US Arrests 1988 Lockerbie Passenger Jet Bombing Suspect

FILE – In this Dec. 23, 1988 photo, Scottish rescue workers and crash investigators search the area around the cockpit of Pan Am flight 103 in a farmer’s field east of Lockerbie Scotland after a mid-air bombing killed all 259 passengers and crew, Reuters

WASHINGTON — A Libyan intelligence operative suspected of making the bomb that blew up a U.S. passenger jet over Lockerbie, Scotland in 1988 has been arrested by the FBI and is being extradited to the United States to stand trial, officials said Sunday.

The arrest of Abu Agela Mas’ud Kheir Al-Marimi came after a decadeslong Justice Department effort to prosecute him. Two years ago, then-Attorney General William Barr announced criminal charges against Mas’ud, accusing him of building the bomb that downed Pan Am Flight 103, killing 259 on board the jet, including 190 Americans, and another 11 on the ground.

The aircraft exploded December 21, 1988, over the small Scottish town 38 minutes after leaving London on a flight to New York and remains the deadliest attack on British soil.

Details of Mas’ud’s apprehension were not immediately known. He faces two criminal counts, including destruction of an aircraft resulting in death. When the Department of Justice first announced charges against him in 2020, he was being held at a Libyan prison for unrelated crimes, but it was not clear how the U.S. government negotiated his extradition.

FILE – Floral tributes are laid by the main memorial stone in memory of the victims of Pan Am flight 103 bombing, in the garden of remembrance at Dryfesdale Cemetery, near Lockerbie, Scotland, Dec. 21, 2018.

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