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Entries in Lockerbie (4)

Thursday
Dec222011

23rd Memorial Service Held for Lockerbie Bombing Victims

KHALED DESOUKI/AFP/Getty Images(ARLINGTON, Va.) -- Wednesday's commemoration for the victims of the December 1988 bombing over Lockerbie, Scotland, that killed 270 people -- most of them Americans -- was slightly different this year.

With Col. Moammar Gadhafi now dead -- the victim of Libyan rebel forces who overthrew his regime earlier this year -- White House counterterrorism chief John Brennan said the families of the bombing victims can take some solace knowing that the infamous dictator is no longer around.

A Libyan agent was eventually convicted for planting the explosives on Pan Am Flight 103 but the U.S. blamed Gadhafi for ordering the attack.

During a memorial service at Arlington National Cemetery, Brennan said Gadhafi's death added poignancy to the occasion.  While his regime took some responsibility for the Lockerbie bombing, Gadhafi would never say that he personally gave the orders.

Brennan also told mourners that the U.S. will keep after the Libyan government to bring Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi, the man convicted of planting the bomb, to justice.  He was released by Scottish authorities on compassionate grounds two years after being diagnosed with terminal cancer.  But al-Megrahi returned home to a hero's welcome, and is still alive, residing somewhere in Libya.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Sep012011

Sen. Schumer Wants Lockerbie Bomber in Exchange for Libyan Aid

MANOOCHER DEGHATI/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Sen. Charles Schumer says it's time to play hardball with the new rulers of Libya.

The New York Democrat said Wednesday that if the Transitional National Council refuses to hand over Lockerbie bomber Abdel Basset al-Megrahi to the U.S., Washington should refuse to provide any financial aid to the TNC.

That’s not likely, however, since the Obama administration is preparing to release $1.5 billion in funds Gadhafi kept in the U.S. to the TNC while pressing them to review the al-Megrahi case.

Schumer, who complained two years ago when Scottish authorities released al-Megrahi from custody on compassionate grounds, said, "We put American lives and money on the line to help the Libyan people secure their freedom.  It’s time the Libyan government lives up to its commitment to create a free and accountable society by handing over al-Megrahi so that justice can finally be done."

Many of the 270 people killed when a bomb exploded on Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland in December 1988 were Americans returning home for Christmas.  Al-Megrahi, who has been diagnosed with terminal cancer, was the only person convicted in the bombing and is currently described as close to death at a villa north of Tripoli.

For now, the TNC refuses to give him up.  Libyan Justice Minister Mohammed al-Alagi said, "Megrahi has already been judged once and he will not be judged again.  We do not hand over Libyan citizens.  Gadhafi does."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Aug232011

Scottish Authorities Seeking Whereabouts of Freed Lockerbie Bomber

Freed Lockerbie bomber Abdel Baset al-Megrahi wears a medical as he sits on a wheelchair during a meeting with an African delegation at a hospital in Tripoli on September 9, 2009. MAHMUD TURKIA/AFP/Getty Images(LONDON) -- It was exactly two years ago that Scottish authorities released Abdel Baset al-Megrahi from prison on humanitarian grounds.

There were reports that al-Megrahi, the only person found guilty in the December 1988 bombing of Pan Am 103 over Lockerbie that killed 270 people, was dying of cancer and wanted to spend his final days in his homeland of Libya.

Over objections of the U.S. State Department, al-Megrahi was freed and received a hero's welcome in Tripoli, much to the disgust of the families of the bomber's American victims.

Since then, al-Meghrai has yet to succumb to his supposedly terminal illness.

With Moammar Gadhafi seemingly out of power in Libya, Scottish authorities overseeing the Lockerbie bomber's parole want to reach al-Megrahi immediately.

As of now, his whereabouts are unknown.  Scottish officials know that al-Megrahi is still alive since he was seen with Gadhafi at a rally as recently as last month.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Mar022011

US Seeks Ways to Prosecute Gadhafi for Lockerbie Plane Bombing

Photo Courtesy - Mahmud Turkia/AFP/ Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- If the U.S. has its way, Col. Moammar Gadhafi could lose more than just his seat of power.

The Libyan strongman also stands to lose his freedom if he's brought up on charges in the 1988 plane bombing over Lockerbie, Scotland that killed 270 people, most of them Americans.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton raised that possibility Tuesday during testimony before the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

Committee Chairwoman Illena Rose-Lehtinen asked Clinton how the U.S. "could gather evidence and put together a case against Gadhafi and all those with whom he might have conspired" in plotting the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103, which was heading to New York during the Christmas holidays when it was bombed.

Responding to the question from the Republican lawmaker, Clinton said she would move expeditiously to ask FBI Director Robert Mueller and Attorney General Eric Holder about the best ways to gather evidence to bring a case against Gadhafi.

Since the unrest in Libya began two weeks ago, former members of Gadhafi's regime have accused him of directly ordering the terrorist attack that, to date, has only led to the conviction of one Libyan agent.

Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi was eventually released by the Scottish government on compassionate grounds in August 2009 because he was said to be suffering from terminal cancer.

His return to Tripoli to a hero's welcome enraged the U.S. as well as the American families of his victims.  Al-Megrahi, who was supposedly on death's door 18 months ago, is still alive.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







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