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Thanks to Donald Trump, Libya's Kadafi pitches a tent in upstate New York. Neighbors pitch a fit

September 23, 2009 |  6:24 am

Libya's Moammar Gadhafi tries to pitch a tent in Bedford, N.Y. during the U.N. General Assembly 2009

Libya's Moammar Kadafi likes to sleep in a Bedouin tent. In the past, he has pitched his tent in New York during the U.N. General Assembly.

But last month, Kadafi permitted a large welcome home for Abdelbeset Ali Mohmed al Megrahi, the man  convicted of blowing up Pan Am Flight 103 in 1988, killing all 259 aboard plus 11 on the ground in Lockerbie, Scotland. Ever since, the Libyan dictator's been running into a wall of outrage.

First, when he tried to put his tent in New Jersey, Gov. Jon Corzine put up a no-vacancy sign.

Then he applied for a permit to pitch his tent in Central Park. No, came a remarkably quick response form the New York bureaucracy.

Now, he appears to be setting up his bed in Bedford, N.Y., a tony suburb in Westchester County. Neighbors and officials don't know whom to be more angry at -- Kadafi and the "Mideast partners" who fronted for him or Donald Trump, who agreed to rent the Seven Springs land to them.

The Trump company told the Associated Press that Kadafi would not be coming to the property about 40 miles north of New York City. Trump said the land "was leased on a short-term basis to Middle Eastern partners, "who may or may not have a relationship to Mr. Kadafi."

The city of Bedford is trying to stop construction of the tent. Town attorney Joel Sachs said a building inspector for Bedford tried to deliver a "stop work" order to workers at the scene, but they did not speak English, so he gave the order to a property caretaker.

Maybe the nomad who fears elevators could just get a ground-floor hotel room.

-- Johanna Neuman

Photo: Seth Harrison / The Journal News

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