Lockerbie bombings suspect makes first US court appearance

Abu Agila Muhammad Massoud, bomb making suspicion The man who destroyed a passenger plane in Lockerbie, Scotland in 1988, killing 190 Americans, made his first appearance in US federal court on Monday.

When Masood entered the federal courtroom, he found the families of his alleged victims face to face. Thirty-four years earlier, in December 1988, Pan Am Flight 103, traveling from London to New York, exploded over Lockerbie, killing all 259 people on board and 11 of the deadliest casualties on British soil. Killed in the deadly terrorist attack.

Abu Agila Mohammed Massoud, the suspect in making the bomb that destroyed a passenger plane over Lockerbie, Scotland in 1988, appears in DC federal court on Dec. 12, 2022.

William J. Courtroom Sketches by Hennessey, Jr.

In his initial appearance in court, Masood, who walks with a limp, wore an Alexandria sheriff’s jail uniform and a white mask. He removed the mask during the hearing. Masood communicated through an interpreter with Magistrate Judge Robin Meriwether and a public defender from Virginia. The public protector said that Masood had informed him that he wanted to appoint a lawyer of his own and sought a week’s time to do so.

A federal grand jury in Washington, D.C. indicted three counts: two counts of destruction of an aircraft resulting in death and one count of destruction of a vehicle used in foreign commerce by means of an explosive resulting in death. . The indictment comes two years after Massoud, a 71-year-old Libyan national born in Tunisia, was first accused of taking part in a terrorist attack.

Each charge carries a maximum penalty of prison or death, but prosecutors told the court they would not seek the death penalty because it was not permitted under federal law at the time of the alleged crime.

Masood will be taken into custody for trial later this month. In court on Monday, prosecutors urged the judge to keep the alleged bomb designer behind bars, saying “countless families have never fully recovered from his actions”.

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