Officials: Lockerbie bomb suspect is in US custody
LONDON — U.S. and Scottish authorities mentioned Sunday that the Libyan man suspected of creating the bomb that destroyed a passenger airplane over Lockerbie, Scotland, in 1988 is in U.S. custody.
Scotland’s Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service mentioned in a press release that “the families of those killed in the Lockerbie bombing have been told that the suspect Abu Agela Mas’ud Kheir Al-Marimi is in U.S. custody.”
The U.S. Justice Department confirmed the knowledge, including that “he is expected to make his initial appearance in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.” It gave no info on how Mas’ud got here to be in U.S. custody.
Pan Am flight 103, touring from London to New York, exploded over Lockerbie on Dec. 21, 1988, killing all 259 individuals aboard the airplane and one other 11 on the bottom. It stays the deadliest terror assault on British soil.
The U.S. Justice Department introduced new prices towards Mas’ud in December 2020, on the thirty second anniversary of the bombing.
“At long last, this man responsible for killing Americans and many others will be subject to justice for his crimes,” William Barr, the lawyer normal on the time, mentioned at a news convention.
In 2001, former Libyan intelligence officer Abdelbaset al-Megrahi was convicted of bombing the flight. He is to this point the one individual convicted over the assault. He misplaced one enchantment and deserted one other earlier than being freed in 2009 on compassionate grounds as a result of he was terminally ailing with most cancers.
He died in Libya in 2012, nonetheless protesting his innocence.
A breakthrough within the investigation got here when U.S. officers in 2017 obtained a duplicate of an interview that Mas’ud, a longtime explosives professional for Libya’s intelligence service, had given to Libyan legislation enforcement in 2012 after being taken into custody following the collapse of the regime of the nation’s chief, Col. Moammar Gadhafi.
In that interview, U.S. officers mentioned, Mas’ud admitted constructing the bomb within the Pan Am assault and dealing with two different conspirators to hold it out. He additionally mentioned the operation was ordered by Libyan intelligence and that Gadhafi thanked him and different members of the workforce after the assault, in response to an FBI affidavit filed within the case.
While Mas’ud is now the third Libyan intelligence official charged within the U.S. in reference to the Lockerbie bombing, he can be the primary to face trial in an American courtroom.
The Crown Office in its assertion added that “Scottish prosecutors and police, working with U.K. government and U.S. colleagues, will continue to pursue this investigation, with the sole aim of bringing those who acted along with al-Megrahi to justice.”
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