The prosecution stated to the man accused of crafting the explosive utilized in the most deadly terror attack to take place in the United Kingdom that they will not attempt to seek the death penalty if he is convicted.
An intelligence operative from Libya, Abu Agila Mohammad Mas’ud Kheir Al-Marimi was taken in front of a federal court in Washington, D.C. this past Monday regarding the 1988 bombing of Pan Am flight 103 which resulted in the deaths of over 170 people, as reported by the BBC. The bomb allegedly built by Mas’ud was detonated while onboard the plane and took it down as it flew over Lockerbie, Scotland, while making its way out to New York, taking the flight down and killing everyone who had been on board the plane along with a group of 11 local residents who had been on the ground.
Mas’ud is the first person to be officially tried within the United States of a crime in relation to the terrorist attack from 1988. A group of family members of some of the victims of the destroyed flight appeared in the courtroom. the victims of flight 103 came from over 21 different countries. Of the 270 who were killed in the attack, 190 of them were American.
Officials extradited Mas’ud to the U.S. this past weekend from where he was in Libya being held on a number of charges in an entirely unrelated case. As of writing, it is still currently unclear just how Mas’ud wound up in the hands of U.S. authorities from Libya, as explained by The Washington Post.
Currently, Mas’ud is looking down the barrel of three charges in relation to the terror attack, which includes the destruction of an aircraft resulting in death. Prosecutor Erik Kenerson stated to the court that he would be attempting to secure the death penalty for this case, despite it being a historically accepted sentence for the crimes Mas’ud is facing. Back when the crime was first committed back in 1988, the death penalty would not have been on the table for recommended sentence, explained Kenerson, so he would not be trying to seek it now in 2022, as reported by ABC News.
“His actions killed all 259 passengers and crew on board the aircraft and 11 people on the ground in Lockerbie,” stated Kenerson. “Countless families have never fully recovered as a result of his actions and never will fully recover.”
The U.S. charged Mas’ud for his alleged role in the terror attack from 1988 in December of 2020 while the Justice Department was still led by former Attorney General Bill Barr.
“These charges are the product of decades of hard work by investigators and prosecutors who have remained resolute in their dogged pursuit of justice for our citizens, the citizens of the United Kingdom, and the citizens of the other 19 countries that were murdered by terrorists operating on behalf of the former Muamar Qaddafi regime when they attacked Pan Am Flight 103,” explained Barr in a statement at that time.
“As to all the victims and the families, we cannot take away your pain from your loss, but we can seek justice for you,” he went on. “Our message to other terrorists around the world is this – you will not succeed – if you attack Americans, no matter where you are, no matter how long it takes, you will be pursued to the ends of the earth until justice is done.”
Flight 103 was destroyed as it made its way from London to New York City. The debris from the aircraft rained down over Lockerbie and “destroyed an entire city block where homes had peacefully stood just minutes earlier,” as stated by the Department of Justice.