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The Justice Department is close to charges against a Libyan bombmaker in the 1988 Lockerbie bombing that killed 270 people on Pan Am flight 103 from London to New York, according to a new report.
Crash investigators search the area around the cockpit of Pan Am flight 103 in a farmer’s field east of Lockerbie, Scotland after a mid-air bombing killed all 259 passengers and crew, and 11 people on the ground. Picture taken Dec. 23, 1988.
The New York Times reported Wednesday that Abu Agila Mas’ud, the bomb expert and a former Libyan intelligence operative, will soon be charged in the case, citing two unnamed sources.
CLERIC: 1988 LOCKERBIE PLANE BOMBING WILL NEVER BE FORGOTTEN
Next week — on Dec. 21 — it will mark 32 years to the day since the terror attack hit Pan Am flight 103. A suitcase bomb in the cargo compartment exploded, causing the largest mass murder on British soil in recent history.
Among the victims were 189 Americans, including 15 active duty service members, 10 veterans and 35 students from Syracuse University coming home from studying abroad. The attack killed all passengers and crew, and another 11 people on the ground in Lockerbie, Scotland.
The reporting of PBS journalist Ken Dornstein helped investigators build their case, according to the Times. His brother, David, was killed in the attack, and he spent years researching the events, reportedly turning over his findings to the FBI in 2012 and again in 2014 after traveling to Libya multiple times.
Dornstein produced a "Frontline" documentary for PBS in 2015 detailing his work.
Scottish rescue workers and crash investigators search the area around the cockpit of Pan Am flight 103 in a farmer’s field east of Lockerbie Scotland after a mid-air bombing killed all 259 passengers and crew, and 11 people on the ground. Picture taken December 23, 1988.
The charges would mark a momentous exit for Attorney General Bill Barr, who announced his resignation as the nation's top prosecutor Monday. He was serving in the same position under President George H.W. Bush when two other Libyan officials were indicted in connection with the attack.
The Libyan government spent almost a decade refusing to extradite the suspects. Libyan intelligence officer Abdelbaset Al-Megrahi was finally convicted in the Netherlands in 2001 – but his accomplice went free.
Al-Megrahi died of cancer in 2012, three years after his release from a Scottish prison on compassionate grounds. His family is involved in a posthumous push to overturn his conviction.
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British and American authorities have been investigating the crime for decades.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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