December 27 2020 — On the 32nd anniversary of the Lockerbie tragedy, the US DoJ announced new charges against a third former Libyan intelligence operative for his role in the destruction of Pan Am Flight 103. In this series, Intel Today provides an analysis of this new indictment. Follow us on Twitter: @INTEL_TODAY
RELATED POST: On This Day — Pan Am Flight 103 disintegrates over Lockerbie
RELATED POST: LOCKERBIE — US DOJ to unseal charges against 3rd Libyan [UPDATE — Blast from the Past]
RELATED POST: Four Years Ago — Dead Man Diary : Sarkozy 2007 Presidential Election Campaign Funded by Gaddafi [UPDATE : Prosecutors seek 4-years prison term for French President. Gaddafi strong man Abdullah Senussi wanted Sarkozy pardon for UTA. Now, he is in the US cross-hairs for Lockerbie.]
RELATED POST: Lockerbie — US DoJ & FBI Press Conference TODAY 15:30 GMT [UPDATE : New US DoJ indictment is better. Still untrue and illogical.]
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.
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…!
UPDATE (December 13 2022) — DoJ Press Release & Timeline — Abu Agela MASUD is now in US custody. The United States Department of Justice has confirmed this key development.
RELATED POST : LOCKERBIE — Analysis of the New Indictment [UPDATE : Lockerbie 3rd suspect taken into U.S. custody]
There is plenty we do not know. The official story is murky and few details have been released so far. The DoJ gave no details of how he had arrived in the US.
In a statement, Michael H Glasheen, the acting assistant director in charge of the FBI Washington field office, said:
“The lawful arrest and presentment in court of the alleged bombmaker… is the product of hard work and partnerships across the globe.”
Nevertheless, I have tried to update the TIMELINE. Of course, it is a difficult exercise. The result is not precise, and it may not even be accurate.
But I thought, I should get started with a TIMELINE that is reasonably plausible at the time of this writing.
Masud is accused of making the suitcase bomb that brought down the flight. He faces up to life in prison if he is convicted of the charges against him.
MASUD wants to be represented by lawyers of his own choice. As the charges were being discussed, he said that he could not speak until he saw his attorney.
TIMELINE (Dec. 13 2022)
2012 — After being taken into custody following the collapse of Gaddafi’s government, MASUD confesses his role in the destruction of Pan Am 103.
Dec. 21 2020 — The Department of Justice made public a criminal complaint charging Masud with destruction of aircraft resulting in death, and destruction of a vehicle used in foreign commerce by means of an explosive resulting in death. The United States subsequently requested the publication of an INTERPOL Red Notice.
Summer 2022 — MASUD is released from prison after serving a 10-year sentence for crimes committed under the former regime of Muammar Gadaffi.
Nov. 16 2022 — Masud is kidnapped by armed men from his residence in Tripoli. [RUMINT : Masud was seized at his home in the capital’s Abu Salem neighbourhood by forces loyal to Abdel Ghani al-Kikili, known as “Gheniwa”, who commands the Stability Support Authority (SSA) of the Tripoli-based Government of National Unity.]
Nov. 17 2022 — MASUD is detained by forces linked to the Defence Ministry of Libya’s internationally recognised government of national unity, GNU, and then taken to Misrata, 200km from the capital.
End of Nov. 2022 — RUMINT : A “team of Americans” arrives in Misrata, and bundles Masud onto a flight in a private jet from the city’s airport to Malta
On Nov. 29 2022 — A federal grand jury formally indicted Masud on the same charges contained in the criminal complaint.
Dec. 11 2022 — MASUD is arrested in Scotland before being extradited to the US on Sunday on charges related to the 1988 bombing of Pan Am flight 103
Dec. 11 2022 — The Justice Department announced that Masud had been taken into U.S. custody. The indictment is unsealed.
Dec. 12 2022 — Abu Agila Mohammad Masud Kheir al-Marimi appeared for a largely procedural hearing in which he was read his rights and officially informed of the three charges against him, including two counts of destruction of an aircraft resulting in death and aiding and abetting and the destruction of a vehicle involved in foreign commerce. The Justice Department will not be pursuing the death penalty, prosecutors said in court.
