Abu Agila Mohammad Mas’ud, a Libyan intelligence operative charged in the 1988 bombing of an American jetliner over Lockerbie, Scotland, was arrested by the F.B.I. and is being extradited to the U.S. to face prosecution for one of the deadliest terrorist attacks in U.S. history, Times reports.
The arrest was the culmination of a decades-long effort by the Justice Department to prosecute him. It is unclear how the U.S. government negotiated his extradition. Mas’ud, who is accused of building the explosive device used in the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103, which killed 270 passengers, including 190 Americans, was being held at a Libyan prison for unrelated crimes.
Mas’ud confessed to the bombing in 2012 to a Libyan law enforcement official. His suspected role in the bombing received new scrutiny in a three-part documentary on “Frontline” on PBS in 2015.
Extradition would allow Mas’ud to stand trial. But legal experts have expressed doubts about whether his confession, obtained in prison in war-torn Libya, would be admissible as evidence.