Pan Am bombing suspect in jail

One of the suspects accused of building a bomb that killed 270 passengers and the crew aboard Pan Am Flight 103 in 1988 is being held in U.S. District Court in Washington, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

The U.S. Department of Justice charged Abu Agila Mohammad Mas’ud Kheir Al-Marimi (Mas’ud), 71, of Tunisia and Libya, with criminal charges concerning the destruction of an aircraft used in foreign commerce.

The alleged bombmaker was a member of the External Security Organization in the Libyan intelligence service from 1973 to 2011.

On November 29, a federal grand jury indicted Mas’ud.  If convicted, he faces life in prison.

Mas’ud is accused of building a bomb to place on a flight from London-Heathrow to John F. Kennedy Airport in New York, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. 

The bomb exploded 31,000 feet above Lockerbie, Scotland after taking off, killing 270 people, including 190 Americans. 

The explosion killed citizens from 21 countries and 35 Syracuse University students returning home to the U.S. after studying overseas. 

Another 11 residents were killed on the ground in Lockerbie after fiery debris scattered and destroyed an entire block of homes.

Mas’ud was directed and assisted by Libyan intelligence operatives Abdel Baset Ali al-Megrahi and Lamen Khalifa Fhimah in planting the bomb. The bomb was enclosed in a suitcase and Fhimah put it on a conveyor belt. 

Meanwhile, Mas’ud boarded a flight to Tripoli, Libya. Mas’ud and Fhimah then met with Libyan leader Muammar al-Qaddafi who said the bombing was a success, according to the DOJ.

A Scottish court acquitted Frimah, but Megrahi was found guilty.

Scotland and the U.S. have jointly contacted all victims of the bombing to pay them for damages.