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In December 1988 a bomb exploded on a Pam Am plane over Lockerbie in Scotland. Almost immediately investigators and journalists pointed the finger at Syria. The bombing had been done, they said, in revenge for the Americans shooting down an Iranian airliner in the Gulf a few months before. Adam Curtis, Hypernormalisation, BBC 2016
From an MI5 document … Flight Pan Am 103, the Lockerbie flight: In 1995 an American Intelligence summary written three months before the bombing was released under the US Freedom of Information Act. It warned of a terrorist attack and specifically mentioned Pan Am as a likely target. Mark Thomas’ Comedy Product: Secret Map of Britain, Channel 4 2002
Pan Am Flight 103 mysteriously blew up in mid-air over the small Scottish town of Lockerbie. Terror Attacks that Shocked Britain
The final blow came in December 1988 when Pan Am Flight 103 from London to New York exploded in mid-air over the Scottish town of Lockerbie. Come Fly with Me (The Story of Pan Am), BBC 2011
A suitcase from Malta has made its way through Frankfurt and is being loaded on to a jumbo jet bound for New York. At two minutes past seven the plane explodes killing everyone on board and eleven people on the ground as it causes carnage in the Scottish town of Lockerbie. Lockerbie: Terror at 31,000 Feet, Channel 5 2014
Primed and ready to go, the bomb in the suitcase was placed on Flight KM180 from Malta’s international airport. ibid.
Across the town there was devastation. ibid.
Blackmail Won Lockerbie Release. The Sunday Times headline February 2011
Consigned to a scrap-yard in Lincolnshire the remains of a jumbo jet. She was called Maid of the Seas – 747 clipper of the proud Pan Am Fleet. This is her story. It was 21st December 1988. Travellers were hurrying home for Christmas. Pan Am flight 103 was leaving London bound for New York and on to Detroit. Many of her passengers had joined the plane from a connected flight which had just come in from Frankfurt. At 7 o’clock the 747 was approaching the Scottish borders. Nearly six miles below in the town of Lockerbie families were settling down for Christmas. At three minutes past seven Air Traffic Control lost contact with Pan Am flight 103. The Conspiracy Files – Lockerbie, BBC 2008
The motive? Just five months before Lockerbie, the USS Vincent was on patrol in the gulf. Cameras on board captured the drama unfold as the American warship infringed Iranian waters and then shot down what they presumed as a hostile Iranian fighter. Only it wasn’t. It was an Iranian civilian plane on a scheduled flight. Two hundred and ninety passengers and crew were killed. Radio Tehran broadcast threats that the skies would rain blood in revenge. Ahmed Jibril had close links to Iran, and just two months before the attack on Pan Am, West German police arrested members of his faction in Frankfurt. And ... they found more highly incriminating evidence – bombs hidden in cassette radios designed to blow up at altitude. There was plenty of circumstantial evidence that the cell was planning to attack aircraft. But no proof linking them to Lockerbie. ibid.
Juval Aviv runs a corporate investigation agency and claims to be a former MOSAD agent. After the crash Pan Am hired him because they wanted to find out exactly what had gone wrong – vital information in the inevitable legal battle for compensation that would ensue in the American courts. Aviv reported back with the most controversial of the Lockerbie conspiracy theories – that CIA agents had allowed the bomb to be planted on board the jumbo jet. This is his theory: rogue elements in the CIA were running a top-secret operation to allow Middle East terrorists to smuggle drugs into America via Frankfurt Airport. In return the CIA hoped to receive help in securing the release of American terrorists held in Beirut. And Aviv claims none other than Ahmed Jibril infiltrated the plot. ibid.
