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Lockerbie bomb suspect is in US custody

LONDON (AP) — U.S. and Scottish authorities mentioned Sunday that the Libyan man suspected of creating the bomb that destroyed a passenger aircraft over Lockerbie, Scotland, in 1988 is in U.S. custody.

Scotland’s Crown Workplace and Procurator Fiscal Service mentioned in an announcement that “the households of these killed within the Lockerbie bombing have been instructed that the suspect Abu Agela Mas’ud Kheir Al-Marimi is in U.S. custody.”

The U.S. Justice Division confirmed the data, including that “he’s anticipated to make his preliminary look within the U.S. District Court docket for the District of Columbia.” It gave no info on how Mas’ud got here to be in U.S. custody.

Pan Am flight 103, touring from London to New York, exploded over Lockerbie on Dec. 21, 1988, killing all 259 folks aboard the aircraft and one other 11 on the bottom. It stays the deadliest terror assault on British soil.

The U.S. Justice Division introduced new costs towards Mas’ud in December 2020, on the thirty second anniversary of the bombing.

“In the end, this man chargeable for killing People and lots of others might be topic to justice for his crimes,” William Barr, the lawyer basic on the time, mentioned at a information convention.

In 2001, former Libyan intelligence officer Abdelbaset al-Megrahi was convicted of bombing the flight. He’s so far the one individual convicted over the assault. He misplaced one enchantment and deserted one other earlier than being freed in 2009 on compassionate grounds as a result of he was terminally unwell with most cancers.

He died in Libya in 2012, nonetheless protesting his innocence.

A breakthrough within the investigation got here when U.S. officers in 2017 acquired a replica of an interview that Mas’ud, a longtime explosives skilled for Libya’s intelligence service, had given to Libyan regulation enforcement in 2012 after being taken into custody following the collapse of the regime of the nation’s chief, Col. Moammar Gadhafi.

In that interview, U.S. officers mentioned, Mas’ud admitted constructing the bomb within the Pan Am assault and dealing with two different conspirators to hold it out. He additionally mentioned the operation was ordered by Libyan intelligence and that Gadhafi thanked him and different members of the crew after the assault, in accordance with an FBI affidavit filed within the case.

Whereas Mas’ud is now the third Libyan intelligence official charged within the U.S. in reference to the Lockerbie bombing, he can be the primary to face trial in an American courtroom.

The Crown Workplace in its assertion added that “Scottish prosecutors and police, working with U.Okay. authorities and U.S. colleagues, will proceed to pursue this investigation, with the only intention of bringing those that acted together with al-Megrahi to justice.”

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