Report Reveals FBI Agents Investigating Lockerbie Pull Out From Libya – Al Marsad

Investigators of the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) working in the Libyan capital Tripoli investigating leads on would be accomplices in the bombing of the Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie have been pulled out.

[Libya, 23 July 2019] – The Sunday Post from Glasgow attributed the FBI pull out to the escalating fighting in Tripoli. Al Marsad had received information earlier of the landing of a US Air Force C17 plane at Misrata Airbase to carry the FBI agents out of Libya. The Boeing C-17 military transport aircraft flew from the Jordanian airport of Aqaba specifically for this purpose.

Conflict in Libya

Referring to the AFRICOM military unit which withdrew from Tripoli on the first day of fighting in April, Kathryn Turman, the FBI Victim Services Division’s assistant, wrote a letter, of which the Scottish newspaper quoted excerpts, informing the families of the Lockerbie victims that “Due to the current situation, the US government has ceased all movement into Libya and withdrew the limited personnel previously in country.” “Of course, the FBI will continue to work with other investigative leads, including those with our Scottish partners, to focus on efforts outside of Libya, and within Libya when opportunities arise,” Ms. Turman stressed.

Iain Mckie, former police officer and Secretary of the Justice for Megrahi Group, which is campaigning to clear his name, questioned the US decision to pull out of Libya. Mckie cited the extradition to London of the brother of the Manchester Arena suicide bomber Salman Abedi last week and said “it would appear the UK authorities can still do business in Libya”.

Hashem Abedi, the younger brother of the Manchester bomber, Salman Abedi.

According to the newspaper, Scottish prosecutors are also working with the FBI to bring those who assisted Abdelbaset Megrahi to justice. “Prosecutors and police, working with UK Government and US colleagues, will continue to pursue this investigation, with the sole aim of bringing those who acted along with Megrahi to justice. This is a live criminal investigation,” the Crown Office said.

However, many of the families of the victims of the Pan Am Flight 103 believe Megrahi was not responsible for the attack. The Sunday Post reported that although the victims’ families were briefed on the FBI pull out of Libya, John Mosey, whose 19-year-old daughter Helga was on the London to New York flight, said: “I think it is an excuse to say that they have found nothing in Libya.”

“Having attended the whole of the trial except for two weeks, we were far from convinced of his guilt. When he was released I felt that something a bit closer to justice was being done,” Mosey said. According to the newspaper, the FBI continued to pursue their investigations until last April when the fighting between the forces of the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord and the Libyan National Army intensified.

The Scottish government released Megrahi for health reasons in 2009, after 10 years in incarceration. He died of prostate cancer three years later at the age of 60.

Iranian, Hezbolla, and Palestinian Links to Lockerbie

Muammer Gaddafi had signed the U.S-Libya Claims Settlement Agreement, the UTA Flight 772 Compensations Agreement, as well as the Berlin Discotheque Bombing Compensation Package which closed the dossier of these claims. According to a US State Department: “Most of the $1.5billion received from Libya through the settlement has been paid out to eligible claimants.”

The late Libyan leader, Gaddafi, had accepted responsibility but not guilt over Lockerbie and the investigations hitherto remain inconclusive. In return for the settlement, sanctions were dropped, and the United States restored full diplomatic relations.

Some investigators, however, believe the Iranian regime, with the assistance of a Palestinian group, played a role in retaliation for a July 1988 incident in which a U.S. warship mistakenly downed an Iran Air plane with 290 passengers aboard. That it wasn’t Libya but Iran who was behind the Lockerbie tragedy.

An extensive report by Al Jazeera in 2014 categorically claimed that the Lockerbie evidence pointed to Iran’s secret service and a Palestinian group being behind bombing of Pan Am flight 103. According to the report by Al Jazeera: “Documents obtained by the network, and verified by security and legal experts, point to the involvement of Iran’s secret service, Hezbollah and the armed group The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) – General Command.”

Iranian suspects behind the Lockerbie tragedy.

US and UK Issue Travel Warning

Meanwhile, both the United States and the United Kingdom have issued travel warnings warning their citizens not to travel to Libya and those who are still there to leave the country given the present hostilities. “Fighting can break out anywhere without warning. There is a high risk of civilians being caught in indiscriminate gunfire or shelling, including air strikes, in all areas where there is fighting,” London Foreign Office said. The US State Department warned: “Do not travel to Libya due to crime, terrorism, civil unrest, kidnapping, and armed conflict.”

© Al Marsad English. 2019.