As many of you may have heard, rumors are swirling around the international media this morning that the Libyan man convicted of the Lockerbie bombing is likely to be freed by the British government on “compassionate grounds” next week in time for him to be home with his family in Libya by Ramadan, which starts next Friday.
Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi, who has terminal prostate cancer, is serving life for murdering 270 people when Pan Am flight 103 exploded above the Scottish town of Lockerbie in 1988. This was Britain’s worst terror attack.
Some relatives of the victims have naturally expressed outrage that he may be released. For example, American Susan Cohen, whose 20-year-old daughter Theodora died in the attack, told the BBC: “Any letting out of Megrahi would be a disgrace. It makes me sick, and if there is a compassionate release then I think that is vile.”
However, as al-Megrahi has repeatedly claimed, there are serious concerns that he is innocent. Indeed there are those in Israeli intelligence and the CIA who have long believed that Libya was not behind the attack, and it was actually carried out by the PLO splinter group the PFLP-GC, acting on Iran’s orders. They believe that the Lockerbie bomb timing devices were manufactured in a PFLP-GC workshop on the outskirts of Damascus.
IS THERE IS A COVER OF SYRIAN AND IRANIAN INVOLVEMENT – AND WHY?
Dr. Jim Swire, a leading spokesman for British victims of the attack, whose daughter Flora was killed on Flight 103, has thoroughly investigated the case and believes the Israeli assessment is correct.
In October 2007, I prepared a dispatch exploring these claims, and it can be read again here for those of you who are interested.
If al-Megrahi is indeed guilty, then one can understand the outrage at his early release.
However, if he is innocent and the British authorities (with the possible connivance of the American administration) are letting him out on compassionate grounds in order not to let his appeal proceed, this raises questions as to whether there is cover of Syrian and Iranian involvement – and why.