World & Nation

FBI and Scotland identify two new Libyan suspects in Lockerbie bombing

Lockerbie bombing

A police officer walks past the wreckage of the nose of Pan Am Flight 103 near Lockerbie, Scotland, on Dec. 21, 1988. A bomb aboard the Boeing 747 brought down the plane and killed 270 people.

(Martin Cleaver / Associated Press)

Nearly 27 years after a bomb blew up Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, the FBI and Scottish prosecutors have identified two new suspects and asked Libyan authorities for helping in interviewing them in the war-torn country.

“The [Scottish] lLord advocate and the U.S. attorney general have recently agreed that there is a proper basis in law in Scotland and the United States to entitle Scottish and U.S. investigators to treat two Libyans as suspects in the continuing investigation into the bombing of flight Pan Am 103 over Lockerbie,” a spokesman said in a statement Thursday.

“The lord advocate has today, therefore, issued an International Letter of Request to the Libyan attorney general in Tripoli which identifies the two Libyans as suspects in the bombing of flight Pan Am 103. The lord advocate and the U.S. attorney general are seeking the assistance of the Libyan judicial authorities for Scottish police officers and the FBI to interview the two named suspects in Tripoli.”



 U.S. Justice Department spokesman Marc Raimondi confirmed that Atty. Gen. Loretta Lynch met last month with her Scottish counterpart, Frank Mulholland. He would not discuss specifics of the investigation, but said, “The investigation into the Pan Am 103 bombing remains open, and we will continue to follow any leads that could result in evidence to support a criminal prosecution. We remain committed to pursuing justice on behalf of the victims of this terrorist attack that took the lives of 189 Americans and many others.”

The bombing killed all 243 passengers and 16 crew members, plus 11 on the ground.

The U.S. and Scotland blamed Libya for the bombing, and charges were filed in 1991 against two Libyans, Abdel Baset Ali Megrahi, head of security for Libyan Arab Airlines, and Lamen Khalifa Fhimah, an airline employee in Malta. In 1999, during a thawing of relations with the West, Libyan leader Moammar Kadafi handed the two men over to Scottish police. Libya in 2003 admitted having some responsibility for the bombing and paid reparations to the victims’ families.



At a trial in the Netherlands, Megrahi was convicted and Fhimah was acquitted. Scotland later released Megrahi due to illness, and he died a free man in Libya. But the FBI has continued to look for additional suspects.

Twitter: @timphelpsLAT

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