News Ebene – GB – US Reveals accusations against a new suspect in the Lockerbie attack in 1988

Attorney General William P Barr said investigators obtained a confession in 2012 from a bomb expert admitting his role in the terrorist attack on an airliner over Scotland

I am pleased to announce that the United States has filed criminal charges against the third conspirator, Abu Agila Mas’ud Kheir Al-Marimi, for his role in the bombing of Flight 103 of Pan Am Let there be no mistake, no time or distance will prevent the United States and our Scottish partners from seeking justice in this matter According to the affidavit of the criminal complaint, Mas’ud has built the bomb that destroyed the Pan Am 103 and worked with Megrahi and Fhimah to bring the plot to fruition The affidavit also alleges that the operation was ordered by the leaders of the Libyan intelligence services and that after the plane landed, Gaddafi had personally thanked Mas’ud for the success of the attack on the states- United

WASHINGTON – Attorney General William P Barr on Monday announced criminal charges against a former Libyan intelligence agent accused of constructing the explosive device that was used in the 1988 bombing of the Pan Am flight 103, one of the deadliest terrorist attacks in U.S. history, resulting in part from a confession he gave almost ten years ago while imprisoned in Libya

The M bookend ad Barr’s two terms as Attorney General, first under President George Bush and now under President Trump At his first press conference as Acting Attorney General under Mr. Bush in 1991, he announced charges against two suspects in the airliner explosion over Lockerbie, Scotland on Monday, the 32nd anniversary of the attack, M Barr has exposed charges against a third person, an obscure bomb expert named Abu Agila Mohammad Mas’ud

The Department of Justice has indicted Mr. Mas’ud with two counts, including destroying a plane resulting in death, unsealed court documents show Monday He is halfway to a 10-year sentence in a Libyan prison for crimes without report

“Let there be no mistake,” M Barr said “No delay or distance will prevent the United States and its partners in Scotland from seeking justice in this matter.”

Mister Mas’ud’s name surfaced during the investigation into the theft bombing, which killed 270 passengers, including 190 Americans But officials who examined what happened have not confirmed his identity or located him after the attack, Mr. Barr said Mr. Mas’ud appeared to have played a role in the blast, but his exact implication remained unclear.But the ministry said Col Muammar al-Gaddafi, the Libyan leader at the time, personally thanked Mr. Mas’ud for carrying out the fatal operation and called it a complete success

After the collapse of Colonel al-Gaddafi’s government, Mr. Mas’ud confessed to the bombing in 2012 while being questioned by a Libyan law enforcement official Investigators finally learned of his detention and confession, Mr. Barr said, calling the development a “breakthrough”

The attorney general, who resigned on Wednesday, said he hoped the Libyans extradited Mr. Mas’ud in the US and called the outlook “very good”

“Mas’ud is in the custody of the current Libyan government, and we have no reason to believe that this government is interested in associating with this heinous act of terrorism,” said Mr. Barr said “We are optimistic they will deliver him to justice”

Extradition would allow Mr. Mas’ud faces trial, but defense attorneys question the admissibility of confessions obtained in prison in war-torn Libya

Mr. Mas’ud was the third suspect charged in the Pan Am case 103 The other two, Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi and Al-Amin Khalifa Fhimah, were originally indicted in 1991, but US efforts to bring them to justice in court were blocked when Libya refused to extradite them to the United States or Britain for trial

The Libyan government ultimately agreed to let them stand trial in the Netherlands under Scottish law, where Mr. Fhimah was acquitted and M al-Megrahi was convicted in 2001 and sentenced to life imprisonment

Scottish officials have granted M al-Megrahi for humanitarian release in 2009 because he had cancer, a decision that angered the families of the victims and the United States government, including President Barack Obama Mr. al-Megrahi passed away in 2012; his family have posthumously appealed his conviction in Scotland The application is pending

Current and former US and Libyan officials have said that Mr. Mas’ud was born in Tunisia in 1951 and at one point moved to Tripoli, Libya, and became a citizen He worked for the Libyan intelligence service from 1973 to 2011, building bombs and rose to the rank of colonel , according to court documents After the fall of Colonel al-Gaddafi in 2011, Mr. Mas’ud was arrested and jailed in Misurata, Libya, before being transferred to Al-Hadba prison in Tripoli

Along with 38 other accused, including one of the sons of Colonel al-Gaddafi and other former Libyan officials, Mr. Mas’ud has been tried on criminal charges relating to the efforts of the Gaddafi government to suppress the Libyan revolution

The FBje said they first received a copy of Mas’ud’s confession with the Libyan police officer around 2017 and asked for more information The FBje questioned the Libyan law enforcement official this year and learned that he had taken a confession from Mr. Mas’ud in September 2012

According to court documents, the official questioned Mr. Mas’ud to determine if he had “committed crimes against Libya and the Libyan people during the 2011 revolution” in an attempt to keep Colonel al-Gaddafi in power

Michael R Sherwin, the acting US attorney for the District of Columbia, described the circumstantial evidence as “extremely compelling” and pointed to travel records involving Mr. Mas’ud, M al-Megrahi and Mr Fhimah

In particular, the men had traveled to Malta before the attack, where investigators determined that the bomb was placed inside a portable cassette player placed on a plane and transferred twice before reaching flight 103 On the day of the bombing, according to the complaint, Mr. al-Megrahi and Mr Mas’ud traveled from Malta to Tripoli on the same flight

Mr. Mas’ud said in his confession that he traveled to Malta with the suitcase containing the bomb and then set the timer to explode exactly 11 hours later According to the confession, M Mas’ud worked with M al-Megrahi and Mr Fhimah to “execute the plot”

“He explained that he had hidden the detonator and the timer in a technical way that would make it difficult to find it, by placing it near the metal parts of the suitcase”, according to the confession Mr. Mas’ud said that “He used about 15 kilograms of Semtex plastic, and he added that plastic explosives do not show up on the airport baggage scanner”

The circumstances surrounding M Mas’ud’s confession in Libya prison was unclear The complaint provides no further details about the Libyan law enforcement officer or who he worked for, but he said he would be willing to testify during a trial

If M Mas’ud was never brought to Washington, defense lawyers would almost certainly seek to challenge the confession and argue that they could have been coerced or corrupted

A 2017 United Nations report that mentions Mr. Mas’ud raises troubling questions about the treatment of former Libyan officials held in various prisons and on trial after the overthrow of Colonel al-Gaddafi

“Many defendants have been held in prolonged incommunicado detention, without access to their families or lawyers, and often isolated, including in unofficial detention centers, amid allegations of torture and other bad treatments ”, states the report

Mister Mas’ud’s alleged role in the Lockerbie bombing was re-examined in a three-part documentary on ‘Frontline’ on PBS in 2015 The series was written and produced by Ken Dornstein, whose brother was killed in the attack As part of his investigation, M Dornstein learned that M Mas’ud was held in a Libyan prison and even obtained photos of him

In an email, M Dornstein questioned the breakthrough that M Barr had discussed “For all the talk about an ongoing investigation over the past decades, I have found surprisingly few new details in the prosecution documents other than the alleged confessions,” he said.

Mr. Dornstein had also reviewed documents and interviews that linked Mr. Mas’ud at the 1986 bombing of the La Belle nightclub in West Berlin that killed two American soldiers According to his confession, Mr. Mas’ud also admitted to making the explosive used in this attack when questioned in 2012

Pan Am Flight 103, Lockerbie, William Barr, Libya, Pan Am

Ebene News – GB – US Reveals charges against new suspect in Lockerbie bombing in 1988

Source: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/12/21/us/politics/lockerbie-bombing-suspect-libya.html