The FBI took a Libyan intelligence official accused of making the bomb that destroyed Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland into custody on Sunday.
The FBI took a Libyan intelligence official accused of making the bomb that destroyed Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland into custody on Sunday, the Justice Department announced.
- Former U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr first filed charges against Abu Agila Mohammad Mas’ud Kheir Al-Marimi in 2020 for building the bomb that killed 270 people over Lockerbie, Scotland in 1988.
- Mas’ud was reportedly kidnapped by a militia group in Libya in November, “leading to speculation that he was going to be handed over to the American authorities to stand trial.”
- The terrorist attack killed all 259 people on the airplane, including 190 Americans, and 11 more people on the ground in Lockerbie.
- Among the dead were 35 Syracuse University students coming home from study abroad. The 1988 bombing remains the deadliest terrorist attack to ever occur on British soil.
- The New York Times reported Mas’ud faces two criminal indictments, including “destruction of an aircraft resulting in death.” It’s not clear at this time how the U.S. negotiated his extradition to stand trial in federal court.
- CNN noted two other men were convicted of crimes related to the Lockerbie bombing before Mas’ud. Abdelbeset Ali Mohmed al Megrahi and Al Amin Khalifah Fhimah were both indicted for planting explosives on the plane. Megrahi was sentenced to 27 years In prison, served 8, and was released on compassionate grounds three years before his death. Fhimah was acquitted.
- NBC News observed Mas’ud will be the first Libyan official tried on U.S. soil for his role in the terrorist attack. Megrahi was tried in a special Netherlands court overseen by three Scottish judges without a jury.
- The Washington Examiner pointed out that the investigation’s breakthrough came when Americans received a 2012 interview Mas’ud gave Libyan intelligence admitting to building the bomb with the other two conspirators on the orders of Libyan intelligence and Libya’s then-leader, Moammar Gadhafi.
- Fox News interviewed Bert Ammerman, the brother of a Pan Am Flight 103 victim, who asked the Biden administration to investigate any possible connections between the attack and Iran.
- The Wall Street Journal noted Libya officially acknowledged responsibility for the attack in 2003 in an attempt to normalize relations before Gadhafi was killed in 2011 during the opening phases of the Libyan Civil War.
© Dominic Moore, 2022