Suspect in 1988 Lockerbie plane bombing in U.S. custody

Dec. 11 (UPI) -- A suspect is in U.S. custody for the 1988 bombing of a passenger plane flying over Lockerbie, Scotland.

Abu Agila Mohammad Masud of Libya is suspected of making the bomb that exploded on Pan Am flight 103, killing 270 people on Dec. 21, 1988. Victims of the bombing include 259 passengers and crew members as well as 11 people in Lockerbie who were killed in the wreckage.


The Justice Department and Scottish authorities confirmed the arrest.

"The families of those killed in the Lockerbie bombing have been told that the suspect Abu Agela Mas'ud Kheir Al-Marimi is in U.S. custody," said Scotland's Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Services in a statement.

The Boeing 747 was traveling to New York from London.

On Nov. 16, Masud was kidnapped from his home in the Libyan capital Tripoli. He previously served a term in a Libyan prison for making bombs.

Kidnapping has been a common occurrence in Libya since the First Libyan Civil War erupted in February 2011.

Masud was not the first suspect connected to the bombing. In 1991, Abdelbaset and Al Amin Khalifah Fhimah were indicted by the U.S. and British governments for allegedly being involved in the bombing. Fhimah was a station manager for Libya Arab Airlines. Megrahi was the head of security for Libyan Airlines.


Fhimah was acquitted.

In 2001, he was convicted and sentenced to life in prison on charges of committing mass murder. His minimum sentence was 27 years, which he appealed while maintaining his innocence. He lost two appeals but in 2009 he was released from prison on "compassionate grounds" after he was diagnosed with terminal prostate cancer.

Megrahi died in 2012.

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