Dec. 27 2022 — Magistrate Judge Robin Meriweather scheduled Masud’s next court appearance for a detention hearing on Dec. 27 to allow him time to hire counsel or accept a public defender.
PS — According to The Washington Post:
“That affidavit said Mas’ud told Libyan law enforcement that he flew to Malta to meet al-Megrahi and Fhimah. He handed Fhimah a medium-sized Samsonite suitcase containing a bomb, having already been instructed to set the timer so that the device would explode exactly 11 hours later, according to the document. He then flew to Tripoli, the FBI said.”
As I have explained, this contradicts several facts established by the Lockerbie investigators, including a timeline based on CIA intelligence built prior to Dec. 21 1988 and fully documented during the trial.
The reader will notice that the DoJ Press Release is very vague on the timeline…
“In the winter of 1988, Mas’ud was directed by a Libyan intelligence official to fly to Malta with a prepared suitcase. There he was met by Megrahi and Fhimah at the airport. Several days later, Megrahi and Fhimah instructed Mas’ud to set the timer on the device in the suitcase for the following morning…”
To the best of my knowledge, the FBI timeline released in 2020 is not correct.
END of UPDATE
I started this series with a first post about the new story of the “Magic Suitcase”.
RELATED POST: LOCKERBIE — Analysis of the New Indictment [Let us get started!]
Initially, the FBI claimed that Megrahi brought it himself to Malta on December 20 1988.
Now they claim that Masud brought the infamous SAMSONITE suitcase on December 14 1988.
In this post, I would like to review the information available regarding Abu Agela Masud. As always, I will begin wit a timeline.
US IC TIMELINE
1951 — MASUD is born in Tunisia
???? — MASUD moves to Tripoli, Libya, and became a Libyan citizen.
1973 to 2011 — MASUD works for the Libyan intelligence service and rises to the rank of colonel.
2011 — After Colonel el-Qaddafi’s fall, Masud is arrested and imprisoned in Misurata, Libya, before being moved to Al-Hadba prison in Tripoli.
2012 (Sept.) — Masud confessed his role in the La Belle Disco bombing (1986) as well as the Lockerbie bombing (Dec. 21 1988)
2017 — The FBI receives a copy of Masud’s confession
2020 (Dec. 21) — Bill Barr announces charges against Masud. “He is in the custody of the current government of Libya, and we have no reason to think that that government is interested in associating itself with this heinous act of terrorism,” Mr. Barr said. “We are optimistic they will turn him over to face justice.”
According to his confession,
Masud worked with Mr. al-Megrahi and Mr. Fhimah to “execute the plot.”
Mas’ud went to Malta with the suitcase that contained the bomb and later set the timer for it to blow up the IED at a time decided by MEGRAHI.
Masud hid the detonator and timer in a technical way that would make it difficult to be discovered, by placing it close to the metallic parts of the suitcase.
He used approximately 1.5 kilograms of plastic Semtex. He said that explosives do not show up on the airport baggage scanner.
Confession coerced or tainted?
A 2017 United Nations report that mentions Mr. Mas’ud raises troubling questions about the treatment of former Libyan officials who were held at various prisons and put on trial after Colonel el-Qaddafi was overthrown.
“Many of the defendants were held in prolonged incommunicado detention, without access to their families or lawyers, and often in isolation, including at unofficial detention facilities, amidst allegations of torture and other ill treatment,” the report says.
Mr. Mas’ud’s suspected role in the Lockerbie bombing received new scrutiny in a three-part documentary on “Frontline” on PBS in 2015. The series was written and produced by Ken Dornstein, whose brother was killed in the attack. As part of his investigation, Mr. Dornstein learned that Mr. Mas’ud was being held in a Libyan prison and even obtained pictures of him. [NYT]
Lockerbie investigators determined that the bomb had been placed inside a portable cassette player put aboard a plane and transferred twice before reaching Flight 103.
