the 1980s, a period when many opponents of Gadhafi were killed, he was the head of internal security in Libya. Later, he was described as the head of military intelligence, but it is unclear whether he actually held an official rank.

In 1999, he was convicted for his role in bombing a 1989 passenger plane flying over Niger that caused the death of around 170 people.

Many also believe that it was Sanussi who ordered the massacre of thousands of prisoners in 1996 at the Abu Salim prison, Tripoli.