Lockerbie bombing suspect in US custody

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Lockerbie bombing suspect in US custody

A total of 270 people were killed when a bomb blew Pan Am's plane over the Scottish town of Lockerbie in 1988.

A Libyan man suspected of having assembled and programmed the Lockerbie Bombing in Scotland, killing 270 people in December 1988, has been taken into United States custody, US authorities said on Sunday. p>

A Department of Justice spokesman confirmed in an email sent to AFP the arrest and detention of Abu Agila Mohammad Massoud, previously revealed by the Scottish prosecution.

He must appear in court in the District of Columbia, that is to say the capital Washington, said the spokesman, without indication of date.

No details were given on the circumstances surrounding Mr. Massoud's surrender to US authorities.

Families of victims of the Lockerbie bombing have learned that suspect Abu Agila Mohammad Massoud is in US custody, Scottish prosecutors said in a statement.

The Scottish prosecution and police, in coordination with the US government and US colleagues, will continue to pursue this investigation with the sole aim of bringing to justice those who acted alongside al-Megrahi, the only convicted in this case. case, he added.

The attack had targeted a transatlantic flight from London to New York. The aircraft, a Pan Am Boeing 747, exploded on December 21, 1988 over the Scottish village of Lockerbie, killing all 259 passengers and crew and 11 people on the ground.

Only one person has been convicted for this attack: the Libyan Abdelbaset Ali Mohamed al-Megrahi, who died in 2012. He had always maintained his innocence.

In December 2020, 32 years after the drama, the American justice had announced to prosecute Abou Agila Mohammad Massoud, former member of the intelligence services of Muammar Gaddafi and at the time detained in Libya.

The Lockerbie attack is the deadliest ever committed on the territory of the United Kingdom, but also the second deadliest against Americans (190 dead) after the attacks of September 11, 2001.

The regime of Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi officially admitted responsibility for the 2003 Lockerbie bombing and paid $2.7 billion in compensation to the families of the victims.

The investigation was relaunched in 2016, when American justice learned that Mr. Massoud had been arrested after the fall of the dictator and allegedly made a confession to the intelligence services of the new Libyan regime in 2012.

Last year, the Scottish judiciary rejected an appeal by al-Megrahi's family, saying there was no #x27;miscarriage of justice.

Justice had also swept aside the defense of the family of the condemned, who considered that documents related to the case, which the British authorities refuse to declassify, would have led to a different verdict.

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