On the day of the crash one piece of luggage was transferred on the Pan Am feeding flight from an Air Malta flight – a check revealed no passenger had been transferred with it. The bag had travelled unaccompanied. And there was another link to Malta. These fragments of clothing recovered from the crash site. The police concluded the scorching meant they had been in a suitcase with the bomb. One of the fragments had Made in Malta on the label. But why would Malta be linked to the Lockerbie attack? Libya is a short hop from the Mediterranean island. Colonel Gaddafi’s regime restrained by sanctions used it as a back door to the West. Gaddafi had long supported terrorism in Europe and the Middle East. Two years before Lockerbie, President Reagan had ordered a bombing raid on Libya in reprisal for a terrorist attack which killed two American servicemen. Gaddafi escaped unhurt. But among those killed was his four-year-old adopted daughter. Like the Iranians he too had a motive to hit back at America just before President Reagan left office. The investigators built a case against two Libyans with links to Malta. Abdelbaset al-Megrahi had been head of airline security for Libyan Arab airlines. ibid.
It was found among debris about twenty-two miles downwind of the crash site. A fragment embedded in a piece of burnt cloth. It was the breakthrough. The investigators said it came from an electronic circuit-board. ibid.
The [Toshiba] manual appeared to have changed from being an almost complete and legible piece of paper ... The strange disintegration of the Toshiba manual wasn’t the only discrepancy to do with the evidence at the trial. When the court turned to the timer fragment it became clear something unusual had happened here too ... The label had been changed. The word cloth had been overwritten with the word debris. ibid.
In one of the containers was the device in a suitcase, and when it went off, the initial shock from the blast blew a hole about the size of a window, maybe a bit more ... In that process it put enough stress into this part of the skin to work upon the cracks ... and blow outwards this huge hole you see here. Peter Claiden, Air Accidents Investigation Branch
Shortly before lunchtime and the phone rang so I picked it up. And there was a very guttural Arab-sounding-speaking man speaking broken English on the phone, saying he knew of a plot to bomb an American airliner ... a horrible coincidence. Ken Luzzi, Special Agent, US Embassy Helsinki
This fragment is the most important piece of evidence in the whole Lockerbie affair. And this piece of evidence was fabricated by some official body in order to implicate Libya in the case. According to my investigation, this could only have been done by the FBI or the Scottish police. Edwin Bollier, Mebo telecommunications
And we kept watching this aircraft explode, and then we would be asked to go back again to re-live it again, to go right back to the moment just before it exploded again to try to pinpoint where this explosion took place. What we were looking at was Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, which we were forced to re-live over and over again. And it was literally within hours of that aircraft exploding in mid-air that the remote viewers were providing information to the defence intelligence agency that stated that there was an explosion that took place on the front left quadrant of this aircraft, below the passenger line and in front of the wings. David Moorhouse
Lockerbie is Britain’s worst terrorist atrocity. And one of the most controversial cases in legal history. It took three years to investigate, and another ten to bring two suspects to court. But critics describe the co-defendants as fool guys in a game of international politics. It’s claimed instead that the masterminds behind the plot remain unnamed and unpunished. Conspiracies: Lockerbie
In December 1988 just four days before Christmas a bomb exploded on an American passenger jet bound for New York. Twelve years later two suspects stood trial: only one of the men was found guilty of murder; the other was acquitted. Yet doubts remain about the involvement of either men. ibid.
Within days of the Lockerbie air disaster investigators had worked out why, how and who had carried out the attack. A bomb made of plastic explosive built inside a Toshiba tape-recorder had brought down Flight 103. The motive was revenge: most of the passengers were American. And the prime suspect was Iran aided and abetted by Syria. Earlier in the year a US warship had mistakenly shot down an Iranian passenger plane killing all two hundred and ninety-eight passengers. Iran immediately called for vengeance. And America had been bracing itself for an attack ever since. ibid.
But the police had only recovered four bombs in total; that left one bomb still unaccounted for. So could it be Jebril’s gang just carried on as planned and smuggled the missing bomb on to the Pan Am flight? Throughout the whole of the investigation Iran and Syria had been the prime suspects. But after three years Western security services came up with a shocking and unexpected conclusion: instead of targeting Iran and Syria, they suddenly pointed the finger of blame elsewhere: Colonel Gaddafi’s Libya. ibid.
The bombs that had been recovered in Germany weeks before also contained pressure timers. So this all points back once again to Iran and Syria. And the night before the Lockerbie disaster there had been a break-in at Heathrow Airport. ibid.
But how did US agents get to Lockerbie so quickly, and what were they doing there? ibid.