London: Libyan leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi has reportedly become ‘very paranoid’ and is hiding at a different hospital every night to escape NATO bombings and assassins.
Last night, British Prime Minister David Cameron gave permission for four Apache attack helicopters to deploy in Libya to “turn the screws” on Gaddafi after spy chiefs informed that the dictator is “on the run”.
Intelligence gathered by British, American and French spies in the past week suggests that Gaddafi has become ‘very paranoid’ and is convinced senior members of his military are going to kill him, the Daily Mail reports.
The paper quoted senior sources in Tripoli as saying that Gaddafi had already abandoned his command bunkers and usual safe houses.
“Gaddafi appears to be moving from hospital to hospital and spending each night in a different one. The judgment we are making is that this means it is the right time to turn up the heat and try to make it tell,” a diplomatic source said.
While British officials insisted that Colonel Gaddafi is not a target, the Apaches are equipped with 16 Hellfire ground attack missiles capable of taking out armoured vehicles or a fast-moving car from five miles, the paper said.
During the G8 summit in Deauville yesterday, Cameron had reportedly discussed his plans with US President Barack Obama and French President Nicolas Sarkozy.
The diplomatic source also said that the Libyan senior commanders have stopped using their phones for the fear of being tapped.
“There’s a picture building up of this man who is very paranoid and a regime that’s increasingly feeling under pressure and beginning to fracture. We are also getting the sense that a lot of senior commanders have stopped using their phones – they are clearly worried they are being listened to, and that’s having an impact on their ability to communicate,” he added.
First Published: Friday, May 27, 2011, 12:44