In December 1988, a Pan Am aircraft, on a flight numbered 103, traveling from Frankfurt to Detroit with stops in London and New York, exploded over the Scottish town of Lockerbie. Everyone on board, and 11 others on the ground, are reported to have perished. In the 1990s, two Libyan suspects were identified and handed over to U.K. officials and one, Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi, was convicted as a mastermind, reports the Daily Mail.
Yesterday, a release was made by Scottish authorities that two new Libyan suspects in the Lockerbie case have been identified.
Libyan authorities reportedly declined the opportunity to comment.
One of the suspects is identified as Abdullah Senussi, who is facing a death sentence for crimes committed during the revolt against Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. Senussi has been jailed in Libya since 2012.
The second Lockerbie suspect Scotland is interested in is Abu Agila Masaud. Described as a “bomb expert,” Abu Agila Masaud, is also reported to be held captive in Libya.
“Today is a day to remember all of Gaddafi’s victims. We should also remember the many, many people who died at the hands of this brutal dictator and his regime.”
The sole perpetrator ever convicted in connection to Lockerbie, Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi, is reported to have been given a compassionate release after he fell ill with cancer. He was reported to have succumbed to the disease in 2012, with his insistence of his innocence never wavering.
Family members of the victims of the Lockerbie disaster feel frustrated that so little has been done.
“All the families really want to know the truth of how this happened,” Kara Weipz, a New Jersey resident was quoted. “That has been our motto since 1988, and it remains our motto.” Weipz was reported to have been pleased with Gaddafi’s toppling, but felt that this didn’t “close the book” on ongoing investigations into Lockerbie.
The fall of Gaddafi’s Libyan regime left several rival governments, as reported by the New York Times. U.S. and U.K. authorities have operated within Libya, seemingly allowing them the ability to identify more suspects than previously possible. Thousands of refugees have been moving through an unstable Libya in 2015, en route to Europe, with many being reported dead by Al Jazeera.
Libyan responsibility was supposedly accepted by Gaddafi in 2003, and he paid a reported $2.7 billion in compensation to families of the Lockerbie bombings.
This still does not provide an answer to the question Jim Swire and other Lockerbie disaster victim family members want answered most.
“We want to know who murdered our families.”
And though Libya has claimed responsibility, knowing that some individuals who may have been involved may still walk free and have other victims, is a difficult proposition for family members like Swire and Weipz. Perhaps new answers may be found if U.S. and British authorities get their wish and are able to interview Abu Agila Masaud and Abdullah Senussi.
[Feature Photo by Peter Macdiarmid / Getty Images]