Lockerbie bombing suspect in US custody

Wrecked houses are seen after the 1988 bombing over Lockerbie, Scotland.
Wrecked houses are seen after the 1988 bombing over Lockerbie, Scotland. (Martin Cleaver/AP)

A lot has happened between the Pan Am Flight 103 explosion over Lockerbie, Scotland, and the US taking custody of suspect Abu Agila Mohammad Mas’ud Kheir Al-Marimi.

Here’s a short timeline of the events that have occurred since the bombing:

Dec. 21, 1988: Pan Am Flight 103 explodes 31,000 feet over Lockerbie, Scotland, 38 minutes after takeoff from London. The 259 people on board the New York-bound Boeing 747 are killed, along with 11 people on the ground.

July 1990: The British Civil Aviation Authority’s Air Investigation Branch officially reports that an explosive device caused the explosion.

Nov. 13, 1991: US and British investigators indict Libyans Megrahi and Fhimah on 270 counts of murder, conspiracy to murder and violating Britain’s 1982 Aviation Security Act. The men are accused of being Libyan intelligence agents.

Dec. 15, 1998: A US appeals court rules relatives of the 189 Americans killed in the bombing can sue Libya for its possible role in sponsoring the attack.

April 5, 1999: Libya hands over the suspects to the United Nations. They are taken to the Netherlands to stand trial.

May 3, 2000: The trial of suspects Megrahi and Fhimah begins.

Jan. 31, 2001: Megrahi is found guilty and jailed for a minimum of 27 years. Fhimah is found not guilty.

October 2008: It is announced that Megrahi is suffering from terminal cancer.

November 2008: Then-US Sen. Frank Lautenberg announced at a press conference that the families of American victims of the Pan-Am bombing have received final compensation from the Libyan government. Each family received about $10 million, paid in installments between 2004 and 2008.

Aug. 20, 2009: Scottish Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill announces that Megrahi will be released from prison on compassionate grounds due to his terminal cancer. After being released, Megrahi returns to Libya and receives a jubilant welcome.

May 20, 2012: Megrahi dies in Libya.

Dec. 21, 2020: Then-US Attorney General William Barr announces criminal charges against former Libyan intelligence officer Abu Agela Mas’ud Kheir Al-Marimi. Mas’ud is charged in a criminal complaint with for allegedly providing the suitcase with the prepared explosive that was later placed onboard the flight. He is currently in custody in Libya.

Dec. 11, 2022 – The US Justice Department says that alleged bombmaker Mas’ud is in US custody and is expected to make his “initial appearance in the US District Court for the District of Columbia.” He was in custody in Libya.

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