Lockerbie Bombmaker in US Custody
1440 Daily Digest
Libyan intelligence agent Abu Agila Masud, the suspected bombmaker in the 1988 explosion of Pan American Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, has been extradited to the US from Libya to appear in District Court. The terrorist act—the deadliest ever on British soil—killed 270 people, including all passengers and crew as well as 11 residents on the ground. On the evening of Dec. 21, 1988, the Boeing 747 plane en route from London to New York exploded into pieces as it traveled at 31,000 feet above sea level. The wreckage spread out across roughly 800 square miles of Scotland as the plane nosedived and broke apart, with one portion destroying an entire block and leaving behind a crater 40 feet deep. Over 100 Americans were on board, including 35 students from Syracuse University's travel abroad program (see photos of crash). The initial investigation led to the conviction of one Libyan agent in 2001. Masud reportedly confessed to a Libyan official in 2012 when he was in prison for a separate attack. See background on historical US-Libya tensions here.