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1988 Bomb Maker to Face Trial in US

The suspect of the Lockerbie terrorist airliner bombing is currently being held in U.S. custody and set to go on trial for his involvement in the bomb-making process, as reported by a number of news outlets.

The Wall Street Journal:

Washington, D.C. – The alleged bomb maker in the terrorist attack of 1988 which destroyed a commercial airliner in Lockerbie, Scotland, is being held in U.S. custody, Scottish officials announced on Sunday.

Abu Agila Mohammad Masud, an expert in Libyan explosives expert, is considered to be the source, according to U.S. and U.K. authorities, to have designed the explosive device that was used to demolish Pan Am Flight 103 on Dec. 21, 1988 when it was flying across London in the direction of New York.

“Scottish prosecutors and police, working with UK Government and US colleagues, will continue to pursue this investigation,” an official from Scottish Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service said. 

The report went on to say that there was no mystery which location Masud was located, and also providing information on the justice that was already handed out to the other suspects:

“Masud has been in Libyan custody for bomb-making activity following the demise of the government of former Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi in the year 2011.”

Two additional Libyan officers, Abdel Baset al-Megrahi and Lamen Khalifafhimah, were also accused of involvement with the attack by Scottish authorities during the 1990s. Al-Megrah was found guilty in 2001 and sentenced to eight years in prison. Fhimah was sentenced to eight years in prison. 

In the report, Fox News notes, “Mas'ud will become the first suspect to face trial for the attack on U.S. soil”:

“Mas'ud was an operative for a long time in Libyan intelligence, serving as an expert in the construction of explosive devices, from around 1973 until 2011, as per the Justice Department. At the end of winter 1988, the official in charge of his office instructed him by an official from the Libyan security official to travel into Malta using a bomb concealed in a suitcase. It would later explode on Pan Am Flight 103, injuring around 270 people.”

In the words of the Justice Department, Mas'ud set an alarm clock so it would detonate on the plane later that day. He took the bomb to the airport. There, the bomb was given to a co-conspirator who set the bomb onto a conveyor belt that was to be delivered to the plane.

The Justice Department announced charges against Mas'ud in 2020, on the anniversary of the explosion.

“At long last, this man responsible for killing Americans and many others will be subject to justice for his crimes,” William Barr, the attorney general that day, stated when the charges were made public.

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