But Masud’s claims make no reference to such a [TOSHIBA] cassette player. This development has serious consequences that I will discus in a following post.
Could Masud be the ‘Mysterious Buyer’?
On December 7, 1988 both MASUD and MEGRAHI traveled from Tripoli, Libya,
to Malta on separate flights.
According to the indictment, the purchase took place on 7 December 1988.
But contrary to recent lies, the US DoJ does not claim that MASUD bought the clothes to put into the Samsonite suitcase that — they claimed — went on to blow up Pan Am Flight 103.
Actually, it would be hilarious to allege that MASUD bought the clothes from Gauci.
First, Gauci — the shopkeeper — made it clear that the purchaser was Libyan. He could tell by his accent that he was not Tunisian. MASUD was born and educated in Tunisia. And few people can manage to shake off an accent…
For sure, he has a “big chest” and “dark-colored” skin. In case you have not noticed yet, MASUD is a black man. Surely, this feature is enough to rule him out… Perhaps, this is just too subtle for Mr Anwar, the current lawyer for the MEGRAHI family?
RELATED POST: Lockerbie — US DoJ & FBI Press Conference TODAY 15:30 GMT [UPDATE : More lies from Megrahi’s lawyer]
By the way…
US media give Ken Dornstein the credit for discovering the trail that led to MASUD in a series he wrote and produced for PBS in 2015.
If you just take a look at the quote at the top of this post, you will see that US media have no idea what really goes on…
MASUD has been on the radar for a long time. And, according to a CIA document dated Oct. 8 1988, they know him as a TELECOM expert, not a bomb-maker…
A Question for the FBI & CIA
The CIA station in Malta had a Libyan agent — Majid Giaka — keeping them informed of all arrivals and departures of ESO officers to and from Luqa airport in Malta.
Yet, Giaka never reported the arrival of MASUD on December 14 1988. Why on earth not?
Be patient. I promise to offer you the answer on New Year Eve! [Spoiler : FBI Agent Rachel F. Otto deserves a serious spanking.]
*** *** *** *** *** ***
PS — After CIA informant Michael Goleniewski defected to the United States in 1961, he claimed to be Tsarevich Alexei Nikolaevich of Russia.
Likewise, once relocated in the United States, CIA informant Majid Giaka claimed that he was a member of the King Idris family.
You have to admit this much. The CIA has a knack for recruiting colorful informants!
Former Senior Libyan Intelligence Officer and Bomb-Maker for the Muamar Qaddafi Regime Charged for The December 21, 1988 Bombing of Pan Am Flight 103
US DoJ Website : Former Senior Libyan Intelligence Officer and Bomb-Maker for the Muamar Qaddafi Regime Charged for The December 21, 1988 Bombing of Pan Am Flight 103
AFFIDAVIT IN SUPPORT OF A CRIMINAL COMPLAINT
LOCKERBIE — Analysis of the New Indictment [Who is Abu Agela Masud?]
LOCKERBIE — Analysis of the New Indictment : Who is Abu Agela Masud? [UPDATE : DoJ Press Release & Timeline]
Was this the guy who was discovered by a journalist?
I’m sure I read that investigators considered him but found a valid reason not to pursue a conviction. It is odd to see him back in the equation
The whole charade is becoming more and more ridiculous. The UK agents appear to follow US wrongdoings and square peg to round hole. Round and round they go!
Basic questions alway elusive in the world of intelligent agencies.
Such as: did David Shayler know about phone hacking when he left Rupert’s employ to go to MI5 and is this the reason he ran with a BS story on Diana being killed by British intelligence agency? A BS story which benefits Murdoch?
Why are we not allowed to be given a definitive answer on this? It could be pivotal to finding out more on Diana’s demise.
It is perhaps time Mi5/6 were made to answer to the public on an annual basis and/or when they are caught out. Instead of them being subjected to
dubious private court cases which are not always well advertised.
They should promptly find their voice for the sake of democracy and stop with the convenient silence.