Mustafa Mohamed Abdel-Jalil, a former Libyan justice minister, claims that Libyan leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi ordered the bombing of PanAm Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland on December 22, 1988. Many of the passengers on the plane were American citizens. Eleven Scottish citizens on the ground were also killed. In an interview with Kassem Hamade of The Expressan newspaper, Abdel-Jalil says that Colonel Gaddafi tried very hard to get convicted bomber Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi out of Scotland. Al-Megrahi was granted “compassionate release” from a Scottish prison in 2009 because he has prostate cancer. Scottish officials released him because they were told he would die within months. Al-Megrahi is still alive and living in Libya.
Even though Gaddafi has compensated the families of victims over the years financially and admits that Libya was responsible for the bombing, he has never taken responsibility for personally ordering the attack.
Though Abdel-Jalil claims to have evidence that Colonel Gaddafi ordered the bombing, he has not presented any evidence to newspapers or government officials. Abdel-Jalil recently stepped down as justice minister to protest Colonel Gaddafi’s handling of uprisings throughout Libya. It has been estimated that over 1,000 people have died since government protests began.
After the announcement of Al-Megrahi’s release, families of victims and others in the United States and Britain were furious because they felt “compassionate release” was not the right decision to make considering the number of people killed. There were allegations of UK officials making trade deals with Scottish officials and Libya in exchange for Al-Megrahi’s release. Over the years, more and more people have begun to believe Gaddafi had more to do with the bombing than it was originally thought, explains a source.
Other people, however, do not believe Abdel-Jalil’s claims or that Britain or Scotland were part of any secret deals with Libya or each other. These people cite evidence that Al-Megrahi does have prostate cancer and that people who have prostate cancer can live longer than expected. Al-Megrahi’s health is not good and may be getting worse, says a comrade. He is at home with his family in Tripoli.
After the bombing two men were arrested; Al-Megrahi and an unnamed suspect. Eventually, only Al-Megrahi was charged and convicted in the Lockerbie, Scotland bombing. This was considered one of the worst acts of terrorism to happen in the UK, reports a source.
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