U.S. charges against suspect in 1988 Lockerbie bombing

U.S. charges against suspect in 1988 Lockerbie bombing

Abu Agel Masoud Kheir al-Marim is believed to have built the bomb that killed 270 people

The U.S. Justice Department has filed new charges against former Libyan intelligence officer Abu Agel Masoud Kheir Al-Marim, also known as Hassan Abu Ojalia Ibrahim, for his role in creating the bomb that killed 270 people when Pan Am Flight 103 exploded in the skies over Lockerbie on December 21, 1988. A statement published on the Justice Department’s Web site said.

“Here’s our message to terrorists around the world: you will not succeed – if you attack Americans wherever you are, no matter how long it takes, you will be hounded until justice is served,” said U.S. Attorney General William Barr.

On December 21, 1988, Pan Am Flight 103 was blown up in the skies over Lockerbie, Scotland. This international terrorist attack, planned and executed by Libyan intelligence officials, was considered the largest terrorist attack on both the United States and the United Kingdom before the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

Immediately after the disaster, Scottish and U.S. law enforcement agencies conducted an unprecedented joint investigation. It resulted in criminal proceedings in both countries against two Libyan intelligence officers, Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi and Lamen Khalifa Fhimah, in November 1991.

According to U.S. Justice Department documents, the External Security Organization (ESO) was the Libyan intelligence service through which Libya conducted terrorist attacks against other countries and suppressed Libyan dissidents abroad. Abu Agel Masoud Kheir al-Marim worked in various roles at the ESO, including as a technical expert in explosive device development from about 1973 to 2011.

Masoud was involved in the “aircraft bombing over Lockerbie,” court documents note. In addition, he is accused of a series of other conspiracies against the United States and Western countries, including an attack on a disco in West Berlin on April 5, 1986. Two U.S. servicemen were killed in that attack, and many other attendees were seriously injured.

Of the 270 deaths in the skies over Lockerbie, 190 were Americans and 43 were citizens of the United Kingdom. Other victims were citizens of Argentina, Belgium, Bolivia, Canada, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, the Philippines, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and Trinidad and Tobago.