December 17 2020 — The US DoJ is due to unseal charges against a third Libyan man suspected of making the bomb that blew up Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie in 1988. This announcement will surprise many but not the readers of this blog as I have long ago predicted this new development. Follow us on Twitter: @Intel_Today
RELATED POST: Lockerbie Third Appeal — Day 1 (November 24 2020)
RELATED POST: Lockerbie Third Appeal — Day 2 (November 25 2020)
RELATED POST: Lockerbie Third Appeal — Day 3 (November 26 2020)
Lockerbie — Three Decades of Lies: J’Accuse…!
QUICK NOTES — To make it easier for the readers to retrieve various chapters of my book, I have created a special page “Lockerbie” where all the links to the chapters will be listed with a brief description. You can access that page directly as it appears at the far right of the top bar of this blog.
On March 11 2020, the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission [SCCRC] decided to refer the Lockerbie case back to the High Court of Justiciary for determination. As a result of the Commission’s decision, Mr. Megrahi’s family was therefore entitled to instruct an appeal against his conviction.
The first procedural hearing took place on Friday August 21 2020. The Appeal started on November 24 2020 and ended 3 days later. The five judges will now produce a written submission as soon as practicable.
Lockerbie — Three Decades of Lies: J’Accuse…!
UPDATE (December 19 2020) — To most people, including Lockerbie experts, Abu Agila Mohammad Masud is unknown.
John Ashton mentions his name only once in his excellent book (MEGRAHI — You are my jury) and Former FBI lead investigator Richard Marquise does not mention him at all in his memoirs. [SCOTBOM]
In recent days, Marquise has been extensively quoted in the media about this ‘extraordinary’ development.
There is no point repeating that I had predicted this new twist in the Lockerbie saga.
However, I will take this opportunity to reveal a 10 years old, but still very interesting anecdote about my research on this person.
What follows is excerpted from an article by Tom Peterkin. [The Press and Journal: Q&A: What does the emergence of another Lockerbie suspect tell us about a three-decade quest for justice?]
The FBI agent who led the original Lockerbie investigation has revealed the atrocity’s latest suspect was on his “radar” 30 years ago but there was a struggle to prove the case against him.
Richard Marquise said it was strongly suspected Abu Agila Mohammad Masud was the “technician” responsible for the bomb that killed 270 people in the worst terrorist outrage committed on UK territory.
Mr Marquise was reacting to reports suggesting that US prosecutors will seek the extradition of Mr Masud and he will be charged in a matter of days, to stand trial in America.
As the man who led the US side of the inquiry into the bombing, Mr Marquise welcomed reports that Mr Masud could face justice, claiming any progress would be appreciated by the families who lost loved ones on Pan Am Flight 103.
“If there is going to be another trial, I’m sure the families will be… I’m not going to use the word thrilled…. because it doesn’t bring a loved one back. But I am sure they will be grateful,” Mr Marquise said. (…)
“He’s been on my radar for around 30 years,” Mr Marquise said. “He was someone we were very interested in, but we never quite found out who he was. The Libyans disavowed any knowledge of him. We knew he existed but he was never really identified.
“Back in 1991, we knew his name. We knew what he looked like and we knew what he allegedly was responsible for. He was the technician.”
The retired FBI agent added: “In my mind I always felt he was connected to it somehow But we didn’t have the clues to prove it.”
In February 2010, I sent Richard marquise a CIA cable (see below) titled: “LIBYAN ACTIVITIES LEADING UP TO PAN AM BOMBING – ABDALBASIT ALI AL MEGRAHI”
And I pointed out that this cable (dated Oct 17 1989) totally contradicts the official narrative/timeline of the Lockerbie investigation.
In a reply (Feb 8 2010), Marquise suggested that this document was NOT genuine, or at least no correctly dated.
“I am not in my office but believe the reporting of Megrahi’s activities by the source whose identity I am sure you know was NOT reported in the context of PA 103 in October 1989 but pulled together later as reported travels of Megrahi– The headline was not written in 10/89—I will have to look at all the documents when I return home. I am afraid you report it as such it will probably be a misrepresentation of the facts but as we know that seems to happen quite often in this case.”
Dear readers, I can assure all of you that this document is 100% genuine. The headline and the date are correct. [I understand that the CIA confirmed this information to Marquise AFTER he learned it from me.]
And of course, it makes no sense whatsoever as the Lockerbie investigators linked Megrahi to Lockerbie in the Fall of 1990.
By the way, you will notice that this CIA cable was confusing Megrahi and Abu Agila Mohammad Masud.
So, I sent one more question/comment to Marquise.
