Libya 'open to collaboration' with US over extradition of Lockerbie bombing suspect

Abu Agila Mohammed Masud accused of building bomb that took down plane in 1998

A member of Libya’s government has said it is open to “collaboration” with the US over the extradition of a Libyan man wanted over the 1988 Lockerbie bombing that killed 270 people.

Najla El Mangoush, the Foreign Minister of the Libyan interim government, said “positive outcomes are coming” in regards to the case of Abu Agila Mohammed Masud, an alleged bombmaker currently detained in Libya on separate charges.

Last December, the US announced terrorism-related charges against Masud, who it is claimed worked for Libyan intelligence services during the rule of ousted dictator Muammar Qaddafi. He is accused of building the explosive device that took down the plane in 1988.

The bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 from London to New York killed 190 American citizens. The Libyan government at the time paid compensation to the families of victims in 2003 and accepted responsibility for the attack.

“We as a government, we are very open in terms of collaboration in this matter. We understand the pain and the sadness of the victims and the families. We need to also respect the laws,” Ms Mangoush told the BBC.

Libya’s interim government is expected to make way for a new administration after elections scheduled for next month.

Abdelbaset Al Megrahi was convicted in 2001 under Scottish law of murder over the 1988 attacks. He was released on compassionate grounds in 2009 and lived in Libya until his death in 2012.

Mr Al Megrahi is the only person to be convicted over the bombing. His co-accused Lamin Khalifah Fhimah was found not guilty.

Updated: November 4th 2021, 3:08 PM