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Libyan man suspected of making Lockerbie bomb in US custody

The man accused of making the bomb that killed 270 people after Pan Am Flight 103 blew up in 1988 is in US custody.

Video length 47 minutes 29 seconds

Lockerbie: Case Closed

A Libyan man suspected of making the bomb that destroyed Pan Am Flight 103 over the Scottish town of Lockerbie in 1988 is in US custody, according to law enforcement officials in Scotland and the United States.

Families of those killed in the so-called Lockerbie bombing have been told the suspect “Abu Agela Mas’ud Kheir Al-Marimi is in US custody,” the Crown Office and Attorney General for Scotland said in Sunday. a statement.

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The Crown Office added that “Scottish prosecutors and police, in collaboration with the UK government and their American colleagues, will continue this investigation, with the sole aim of bringing to justice those who acted in conjunction with Al-Megrahi.” ”.

Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi was found guilty of bombing the flight and jailed for life in 2001.

Mas’ud was detained about two years after the United States brought charges against him in 2020, 32 years since the bombing that killed 270 people, including 190 Americans.

“At last, this man responsible for killing Americans and many others will be brought to justice for his crimes,” William Barr, the US attorney general at the time, said at a news conference.

Mas’ud is expected to appear for the first time in federal court in Washington, DC. More details about the timing of the court hearing will be released soon, a spokesman for the US Department of Justice said.

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The Boeing 747, traveling from London to New York, exploded over Lockerbie on December 21, 1988, killing all 259 people on board the plane and 11 others on the ground. It remains the deadliest attack on British soil.

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In 1991, two other Libyan intelligence agents were charged with the bombing: al-Megrahi and Lamen Khalifa Fhimah.

Al-Megrahi is to date the only person convicted of the attack. He lost one appeal and dropped another before being released in 2009 on compassionate grounds because he was terminally ill with cancer.

He died in Libya in 2012, still protesting his innocence.

Lamen Khalifa Fhimah, left, and Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi, right, Libyan officers accused of the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103, are pictured in these undated photos.
Lamen Khalifa Fhimah, left, and Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi, right, Libyan agents accused of the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103. [File: AP Photo]

Fhimah was cleared of all charges, but Scottish prosecutors have maintained that al-Megrahi did not act alone.

In 2020, the US revealed criminal charges against Mas’ud, saying that he had worked as a technical expert in the construction of explosive devices.

A breakthrough in the investigation came when US officials in 2017 received a copy of an interview that Mas’ud, an explosives expert with Libya’s intelligence service, had given to Libyan law enforcement.

This took place in 2012 after he was detained, following the collapse of the government of the country’s ruler, Muammar Gaddafi.

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In that interview, US officials said, Mas’ud admitted to building the bomb in the Pan Am attack and to working with two other plotters to carry it out.

He also said the operation was ordered by Libyan intelligence and that Gaddafi thanked him and other members of the team after the attack, according to an FBI affidavit filed in the case.

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While Mas’ud is now the third Libyan intelligence official to be charged in the US in connection with the Lockerbie bombing, he would be the first to be tried in a US court.

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