Suspect in 1988 Lockerbie Bombing in US Custody: Authorities

LONDON (AA) — US and Scottish officials said on Sunday that the Libyan man suspected of making the 1988 bomb that destroyed a passenger plane over Lockerbie, Scotland, is in US custody.

“The families of those killed in the Lockerbie bombing have been told that the suspect Abu Agela Mas’ud Kheir Al-Marimi is in US custody,” the Scottish Crown Office and Prosecutor’s Financial Service said in a statement.

The US Department of Justice confirmed the information, adding that it “is expected to appear for the first time in the US District Court for the District of Columbia.” He gave no information on how Mas’ud was detained in the US.

Pan Am flight 103 from London to New York exploded over Lockerbie on December 21, 1988, killing 259 people on board and 11 people on the ground. It remains the deadliest terrorist attack on British soil.

The US Department of Justice announced new charges against Mas’ud in December 2020, the 32nd anniversary of the bombing.

“This man responsible for killing Americans and many others will eventually be brought to justice for his crimes,” William Barr, then attorney general, said at a press conference.

In 2001, former Libyan intelligence officer Abdelbaset al-Megrahi was convicted of bombing the plane. She’ll be dating the only person convicted of assault. He lost one appeal and left the other before he was released on compassionate grounds in 2009 because he was terminally ill with cancer.

He died in Libya in 2012 while protesting his innocence.

A turning point in the investigation came in 2017 when US officials obtained a copy of an interview that Mas’ud, a longtime explosives expert in the Libyan intelligence service, gave to Libyan law enforcement in 2012 after he was detained following the regime’s collapse. of the country’s leader, Colonel Muammar Gaddafi.

In that interview, US officials said that Mas’ud admitted to having made the bomb in the Pan Am attack and working with two other conspirators to make it happen. He also said that the operation was orchestrated by Libyan intelligence, and that Gaddafi thanked him and other members of the team after the attack, according to an FBI sworn statement filed in the case.

While Mas’ud is currently the third Libyan intelligence official indicted in the United States in connection with the Lockerbie bombing, he will be the first to be tried in an American courtroom.

“Scottish prosecutors and police, working with the UK government and their US counterparts, will continue to pursue this investigation with the sole aim of bringing those who acted with al-Megrahi to justice,” the Royal Office said in a statement.

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