Speed Reads

Pan Am Flight 103

Report: U.S. to announce new criminal charges in Pan Am Flight 103 bombing

On Monday, outgoing Attorney General William Barr is expected to announce criminal charges against Abu Agila Masud, a former Libyan intelligence officer, in connection with the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103, three U.S. officials familiar with the matter told CNN.

Masud is believed to be in Libya, and CNN reports that U.S. officials are talking with their Libyan counterparts about how to take him into custody.

Flight 103 was en route from London to New York when a bomb blew the plane up over Lockerbie, Scotland. The terrorist attack killed 270 people, with a majority of the victims from the United States. Monday is the 32nd anniversary of the bombing.

When Barr served as attorney general during the George H.W. Bush administration, the United States charged two Libyan men in the bombing: Abdelbeset Ali Mohmed al Megrahi and Al Amin Khalifah Fhimah. After Libya refused to extradite the men to the U.S., it was finally agreed upon that they could be tried by a Scottish court in the neutral Netherlands.

Fhimah was acquitted and Megrahi was sentenced to 27 years; after being diagnosed with cancer, he was released from prison in 2009 and died three years later. In 2003, former Libyan leader Moammar Ghadafi accepted responsibility for the bombing, but claimed he did not order the attack.