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The Lockerbie bombing: Who? What? When?


Here is a timeline of main events since the 1988 bombing of Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, which was back in the news this week with the capture of a Libyan intelligence operative suspected of making the bomb that killed 270 people:

* On Dec. 21, 1988, the flight to New York blows up over Scotland minutes after takeoff from London. The bombing kills all 259 people aboard the Boeing 747 jumbo jet and 11 residents of the town of Lockerbie.

* On Jan. 31, 2001, a three-judge Scottish court at a former U.S. base in the Netherlands finds Libyan intelligence agent Abdel Baset Ali al-Megrahi guilty while acquitting another agent, Lamen Khalifa Fhimah. The trial follows years of wrangling between Libya, Britain and the United States.

* On Aug. 15, 2003, Libya, in a letter to the United Nations, accepts responsibility for the Lockerbie bombing. Libya pays more than $2 billion in compensation. On Sept. 12, the U.N. Security Council unanimously adopts a resolution lifting sanctions imposed on Libya over the bombing.

* On Aug. 20, 2009, the Scottish government releases Megrahi after his lawyer says the prisoner has been diagnosed with advanced stage prostate cancer. He returns home to Libya. On May 20, 2012, Megrahi, then 60 years old, dies in Tripoli.

* On Dec. 11, 2022, Scottish and U.S. law enforcement officials announce that Mas’ud is in U.S. custody. The next day he is due to appear in a federal court in Washington, D.C.

Related Galleries:

Abu Agila Mohammad Masud Kheir Al-Marimi, accused of making the bomb that blew up Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie in Scotland in 1988, is shown in this Alexandria Sheriff’s Office photograph taken in Alexandria,Virginia on December 11, 2022. Alexandria, VA Sheriff’s Office/Handout via REUTERS

Abu Agila Mohammad Mas’ud Kheir Al-Marimi, also known as Mohammed Abouajela Masud, (2nd L) sits behind bars during a hearing at a courtroom in Tripoli November 16, 2014. Tripoli’s government on October 16, 2015 named the two new Libyan suspects in the Lockerbie bombing investigation as Abdullah al-Senussi, the former spy chief of ousted leader Muammar Gaddafi, and a second man, Mohammed Abu Ejaila. No details were immediately available on the second suspect in the 1988 airline bombing that killed 270 people. But one person familiar with the case said Ejaila may also be known as Mohammed Abouajela Masud, a known bomb maker. Picture taken November 16, 2014. REUTERS/Ismail Zitouny/File Photo

Floral tributes left at the Memorial Garden in Dryfesdale Cemetery, are seen on the morning of the 30th anniversary of the bombing of Pan Am flight 103 which exploded over the Scottish town on December 21, 1988, killing 259 passengers and crew and 11 residents on the ground, in Lockerbie, Scotland, Britain, December 21, 2018. Jane Barlow/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo