To make sure you never miss out on your favourite NEW stories, we're happy to send you some reminders

Click 'OK' then 'Allow' to enable notifications

Lockerbie bomb suspect in US custody 34 years after terrorist attack

Lockerbie bomb suspect in US custody 34 years after terrorist attack

A bomb exploded on Pan Am Flight 103 over the Scottish town in 1988.

A Libyan man is in custody in the United States accused of making the bomb which killed 270 people on Pan Am flight 103 34 years ago, Scottish authorities have confirmed.

In 2020, the US announced charges against Abu Agila Mas'ud, who investigators believe had a key role in the deadly bombing.

On 21 December 1988, while the aircraft was flying over the Scottish town of Lockerbie, it was destroyed by a bomb that had been planted on board.

All 243 passengers and 16 crew members were killed by the blast, which also claimed the lives of 11 local residents after large debris crashed into a residential street in the town.

It remains the deadliest terrorist attack in the United Kingdom’s history and its biggest aviation disaster.

A crane lifting part of the destroyed aircraft.
American Photo Archive / Alamy Stock Photo

Abdelbaset al-Megrahi was convicted of the bombing in January 2001 and jailed for life after standing trial on 270 counts of murder in connection to the bombing.

The trial began in May 2000 under Scottish law at Camp Zeist in the Netherlands, which was selected as a neutral venue.

Megrahi appealed his conviction which he lost in March 2002.

He was released by the Scottish government in August 2009 after he was diagnosed with prostate cancer and he died in Libya in May 2012. He is so far the only person to be convicted for the attack.

Lockerbie memorial in dryfesdale cemetery, Scotland.
Radharc Images / Alamy Stock Photo

Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi accepted responsibility for the attack in 2003, but claimed he didn’t give the order for the attack.

Speculation regarding Mas'ud arose last month after it was reported that he had been kidnapped by a militia group in Libya and would be handed over to American authorities to stand trial.

A spokesperson for the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) said: "The families of those killed in the Lockerbie bombing have been told that the suspect Abu Agila Mohammad Mas'ud Kheir Al-Marimi ("Mas'ud" or "Masoud") is in US custody.

Debris from the plane.
PA Images / Alamy Stock Photo

"Scottish prosecutors and police, working with UK government and US colleagues, will continue to pursue this investigation, with the sole aim of bringing those who acted along with Al Megrahi to justice."

Attorney General William P. Barr announced criminal charges against Mas’ud, which accuse him of building the explosive device used in the Lockerbie bombing.

Mas’uad now faces two criminal counts including destruction of an aircraft resulting in death.

The New York Times reports he was being held at a Libyan prison for unrelated crimes before being extradited to the US. It is not currently clear how the US negotiated to extradite Mas’uad to the US.

Featured Image Credit: American Photo Archive / REUTERS / Alamy