US to probe claims Gaddafi ordered Lockerbie bomb


The Obama administration will look into allegations that embattled Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi may have ordered the 1988 Lockerbie bombing, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told lawmakers..

Libya said in 2003 it accepted responsibility for the actions of its officials in connection with the bombing, which killed 259 people on Pan Am Flight 103 and 11 on the ground in the Scottish town.

Gaddafi, who has never been held to account over the bombing, is fighting to keep control of Libya, the latest Arab nation facing popular protests that have toppled authoritarian governments in neighbouring Tunisia and Egypt, Reuters reports.

Clinton on Tuesday was given a letter to President Barack Obama signed by two family members of Lockerbie victims asking the United States to continue investigating the matter.
“We will follow up on that,” Clinton told US lawmakers.
“I will certainly contact, after this hearing, FBI Director (Robert) Mueller and Attorney General (Eric) Holder and others to see how we can move on that,” she said.
“Because there have been statements made … by what are now former members of the Libyan government fingering Gaddafi, making it clear that the order came from the very top, I think we do need to move expeditiously.”

Former Libyan Justice Minister Mustafa Mohamed Abud al Jeleil, who has broken with Gaddafi and declared himself the head of a caretaker opposition government, was quoted on February 23 as saying Gaddafi himself ordered the Lockerbie bombing.

Abdel Basset al-Megrahi, a Libyan, was sentenced to life in prison in 2001 for his part in blowing up Pan Am 103 but was released by the Scottish government in 2009 when he was judged by doctors to be terminally ill.

A US federal law enforcement official told Reuters that US charges against Megrahi and a second Libyan for the Lockerbie attack remain active and “the investigation into the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 remains open.”