Libyan leader Muammar Gadhafi said on Wednesday that U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama's expressed support for Israel stems from his fear that the Mossad would assassinate him, just as it did President John F. Kennedy.

"We suspect he may fear being killed by Israeli agents and meet the same fate as Kennedy when he promised to look into Israel's nuclear program," Gadhafi said.

While the existence of Israeli nuclear weapons is widely assumed, Israeli officials have never admitted their existence and U.S. officials have stuck to that line in public.

Gadhafi saw a dark motive behind a recent speech by Obama in support of Israel. "Obama offered $300 billion in aid to Israel and more military support. He avoided talking about Israel's nuclear weapons," he said.

Gadhafi said Obama would have an "inferiority complex" because he is black and if elected he might "behave worse than whites."

"We fear that Obama will feel that, because he is black with an inferiority complex, this will make him behave worse than the whites," Gadhafi told a rally at a former U.S. military base on the outskirts of the Libyan capital Tripoli.

"This will be a tragedy," Gadhafi said. "We tell him to be proud of himself as a black and feel that all Africa is behind him because if he sticks to this inferiority complex he will have a worse foreign policy than the whites had in the past."

He was speaking before thousands of cheering supporters at a ceremony to celebrate the 38th anniversary of the departure of U.S. troops from Libya.

Gadhafi, known for his controversial statements, took power in 1969 in a military coup in his oil- and gas-rich North African state. He was shunned for decades by the West, which accused him of supporting terrorism.

His ties with Western countries have improved since Libya announced it was scrapping weapons of mass destruction programs in 2003 and agreed to pay compensation for families of victims of bombings of U.S. and French airliners.

Obama, the son of a Kenyan father and a white mother from Kansas, would be the first African American elected U.S. president. In his campaign he has largely eschewed the rhetoric of racial struggle and drawn support among blacks and whites.

Gadhafi said Obama should adopt a policy of supporting poor and weak peoples such as the Palestinians and be a friend of what he called free Arab peoples rather than U.S. "agents" in the Arab world who, he said, were hated by their own people.

"We still hope he will be proud of Africa and change America and free America of its past policy, namely with the Arabs," said Gadhafi.