A suspect in the Lockerbie terrorist airliner bombing is now in U.S. custody and set to face trial for his alleged role as the bomb-maker, according to reports Sunday by numerous outlets.
WASHINGTON—The alleged bomb-maker in the 1988 terrorist attack that destroyed a commercial jetliner over Lockerbie, Scotland, is in U.S. custody, Scottish officials said Sunday.
Abu Agila Mohammad Masud, a Libyan explosives expert, is believed by U.S. and U.K. authorities to have constructed the explosive device used to destroy Pan Am Flight 103 on Dec. 21, 1988, as it flew from London to New York.
“Scottish prosecutors and police, working with UK Government and US colleagues, will continue to pursue this investigation,” a spokesperson for the Scottish Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service said.
The report continued, explaining that it was no secret where Masud was, and sharing details on the justice already meted out to other suspects:
Mr. Masud has been in Libyan custody for his bomb-making activities since the fall of the regime of the late Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi in 2011.
Two other Libyan officials, Abdel Baset al-Megrahi and Lamen Khalifa Fhimah, were also charged in the attack by Scottish authorities in the 1990s. Al-Megrah was convicted in 2001 and served eight years, while Mr. Fhimah was acquitted.
As Fox News notes, “Mas’ud will become the first suspect to face trial for the attack on U.S. soil”:
Mas’ud was a longtime operative for Libyan intelligence, including service as an expert in building explosive devices from approximately 1973 to 2011, according to the Justice Department. In the winter of 1988, he was directed by a Libyan intelligence official to fly to Malta with a bomb disguised in a suitcase that would later explode on board Pan Am Flight 103, killing a total of 270 people.
According to the Justice Department, Mas’ud set a timer so that the bomb would explode aboard the flight the next day and transported it to the airport, where he handed it off to a co-conspirator who placed the bomb on a conveyer belt bound for the plane.
The Justice Department announced charges again Mas’ud in 2020 on the 32nd anniversary of the bombing.
“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 at the time, said when the charges were announced.
As the trial unfolds, RedState will provide further updates.