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LIBYA: Kadafi 'delusional,' wants to reclaim power, ex-confidant says

August 24, 2011 |  9:14 am

Jalloud Libya's fugitive leader thinks he can return to power when NATO ends its air campaign, his former right-hand man told Al Jazeera television.

“Kadafi is delusional because he thinks he can disappear in Libya and, when NATO leaves, he believes he can gather his supporters,” said Abdel Salam Jalloud, who defected before rebels captured most of the capital this week.

Timeline: Rebellion in Libya

Jalloud, who was speaking in an excerpt from an interview to be aired on the satellite news channel, was among the members of Kadafi's inner circle who staged the 1969 coup that brought the 69-year-old leader to power.

Jalloud is believed to have fallen out of favor with the veteran leader several years ago, Reuters reported.

Photos: Battle for Kadafi's compound

Jalloud said he thought Kadafi was still in Tripoli.

“The rebels must open the roads. After they open the roads, he may dress in woman's clothes and leave Tripoli for the Algerian border or Chad," Jalloud said. "He is drunk with power.”

CNN briefly reported a Kadafi sighting Wednesday, but so far none have been confirmed (these do not count). Rumors continue that he may have fled the capital to take refuge on a farm, in his rural hometown of Surt (echoes of Saddam Hussein's rural spider hole hideout near his hometown) or the town of Sabha to the south, near the border with Chad.

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--Molly Hennessy-Fiske

Photo: Libyan leader Moammar Kadafi's former right-hand man Abdel Salam Jalloud (in white) at the rebel headquarters in Zintan in this still image taken from video made available to Reuters on Friday. Jalloud has defected to rebel-held territory in Libya's Western Mountains, a rebel spokesman said. Credit: Reuters.

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