A person accused of constructing the bomb that downed a Pan Am flight over Lockerbie, Scotland, 34 years in the past, killing 270 individuals, has been taken into custody by the US.
The US Division of Justice stated on Sunday that it had taken into custody Abu Agila Mohammad Mas’ud Kheir Al-Marimi, a former Libyan intelligence officer who allegedly made the bomb that destroyed Pan Am Flight 103, which exploded over Lockerbie in 1988 whereas flying from London to New York.
The justice division stated that Mas’ud was anticipated to make his first look within the US district court docket for the District of Columbia, however didn’t give a date.
The US in 2020 charged Mas’ud with lethal destruction of an plane and lethal destruction of a car by way of explosives.
The assault led to felony prices in Scotland and the US in opposition to two different Libyan intelligence officers as a part of a joint investigation that the DoJ on the time stated was “unprecedented in its scope”.
The bombing, allegedly carried out on behalf of the Muammer Gaddafi regime, killed residents from 21 international locations. Till September 11 2001, it was the biggest terrorist assault on US civilians in historical past. Of the practically 300 victims, 190 had been Individuals and 43 had been British. In response to US authorized filings, the crime scene prolonged throughout greater than 840 sq. miles.
In response to US court documents, Mas’ud labored for Libya’s Exterior Safety Group, the intelligence service utilized by Tripoli to persecute Libyan dissidents past its borders and to carry out terrorist assaults in opposition to different international locations. Mas’ud held a number of roles on the organisation, together with as a technical professional in crafting explosives.
In December 1988, Mas’ud allegedly dropped off a suitcase in a Maltese airport that held a bomb whose timer he had set for the next day, the DoJ stated. The suitcase was allegedly checked in by one other Libyan intelligence officer.
Mas’ud then returned to Libya, the place he allegedly met with a senior Libyan intelligence officer and later Gaddafi, who thanked him and others for finishing up the plan efficiently. The previous chief additionally thanked them “for finishing up an important nationwide obligation in opposition to the Individuals,” in response to the DoJ.
The opposite two Libyan officers stood trial earlier than a particular Scottish court docket established at Camp Zeist, Netherlands, beginning in 2000. One was convicted on all prices whereas the opposite was acquitted.
Years later, the FBI got here throughout an interview with Mas’ud through which he admitted to creating the explosive that destroyed the Pan Am flight and to collaborating with the pair, in response to an FBI agent’s affidavit. Within the confession corroborated by investigators, Mas’ud additionally confirmed that the bombing was ordered by leaders in Libya’s intelligence.
Mas’ud couldn’t be reached for remark.