Lockerbie plane bombing suspect taken into U.S. custody

by mcardinal


A man accused of making the bomb that killed 270 people after it blew up Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie in Scotland in 1988 is in custody in the United States, Scottish and U.S. law enforcement officials said on Sunday.

Abu Agila Mohammad Mas’ud Kheir Al-Marimi was taken into custody about two years after former U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr first announced the United States filed charges against him.

A Justice Department official confirmed to Reuters on Sunday that the United States has taken custody of the alleged Pan Am flight 103 bombmaker. Mas’ud is expected to make his initial court appearance in a federal court in Washington, D.C.

Further details about the timing of the court hearing will be forthcoming, the spokesperson added.

The families of those killed in the Lockerbie bombing have been told the suspect is in U.S. custody, a spokesperson for Scotland’s Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) said on Sunday.

The BBC first reported Mas’ud’s arrest.

The bomb on board the Boeing 747 en route to the United States killed all 259 people on board and 11 on the ground, the deadliest-ever militant attack in Britain.

In 1991, two other Libyan intelligence operatives were charged in the bombing: Abdel Baset Ali al-Megrahi and Lamen Khalifa Fhimah.

Megrahi was found guilty of the bombing and was jailed for life in 2001. He was later released because he was suffering from cancer and died in 2012.

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

In 2020 the United States unsealed criminal charges against Mas’ud, a suspected third conspirator, adding he had worked as a technical expert in building explosive devices.

Copyright 2022 Thomson/Reuters