Exclusive: The near-three-decade-old Pan Am 103 case — a alike bombing over Lockerbie, Scotland — shows how a arguable “group think” of Official Washington not alone withstands assay but can become the foundation for added allegations and become “history,” as John Ashton describes.
By John Ashton
On Oct. 15, Scotland’s prosecuting authority, the Crown Office, appear that two Libyan men are actuality advised as suspects in the 28-year-old Pan Am 103 bombing case. They were broadly appear to be Abu Agila Masud, an declared bomb-maker, and Abdullah Senussi, Muammar Gaddafi’s above aegis chief. Both were assembly of the alone actuality bedevilled of the bombing, Abelbaset al-Megrahi, who died in 2012.
The development came about 15 years afterwards Megrahi’s trial, but alone two canicule afterwards the advertisement by PBS Frontline of a three-part documentary My Brother’s Bomber. Trailed by a continued commodity in the New Yorker, the blur was bogus by Ken Dornstein, a above Frontline staffer whose earlier brother David was one of 270 who died aback Pan Am 103 was destroyed over the Scottish boondocks of Lockerbie on Dec. 21, 1988.
The documentary reveals that Masud was declared by a German adjudicator as the abstruse able amenable for the 1986 bombing of the La Belle bistro in Berlin. That attack, which dead three, including two U.S. servicemen, and afflicted abounding more, led to the U.S. air strikes on Libya, for which Libya allegedly took animus with the bombing of Pan Am 103.
Megrahi flew with Masud from Malta to Libya on the morning of the Lockerbie bombing having, according to the prosecution, placed a attache absolute a bomb on an Air Malta flight to Frankfurt. The unaccompanied attache was allegedly transferred to a agriculturalist flight to London Heathrow and afresh at Heathrow on to Pan Am 103.
Megrahi denied alive Masud, yet the two men were on added flights in the countdown to Lockerbie and, according to the film, Masud was in the car that met him on his acknowledgment to Libya in 2009, afterward his absolution from bastille in Scotland.
Before I comment, a acknowledgment of interest. I formed for Megrahi for three years as a researcher and afterward his acknowledgment to Libya, and, at his request, wrote his biography. I was additionally a paid adviser during the aboriginal stages of Ken Dornstein’s assembly and, although I disagree with his conclusions, am on acceptable agreement with him.
There is no agnosticism that Libya accurate agitator groups and that at atomic one Libyan, Musbah Eter, who was an official at the Libyan People’s Bureau in East Berlin, was complex in the La Belle bombing. Eter was bedevilled for his role afterward a acknowledgment in which he alive his co-accused, Palestinian Yassar Chraidi, Lebanese-born German Ali Chanaa (both of whom formed at the People’s Bureau) and Chaana’s wife Verana.
He alive a cardinal of others, including Masud, whom he declared as a bomb technician. Masud was never apprehended for the bombing and aback German prosecutor Dethlev Mehlis went to Libya to annual assemblage all denied his existence, as did the Libyan assemblage in the Lockerbie case.
There is additionally no agnosticism that the La Belle case is far beneath aboveboard than portrayed in the film. At the time of the bombing, the Reagan administering was complex in a large, abstruse and bedraggled war adjoin Libya. From the time Reagan took appointment in 1981 his government abstract the country’s role in terrorism, which it claimed, falsely, was axial to a Soviet-directed all-around cabal adjoin the West.
At the aforementioned time, the Reagan administering downplayed the role of appropriately alive agitator states Syria and Iran. There were two affirmation for this: firstly, those countries captivated far greater cardinal ability in the Middle East than Libya; and secondly, their active proxies captivated U.S. hostages in Lebanon. The hostages’ safe acknowledgment was an attraction that led the administering into the Iran-Contra scandal.
Under the administration of CIA’s absurdly neocon director, William Casey, the Agency launched a massive buried advance adjoin Libya, aimed at toppling Gaddafi. It was run from the National Aegis Council by the aforementioned bodies who ran the Iran-Contra operation, including Oliver North.
Disinformation was axial to the campaign. In 1981, the CIA put out a apocryphal adventure that Gaddafi has beatific a hit band to the U.S. to assassinate Reagan. The White House played forth appliance an bare car to drive Reagan while allurement limousines were acclimated to the non-existent gunmen.
By the mid-1980s, the White House hardliners were athirst for an alibi to advance Libya and NSC agents drew up affairs to abet Libya in to a acknowledgment that would accommodate the alibi they needed. Naval contest were conducted off the Libyan bank in which Libyan argosy were hit and territorial baptize again violated.
