Senator: Qaddafi 'is not welcome here'

Libyan leader Muammar el-Qaddafi is "not welcome" to New Jersey during a potential diplomatic trip to the U.S. next month, Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) said in an unusually blunt statement on Monday.

In a two sentence statement, Lautenberg made clear that Qaddafi's welcoming back to Libya last week of the man accused of bombing Pan Am Flight 103 had earned the Libyan leader a chilly reception in New Jersey.

"I am troubled by reports that Colonel Qaddafi may visit New Jersey next month," Lautenberg said. "Colonel Qaddafi can be assured that he is not welcome here."

A Scottish judge released Libyan national Abdul baset Ali Mohmed al Megrahi, the man convicted of the bombing over Lockerbie, Scotland in 1988, on compassionate grounds; al Megrahi is suffering from terminal prostate cancer.

Qaddafi embraced and welcomed al Megrahi back to his native Libya, adding fuel to the flames of an already incensed American public.

Lautenberg has been forefront amongst those lawmakers who have condemned the release of the bomber. Many of the American victims of the terrorist attack hailed from New Jersey, as well as New York.

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