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Justice Dept. charges bombmaker in 1988 Pan Am explosion in Lockerbie, Scotland on anniversary

Posted at 11:30 AM, Dec 21, 2020

WASHINGTON — The Justice Department has unsealed charges against a Libyan bombmaker in the December 21, 1988 explosion of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland.

The attack killed 259 people in the air and an additional 11 on the ground in the town of Lockerbie. The flight was leaving London's Heathrow International Airport heading to New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport. Most of those onboard were Americans.

"There is no question that the Pan Am 103 attack was aimed at the United States. And this heinous assault lives in infamy in the collective memory of the American people," Attorney General William Barr said during a Monday press conference unsealing the charges.

Barr unsealed charges against Abu Agila Mohammad Masud, who officialsbelieve is in Libya.

Forensic investigators determined plastic explosive had been detonated in the Boeing 747's cargo hold.

The charges were announced on the 32nd anniversary of the bombing and in the final news conference of Attorney General Barr’s tenure, underscoring his personal attachment to a case that unfolded during his first stint at the Justice Department under President George H.W. Bush.