Speed Reads

Terror in Scotland

Lockerbie bombing suspect in U.S. custody, authorities say

A Libyan man who allegedly made the bomb that blew up a Pan Am flight over Lockerbie, Scotland, in 1988 is now in U.S. custody, officials said Sunday. 

Scottish authorities said Abu Agila Masud had been handed over to the United States to face trial. He was first charged by the U.S. in 2020 with playing an integral part in the Lockerbie attack. The bombing completely destroyed Pan Am Flight 103, killing all 259 people on board and an additional 11 people on the ground when the plane's wreckage fell on their homes. 

It remains the deadliest terrorist incident to ever occur in the United Kingdom.

Another Libyan national, Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, was convicted of actually carrying out the bombing, and was sentenced to life in prison. He remains the only person convicted for the attack, but joint American and Scottish authorities are now looking to change that with the charges against Masud. 

"Scottish prosecutors and police, working with [the] U.K. government and U.S. colleagues, will continue to pursue this investigation, with the sole aim of bringing those who acted along with al-Megrahi to justice," the Scottish Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) told BBC News. COPFS added that the families of the Lockerbie victims had also been notified. 

A Justice Department spokesperson confirmed to Reuters that Masud is now in American custody, telling the outlet that he is expected to make his first appearance in a Washington, D.C., federal court in the coming days.