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Thirty Five Years Ago, 270 People Were Killed When Pan Am Flight 103 Crashed: Evidence Indicates that CIA Was Behind It

By Jeremy Kuzmarov

On the evening of December 21, 1988, Pan Am Flight 103 traveling from Frankfurt to New York crashed over Lockerbie, Scotland, after a stopover at London’s Heathrow Airport, killing all 243 passengers and 16 crew along with 11 civilians on a residential street.

Following a three-year joint investigation by Dumfries and Galloway Constabulary and the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), arrest warrants were issued for two Libyan nationals, Abdelbaset Ali Mohamed al-Megrahi and Lamen Khalifa Fhimah.

A Scottish court found Fhimah not guilty, though Megrahi was found guilty and sentenced to life in prison.

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In November 2022, Abu Agila Mohammad Mas’ud Kheir Al-Marimi, a former senior Libyan intelligence official, was kidnapped from his home and charged with two criminal counts related to the bombing—it was alleged that he set the timer before the bomb went off.

U.S. officials say that Mas’ud admitted during an interview with Libyan law enforcement following the overthrow of Muammar Qaddafi in 2011 that the Lockerbie bombing was ordered by Libyan intelligence and that he and others who participated were personally thanked by Qaddafi for their roles.[1]

However, the former director of that prison, Khalid al-Sharif, denies that Mas’ud ever made such a confession while he was there. Sharif, now living in exile in Turkey, was one of the top leaders of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, an Afghan-based group that was listed in 2004 as a terrorist organization, though this designation was removed in 2015 after it participated in the 2011 U.S.-NATO-supported armed revolt that toppled Qaddafi’s secular national government.

A courtroom sketch shows a bald, bearded man in a green top scratching his face with his left hand.
Portrait of Abu Agila Mohammad Mas’ud Kheir Al-Marimi appearing in U.S. court. [Source:]

After his release from a Scottish jail in 2009 because he was suffering from pancreatic cancer, Abdelbaset al-Megrahi was greeted by crowds back in Libya as a national hero, as people thought that he was innocent.

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Megrahi’s conviction had hinged on the testimony of a Maltese shopkeeper, Tony Gauci, who identified Megrahi as buying clothes, fragments of which were found among the plane wreckage.

However, the man who bought the clothes was older and taller than Megrahi and bought the clothes two weeks earlier. Furthermore, Gauci did not say he sold a slalom shirt that was found at the crash site with bomb fragments. Megrahi said that he never bought clothes at all from Gauci whom he said “dealt with me very wrongly. I have never seen him in my life before he came to court.”[2]

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