US Charges Libyan ‘Bomb-Maker’ over 1988 Lockerbie Attack

Washington, Dec 21 (AFP/APP): The US Justice Department announced charges Monday against a Libyan former intelligence agent who allegedly built the bomb that exploded aboard Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland exactly 32 years ago.

Attorney General Bill Barr said that “Abu Agela Mas’ud Kheir Al-Marimi” helped build the device that blew up the aircraft — killing 259 people including 190 Americans aboard the US-bound flight, and 11 people on the ground. The man, more widely known as Abu Agila Mohammad Masud, is currently being held by the Libyan government, Barr told a press conference, voicing confidence he would be handed over to the United States for trial.

“At long last, this man responsible for killing Americans and many others, will be subject to justice for his crimes,” Barr told said in a press conference.

Barr said Scotland supported Masud being put on trial in the United States while reserving its own decision on whether to try him on Scottish soil as well. US and Scottish investigators have been building a case for years against Masud, alleged to have been a top bombmaker for the late Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi. Michael Sherwin, the acting US attorney in Washington, where the case was filed, said they had strong evidence that ties Masud to the bombing, from records of his travels with two others named earlier in the case, to a 2012 interview he gave to Libyan intelligence in which he admitted to building the bomb.

In the interview Masud also admitted taking part in the 1986 bombing of a discotheque in Berlin, killing two US servicemen and a Turkish woman. US and Scottish authorities only obtained the interview in 2017, solidifying the evidence they needed to charge Masud, said Sherwin. Added to the travel records, Sherwin said, the interview “really proves beyond a reasonable doubt Masud’s role in this conspiracy.”

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