The United States indicted Abu Agila Mohammad Massud, a former Libyan intelligence operative, suspected of having participated in the bombing of a Pan Am Boeing 747 over Lockerbie, Scotland.

The second deadliest airliner bombing in history

On December 21, 1988, the Boeing 747-100 “Clipper Maid of the Seas”, registered as N739PA, was carrying out flight PA103 from London-Heathrow Airport (LHR), United Kingdom to New York-John F. Kennedy (JFK), United States when an explosive device detonated in the left side of the forward cargo hold. The plane disintegrated over the small town of Lockerbie, in southern Scotland.

Massud is accused of assembling the bomb that exploded on board the aircraft and killed all of the 259 passengers and crew, including 190 U.S. nationals.  Eleven residents of Lockerbie had also been killed by falling debris.

The former secret service agent allegedly carried out the attack on the orders of late Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi. Currently detained in Libya, Massud will have to be extradited to the United States.

“At long last, this man responsible for killing Americans and many others will be subject to justice for his crimes,” said U.S. Attorney General William Barr on December 21, 2020, the anniversary of the attack. “It is my hope that Libyan authorities will allow Masud to be tried for this crime and will provide the support and witnesses necessary to bring him to justice.”

In 1991, two Libyan intelligence agents Abdelbaset al-Megrahi and Lamin Khalifa Fhimah had already been indicted by the U.S. and Scottish courts for their participation in the attack. They were tried by a special Scottish court established on neutral ground in the Netherlands. Fhimah was acquitted and Megrahi, convicted of murder, sentenced to life imprisonment.

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