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.”
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.