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U.S. Takes into Custody the Alleged Bombmaker Behind Pan Am Flight 103 Terror Attack

Pan Am Flight 103

Pan Am Flight 103

U.S. authorities say they have the bombmaker behind the tragic and devastating terror attack on Pan Am Flight 103.

“The United States has taken custody of alleged Pan Am flight 103 bombmaker Abu Agila Mohammad Mas’ud Kheir Al-Marimi,” a DOJ spokesperson said in a statement. “He is expected to make his initial appearance in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Additional details, including information regarding public access to the initial appearance, will be forthcoming.”

The United States Department of Justice announced the case against Abu Agila Mohammad Mas’ud Kheir Al-Marimi — a  “former senior Libyan intelligence officer” for the “Muamar Qaddafi regime” — in December 2020.

The Pan Am explosion was the most devastating terror attack in United States history before 9/11. The plane, flying from London to New York City, exploded over Lockerbie, Scotland. All 259 people on board–including 190 Americans–were killed. 11 locals died as a result of falling debris.

“Let there be no mistake: no amount of time or distance will stop the United States, and its partners in Scotland, from pursuing justice in this case,” then-U.S. Attorney General William Barr said in 2020. “Well over a third of Americans alive today were not yet born on the day of the Lockerbie bombing or would not have been old enough to remember it. But for those of us who do remember, that tragic event and the iconic images of its aftermath, some of which are displayed here today, are forever seared in our memories.”

In their complaint, authorities said that Al-Marimi popped up in their original investigation, but the only thing they had was a name: “Abu Agela Masud.” They could not identify him, they said. Officials said that the turning point in their search arrived when they obtained and reviewed a copy of an interview between a Libyan law enforcement and “Masud”: Masud allegedly confessed to building the bomb. From the complaint:

On or about September 12, 2012, while MASUD was in Libyan custody, he was interviewed by a Libyan law-enforcement officer. As noted above, the interview was transcribed in Arabic and later translated into English by a translator based in the United Kingdom. All recitations of that statement in this affidavit come from the English translation of the interview. As described in further detail below, during the course of the interview, MASUD admitted that on orders of the ESO [Libya’s now-defunct External Security Organization], and other high ranking ESO operatives, he built the bomb that brought down Pan Am Flight 103.

[Screengrab via ITN by way of CNN]

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