On May 15, the United States removed Libya from its list of state sponsors of terrorism. It now looks like a bad decision.
The resumption of diplomatic ties with the U.S. should have never occurred as has been evidenced by Moammar Gadhafi’s recent hero’s welcome and support for Abdel Baset al-Megrahi, the Libyan intelligence agent and lone man convicted of bombing Pan Am Flight 103 in 1988 in Lockerbie, Scotland.
If you are supporting terrorists, in my book you are a terrorist. Although Gadhafi has made a concerted effort to scam his way back into the good graces of the international community, his transparent support for the Pan Am 103 bomber is a clear demonstration that he is the same man he was in the 1970s when he established terrorist training camps on Libyan soil, provided terrorist groups with arms, and offered safe haven to terrorists.
He aided Spain's ETA, Italy's Red Brigades, and Palestinian groups such as the Palestine Liberation Organization.
Libya was also suspected of attempting to assassinate the leaders of Chad, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Tunisia, and Zaire (now Democratic Republic of Congo).
Gadhafi’s regime was also implicated in the 1989 bombing of a French passenger jet over Niger in which 171 died. In 1986, Libya sponsored the bombing of a Berlin disco popular among U.S. servicemen, killing two U.S. soldiers.
Gadhafi is planning to attend the United Nations General Assembly next month. In doing so, he intends on setting up camp in Englewood, N.J., just across the George Washington Bridge from Manhattan.
New Jersey was home to 38 victims of the Pan Am 103 bombing. Allowing him stay here while visiting the U.N. is a disgrace and a slap in the face, not only to those who died from New Jersey, but to all the victims from Flight 103.
At 11 a.m. on Aug. 30, Englewood Mayor Michael Wildes will hold a rally in protest of Gadhafi’s expected stay.
Every American should join him to send Gadhafi and others like him a message: Terrorists and sponsors of terror are not wanted in the United States.
Bernard Kerik served as New York City’s 40th police commissioner and Iraq’s interim minister of interior following the fall of Saddam Hussein. Today he is the chairman of The Kerik Group LLC. Visit his Web site at: www.thekerikgroup.com.
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