Accessibility links

Breaking News

Libyan Leader Moammar Gadhafi Pitches His Tent on Trump Property

Libyan leader is in New York and spoke at the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday. This is his first visit to the United Sates since he siezed power 40 years ago, but he is getting a cold reception. He's having a tough time finding a place to pitch his tent. Before arriving in the US, the Libyan government prepared to pitch the tent in a New Jersey town but faced overwhelming opposition there. Most recently, Mr. Gadhafi pitched his reception tent in the town of Bedford, New York but now an official there says it has come down.

Bedford is an affluent town almost 80 kilometers north of New York city.

American celebrities like Martha Stewart and Ralph Lauren live nearby.

Now, another big name, Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, is making news here. Mr. Gadhafi pitched his tent on Donald Trump's property in Bedford and caused a stir.

It was not a camping tent, but a ceremonial tent for receiving guests.

"As long as it doesn't affect the rest of the town it's, you know, OK with me," said Marie Domiano, a Bedford resident.

But officials in the town expressed outrage.

The town issued a "stop work" order on the tent, claiming legal permits were not obtained.

Town attorney Joel Sachs said he was just enforcing the law. "I think this entire situation came as a total surprise to the town," he said.

The Trump Organization says the property was leased on a short-term basis to Middle Eastern partners who may or may not have a relationship to Mr. Gadhafi.

A company spokesman said Trump asked the tenant occupying the property to remove the tent, and the tenant complied.

The Libyans first asked permission to pitch the tent in New York's Central Park, but that was denied. Mr. Gadhafi then tried the New Jersey suburb of Englewood, where Libya owns an estate. Earlier this month, the mayor's response was hostile.

"I don't want him on U.S. soil, and I don't want him sleeping in my city," said Englewood mayor Michael Wildes.

Many Americans are angry at Mr. Gadhafi's welcome home of the only person convicted in the 1988 Pan Am bombing over Lockerbie, Scotland.

Abdel Baset al-Megrahi was released by Scottish authorities on compassionate grounds because he has terminal cancer.

Thirty-eight of the 270 people who died in Lockerbie came from New Jersey.

A judge ordered crews in Englewood to stop renovations outside the building, saying they violated building regulations. Mr. Gadhafi then chose Bedford.

The Libyan government has not commented on the most recent dispute.

Mr. Gadhafi may now have to pitch his tent somewhere else, if he insists on a tent.