Libyan official: Gaddafi personally ordered attack on Pan Am 103
posted at 10:55 am on February 23, 2011 by Ed Morrissey
I could have put this as an update to the previous post on Libya, but the subject is worth a thread of its own. A tabloid in Sweden quotes a former Justice Minister of Libya in alleging that Moammar Gaddafi personally ordered the destruction of Pan Am 103 over Lockerbie, which killed 270 people in the air and on the ground in Scotland. Mustafa Abdel-Jalil also says that Gaddafi demanded the return of Abdelbaset al-Megrahi in order to keep the cover-up in place:
Expressen on Wednesday quoted Mustafa Abdel-Jalil as telling their correspondent in Libya that “I have proof that Gadhafi gave the order about Lockerbie.” He didn’t describe the proof. …
He told Expressen Gadhafi gave the order to Abdel Baset al-Megrahi, the only man convicted in the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, which killed all 259 people on board and 11 on the ground.
“To hide it, he (Gadhafi) did everything in his power to get al-Megrahi back from Scotland,” Abdel-Jalil was quoted as saying.
No one will be surprised to hear that Gaddafi ordered the attack, I presume. The US has maintained the position that the Libyan government bears responsibility for the deaths, and ended up getting a settlement from Gaddafi almost eight years ago for $2.7 billion, or $10 million per death, based on the US and UK easing sanctions. Libya began funding the settlement in 2008 with a $1.5 billion payment.
Still, this allegation of Gaddafi’s personal involvement puts even more pressure on Barack Obama to act. If true, then it makes Gaddafi one of the deadliest terrorists in the world, at least by counting American deaths. Assuming Abdel-Jalil can deliver the proof, will Obama demand that Gaddafi get extradited to the US — along with Megrahi — to stand trial for his crimes?