Lawmaker frets over Qadaffi visit to U.S.

American citizens could be "caught in the crossfire" when Muammar Qadaffi visits the U.S., one congressman warned Monday.

Rep. Steve Rothman (D-N.J.) touted work to keep Qadaffi out of Englewood, N.J. during a planned stay while visiting the United Nations next month, arguing that it minimizes potential risks to Americans.

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"There are the federal funds, state funds and U.N. funds to secure him, and, more importantly, the people around him like innocent Americans who, God forbid, might be caught in the crossfire," Rothman said during an interview on a Fox affiliate in New York City.

Qadaffi had planned to stay in a Libyan-owned mansion in New Jersey while on official business at the U.N., a move Rothman and other New Jersey lawmakers had sought to block in the wake of Libya's warm welcome home to the terminally ill bomber of Pan Am Flight 103.

"This is where he belongs," Rothman said of Qadaffi's decision to now stay in New York City.

"The Libyans understood the reality: they were not going to be able to use the mansion in Englewood in one circumstance or the other," Rothman said. "We Americans are not going to forget that Qadaffi has American blood on his hands."

 

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