Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi on Thursday urged the world to understand what motivates terrorists, and likened the 1986 U.S. strikes on Libya to Osama bin Laden‘s terror attacks.

Gadhafi, who was long accused of sponsoring terrorism, got tepid applause from the Italian lawmakers he addressed on the second day of a trip to Italy, Libya’s former colonial ruler.ITALY LIBYA GADHAFI VISIT

“It is not very intelligent to chase terrorists down the Afghan mountains or central Asia,” Gadhafi said in the hour-long speech. “That’s impossible. We must look at their reasons.”

He called for dialogue with terrorists, saying, “One must talk to the devil, if it brings about a solution.”

Sarcastically, he asked, “What’s the difference between the U.S. airstrikes on our homes and bin Laden’s actions?” If anything, he said, bin Laden is an outlaw, while the United States is a country that should abide by international law.

Former President Ronald Reagan ordered airstrikes on Tripoli and Benghazi in April 1986 after an attack on a disco in Germany killed three people, including two U.S. servicemen. The Libyans say the retaliatory attacks killed 41 people, including Gadhafi’s adopted daughter, and injured 226 others.

The Libyan leader told the lawmakers he was being intentionally provocative “in order to try and understand acts of terrorism.”



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