Lockerbie airline bombing: New suspect to be charged over 1988 explosion which killed 270 people

A new suspect is set to be charged over the 1988 Lockerbie airline bombing which killed 270 people, according to reports. 

Abu Agila Mohammad Masud faces extradition to the United States to face charges over the atrocity in federal court. He is currently being held by Libyan authorities.

Masud was a bombmaker for late Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi, The Wall Street Journal reports.  He is alleged to have assembled the device that blew up. 

The Justice Department expects to unseal charges in the coming days, according to a person familiar with the case. It would be the first US trial related to the case. 

A file photo taken on December 22, 1988, shows a policeman walking away from the damaged cockpit of the 747 Pan Am airliner that exploded and crashed over Lockerbie, Scotland

A file photo taken on December 22, 1988, shows a policeman walking away from the damaged cockpit of the 747 Pan Am airliner that exploded and crashed over Lockerbie, Scotland

A file photo taken on December 22, 1988, shows a policeman walking away from the damaged cockpit of the 747 Pan Am airliner that exploded and crashed over Lockerbie, Scotland

A new suspect is set to be charged over the 1988 Lockerbie airline bombing,  reports say

A new suspect is set to be charged over the 1988 Lockerbie airline bombing,  reports say

A new suspect is set to be charged over the 1988 Lockerbie airline bombing,  reports say 

Victims, pictured, of the bombing included dozens of American college students

Victims, pictured, of the bombing included dozens of American college students

Victims, pictured, of the bombing included dozens of American college students

The bombing of Pan Am Flight 103, over Lockerbie, Scotland, spurred global investigations and produced sanctions against Libya, which ultimately surrendered intelligence officials wanted in the attacks for prosecution in Europe. 

Only one man – former Libyan intelligence official Abdel Baset al-Megrahi – was convicted of the bombing, and a second Libyan suspect was acquitted of all charges. 

Al-Megrahi was given a life sentence, but Scottish authorities released him on humanitarian grounds in 2009 when he was diagnosed with prostate cancer. He later died in Tripoli. 

Masud is said to have confessed to this role in the bombing under questioning in 2012. 

Abu Agila Mohammad Masud faces extradition to the United States to face charges over the incident in federal court. Masud was a bombmaker for late Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi, pictured in 2009, The Wall Street Journal reports

Abu Agila Mohammad Masud faces extradition to the United States to face charges over the incident in federal court. Masud was a bombmaker for late Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi, pictured in 2009, The Wall Street Journal reports

Abu Agila Mohammad Masud faces extradition to the United States to face charges over the incident in federal court. Masud was a bombmaker for late Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi, pictured in 2009, The Wall Street Journal reports

Victims of the bombing included dozens of American college students.  

The announcement of a new prosecution would likely carry personal significance for Attorney General William Barr, who is leaving the position next week. 

He held the same job when the Justice Department first revealed criminal charges nearly 30 years ago against the intelligence officials. 

Barr said in 1991: ‘We will not rest until all those responsible are brought to justice.’

The head of the Justice Department’s criminal division at the time was Robert Mueller, who went on to serve as FBI director and as special counsel in charge of the investigation into ties between Russia and the 2016 Trump campaign. 

Freed Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset Ali Mohmet al-Megrahi (C-L) arrives with Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi's son Seif al-Islam (C-R) in Tripoli late on August 20, 2009

Freed Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset Ali Mohmet al-Megrahi (C-L) arrives with Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi's son Seif al-Islam (C-R) in Tripoli late on August 20, 2009

Freed Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset Ali Mohmet al-Megrahi (C-L) arrives with Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi’s son Seif al-Islam (C-R) in Tripoli late on August 20, 2009

Al-Megrahi was given a life sentence, but Scottish authorities released him on humanitarian grounds in 2009 when he was diagnosed with prostate cancer. He later died in Tripoli.

Al-Megrahi was given a life sentence, but Scottish authorities released him on humanitarian grounds in 2009 when he was diagnosed with prostate cancer. He later died in Tripoli.

Al-Megrahi was given a life sentence, but Scottish authorities released him on humanitarian grounds in 2009 when he was diagnosed with prostate cancer. He later died in Tripoli.

The New York-bound flight exploded over Lockerbie less than an hour after takeoff from London on Dec. 21, 1988. 

Among the Americans on board were 35 Syracuse University students flying home for Christmas after a semester abroad.

The attack, caused by a bomb packed into a suitcase, killed 259 people on the plane and 11 on the ground.

Gaddafi was overthrown and killed in 2011. Tarek Megerisi, a Libya expert at the European Council on Foreign Relations, said: ‘It’s one of the crimes of the Gadhafi era.’

Link hienalouca.com

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