Lockerbie ‘bomb-maker’ expected to be charged and extradited by US prosecutors

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American prosecutors are believed to be close to charging the alleged bomb-maker behind the 1988 Lockerbie terror attack.

Ex-Libyan intelligence officer Abdelbaset Megrahi was found guilty in 2001 of mass murder and jailed for life.

He was the only person ever convicted of the attack, but on Wednesday it emerged that the US Justice Department is close to charging Abu Agila Mohammad Masud, who is alleged to have made the bomb that blew up over the town, the Daily Record reports.

The bombing of Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, while travelling from London to New York on December 21 1988 killed 270 people in Britain's deadliest terrorist atrocity.

He is currently being held by Libyan authorities but the US is looking to extradite him, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Some 190 Americans died in the atrocity with many returning home for Christmas. The Scottish town was also devastated by the crash with buildings destroyed.

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Attorney General William Barr is expected to reveal the new case in the coming days, close to the anniversary of the bombing.

It is understood Masud faces charges of destruction of an aircraft resulting in death and destruction of a vehicle of interstate commerce resulting in death.

US officials said he travelled to Malta ahead of the bombing where he built the deadly device and filled a suitcase with clothing before it was ultimately placed on Pan Am 103.

It's further understood the case, filed by prosecutors in the U.S. attorney's office in Washington, D.C., is based largely on a confession that Masud reportedly gave to Libyan authorities in 2012.

American officials said this evidence was turned over to Scottish authorities in 2017, as well as travel and immigration records of Masud.

Megrahi's family is still appealing the verdict against him and have always maintained his innocence.

He was released by the Scottish Government eight years after his 2001 conviction on "compassionate grounds" and he died in 2012.

The Gaddafi regime agreed to pay $2.3 billion in compensation to families of the victims in 2003, and accepted civil responsibility for the attack.

Muammar Gaddafi was toppled and killed by his people following the revolution in the country in 2011 which came as part of the Arab Spring.

Lybian officials did not respond to the Wall Street Journal's request for comment.

  • Lockerbie
  • Terror

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