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The alleged manufacturer of the Lockerbie bombing 34 years ago was arrested in the United States.


A Libyan agent accused of assembling the bomb that in 1988 caused the downing of a plane over the Scottish town of Lockerbie in the UK, killing 270 people, is in US custody and will face federal charges in Washington. DC, as reported this Sunday by the US Department of Justice.

Arrest Abu Masoud Khair Al-Maryami It is an impressive development in this research that has spanned more than three decades. In December 2020, the US Attorney’s Office revealed the charges against Massoud, who was being held in Libya at the time. There are three accused by the United States of the attack on a Pan Am airliner, now extinct.

On December 21, 1988, New York-bound Panam Flight 103 exploded over Lockerbie, an hour after it took off from London. On board were 259 people, flight crews, and passengers from about twenty countries, though the majority, 190 of them, were Americans, including 35 students from Syracuse University returning home for Christmas after a semester abroad. Another 11 people were killed on the ground.

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In the late 1990s, the US Attorney’s Office announced criminal charges against two Libyan intelligence officials, Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi and Lamin Khalifa Fahima, for planting the bomb. The Libyan regime initially refused to hand them over, but in the end they were tried by a Scottish court based in the Netherlands as part of a private deal.

Fahima was acquitted, and al-Megrahi was sentenced to life in prison, though Scottish authorities released him in 2009 on compassionate grounds after he was diagnosed with prostate cancer. He died shortly after in Libya. Massoud is the first to be prosecuted by the United States, which brought charges at the end of the Trump administration.

On Sunday, US authorities did not give details of how Masood, another detainee, was arrested. According to the Associated Press, at the end of last month, local Libyan media reported that Massoud had been arrested at his residence in Tripoli, the capital, without giving further details.

As the FBI and US Attorney’s Office revealed last year, in 2012, after the overthrow of the Gaddafi regime, the now-detained alleged terrorist revealed in an interview with the new Libyan intelligence services that he had made it up. The bomb used in the Lockerbie bombing. He also confirmed, according to that source, that the operation was carried out under a direct order from the Libyan intelligence services, with the permission of Gaddafi.

Massoud said he placed the bomb in a medium-sized Samsonite suitcase, attached to an 11-hour timer. He gave it to the two co-defendants in Malta, whom they both took on the flight from London. After traveling to the Mediterranean island, he returned to Tripoli, where he stayed until his arrest last month.

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