“Finally, please remember that Massud Aqila is NOT an alias for Megrahi. He is/was a real ESO agent.”
Marquise’s reply was quick and very clear:
“I know exactly who Masud Agila is and know he is not Megrahi.”
I strongly believe that we are heading for the perfect Christmas Kiss. Stay tuned!
END of UPDATE
According to the Wall Street Journal, US prosecutors will soon seek the extradition of Abu Agila Mohammad Masud to stand trial in the United States.
Mr Masud is alleged to have been a top bomb-maker for late Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi.
Mr Masud faces charges of destruction of an aircraft resulting in death and destruction of a vehicle of interstate commerce resulting in death.
US officials said he traveled to Malta just before the bombing, constructed the bomb there and filled the suitcase with clothing before it was ultimately placed on Pan Am 103.
According to the New York Times, Mr Masud’s exact whereabouts are unknown.
Attorney General William P. Barr was serving his first stint in the job nearly three decades ago when two Libyan intelligence officials were indicted in the 1988 bombing.
Both of Mr. Barr’s tours as attorney general have been largely defined by cases overseen by Robert S. Mueller III, who was the head of the department’s criminal division during the initial Lockerbie inquiry and served from 2017 to 2019 as the special counsel investigating the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia’s election interference.
Obviously, I will wait to read the indictment before commenting, but I will nevertheless offer two quick comments.
The New York Times points out the following information regarding Mr Masud.
“Mr. Mas’ud’s name had also appeared in C.I.A. cables written before the Lockerbie bombing.
A Libyan informant working for the C.I.A. who defected and was later resettled to the United States had told the spy agency about Mr. Mas’ud and his connection to Mr. al-Megrahi before the bombing.
The informant suspected the pair had been planning an intelligence operation shortly before the Lockerbie bombing.“
As I have pointed out in my book, although the investigators officially linked Megrahi to the Lockerbie disaster in the fall of 1990, a CIA Cable dated October 17 1989 already connected Megrahi to Lockerbie!
Actually, and very intriguingly, this cable erroneously assumes that Masud is just an alias for Megrahi.
I guess that mistake alone speaks volumes about how much Giaka knew about Masud….
The New York Times suggests that this new development was made possible because of an information revealed by a former Libyan intelligence official named Musbah Eter.
“An important breakthrough came during a 2012 trip to Germany, where documents led Mr. Dornstein to a former Libyan intelligence official named Musbah Eter, who said Mr. Mas’ud had been involved in the disco bombing in West Berlin in 1986 that killed two American soldiers — an attack planned by Libyan intelligence and the Libyan Embassy in what was then East Berlin.
Mr. Eter ultimately revealed to Mr. Dornstein that Mr. Mas’ud had admitted to a role in Lockerbie, a fact that seemed to be confirmed by passports that Mr. Mas’ud used in both of the deadly operations.“
The link between the West Berlin bombing and Libya was ‘established’ on the basis on intercepted cables which were decoded because Libya was using the CRYPTO AG machines which had been rigged by the NSA and the CIA in collaboration with the German BND and Boris Hagelin, the founder of of the Swiss company CRYPTO AG.
RELATED POST: Crypto AG — The Missing Piece of the Snowden Puzzle
As soon as this affair — which I reported 15 years ago — was revealed by the Washington Post earlier this year, I predicted that the US would unseal new evidence against Libya.
Finally, I would like to offer my reader a amazing scoop. According to a document that I have read, there is convincing evidence that Musbah Eter was a MOSSAD agent.
PS — Aamer Anwar — the Megrahi family lawyer — is shocked by the news and he suspects that this ‘unexpected indictment’ is designed to sway the Scottish court.
“It smacks of extreme desperation that on the eve of a decision on the appeal and the 32nd anniversary of the bombing that they should come up with an indictment of Masud. What have they been doing for the last 32 years? It’s a weak and tenuous link, trying to connect Megrahi to him.”
In truth, this new development was to be expected. On March 25 2020, I wrote that the SCCRC had already been paving the way for new evidence against Libya.
This new evidence could not have been disclosed 20 years ago. As a not very subtle clue, I asked:
“Did you ever wonder who decided to leak the CIA Minerva files last month? And why?”
Attorney General William P. Barr Delivers Remarks at the Arlington National Cemetery Memorial Service for the Victims of Pan Am Flight 103 (Arlington, VA ~ Saturday, December 21, 2019) — US DoJ Website
U.S. Said to Be Near Charges for Another Suspect in 1988 Lockerbie Bombing — NYT
LOCKERBIE — US DOJ to unseal charges against 3rd Libyan
LOCKERBIE — US DOJ to unseal charges against 3rd Libyan [UPDATE — Blast from the Past]