Abu Agila Masud, a Libyan intelligence official, will face federal charges in Washington over alleged involvement in the 1988 Lockerbie bombing, the U.S. Justice Department said Sunday.
This comes after Scottish authorities announced yesterday that Masud had arrived in U.S. custody. Last month it was reported that Masud had been kidnapped by a militia group in Libya, leading to speculation that he was going to be handed over to the American authorities to stand trial.
The Associated Press reported today that, although he is the third Libyan intelligence official charged in the U.S. in connection with the attack, he would be the first to appear in an American courtroom for prosecution.
Charges against Masud were first announced by American authorities in December 2020. He was being held at a Libyan prison for unrelated crimes when the Justice Department unsealed the charges, which include destruction of an aircraft resulting in death.
Masud, who was born in Tunisia but has Libyan citizenship, was the third person charged in the bombing. Two others, Abdelbaset Al-Megrahi and Al-Amin Khalifa Fhimah, were charged in 1991, but American efforts to prosecute them ran aground when Libya declined to send them to the United States or Britain to stand trial.
Instead, the Libyan government agreed to a trial in the Netherlands under Scottish law. Fhimah was acquitted and Al-Megrahi was convicted in 2001 and sentenced to life in prison.