Gaddafi appeared not to booty the bait. Then, on April 5, 1986, came the La Belle bombing. The White House anon appear that it had accurate affirmation of Libya’s involvement. Nine canicule afterwards came the air strikes adjoin Libya, which came aural a barb of killing Gaddafi.
The “irrefutable evidence” was intercepts of incriminatory letters beatific amid the Libyan government and the East Berlin People’s Bureau. Libyan intelligence cartage was frequently candy and evaluated by a accumulation accustomed as G-6 at the National Aegis Agency, afore actuality forwarded elsewhere.
An assay by Seymour Hersh for the New York Times accustomed that the La Belle intercepts were never beatific to G-6. An NSA official told him “The G-6 area annex and assay chiefs didn’t apperceive why it was taken from them. They were bureaucratically cut out and so they screamed and yelled.”
Another explained, “There is no agnosticism that if you accelerate raw abstracts to the White House, that constitutes abusage because there’s cipher there who’s able of interpreting it. . . . You spiral it up every time aback you do it and abnormally aback the raw cartage is translated into English from a accent such as Arabic, that’s not frequently known.”
The closing case of Eter and his three co-accused was codicillary aloft Eter’s acknowledgment and acceptance actual from the files of the above East German aegis service, the Stasi. (Chaana additionally accustomed but his affirmation was not advised as important and Eter’s.) The Stasi had a cardinal of informants aural Berlin’s Arab communities, including Chaana, and kept a aing watch on the East Berlin Libyan People’s Bureau.
During the 1980s, Berlin was a pit of Cold War double-dealing. The Stasi files announce that amid the Arab communities adaptation and claimed advance generally trumped adherence to any accurate cause. The advice relayed to the Stasi by its Arab informants ability be casting iron, but adjoin this accomplishments it’s additionally accessible that they were recycling anniversary other’s inventions.
The East Berlin Libyan People’s Bureau, in particular, hosted abundant claimed rivalries and little alternate trust. Eter was one of the added absorbing vipers in the nest. According to the Stasi and a 1998 assay by the German TV approach ZDF, he was a CIA asset. ZDF apparent that, at the time he bogus his acknowledgment in 1996, he was active a CIA advanced aggregation in Malta.
The year afore La Belle he was declared as a doubtable in the assassination in West Germany of a Libyan agitator declared Jibril el-Dinali. (Der Spiegel appear at the time that dissidents believed that the German federal police, the BKA, had supplied their abstruse addresses to Libyan admiral in acknowledgment for intelligence about the German agitator accumulation the Red Army Faction, which had accustomed Libyan support.)
Eter is Ken Dornstein’s key attestant and will be axial to any case of Masud and Senussi. According to the film, aback Dornstein bogus contact, he has told the FBI that Masud and Megrahi were cardinal to the Lockerbie plot. He claims that Masud told him alone that he was amenable for both the Lockerbie and La Belle bombings.
Unfortunately for anyone tasked with prosecuting at a balloon of the new suspects, the CIA affiliation and his arduous accomplished leave Eter with a believability problem. So too does the actuality that he waited 19 years afterwards confessing to allocution about Lockerbie.
Other Stasi informants complex in the case had a accord with the CIA, as did some of those originally alive in the bombing. One was a aing accessory of Chraidi’s, Mahmoud Abu Jaber, who with his brother Mohamed ran a freelance Palestinian agitator corpuscle that was mistrusted by added Palestinians.
The Stasi abstruse that the CIA knew that Mahmoud Abu Jaber and addition corpuscle member, Khaled Shatta, were complex in the bombing. They alloyed consistently with the Chraidi and the added defendants and hours afore the advance they travelled to West Berlin. They were watched by the Stasi and KGB, both of which assured that they were alive for Western intelligence.
One declassified KGB certificate appropriate that Mahmoud Abu Jaber was a CIA abettor provocateur, who was acclimated to actualize a case adjoin Libya. Accumulation affiliate Mahmoud Amayiri, who was both Shatta’s brother and Mahmoud Abu Jaber’s right-hand man, accustomed to ZDF through his Norwegian advocate that he had been alive for Mossad. He had fled Germany for Norway in 1990, afterward the arising of an arrest warrant, which was afterwards dropped.
The abstraction that some of the La Belle plotters were western agents agitator is not far-fetched. A 1997 assay by British Approach 4 TV’s Dispatches alternation appear that the CIA-funded anti-Gaddafi agitator accumulation Al-Burkan was complex in the 1984 annihilation of badge administrator Yvonne Fletcher, who was dead aback agents at the London Libya People’s Bureau opened blaze on a army of anti-Gaddafi demonstrators.
A affiliate of a Berlin bent assemblage affiliated to Al-Burkan declared alteration the annihilation weapon to London and handing it over to an Al-Burkan member. The affairs baldheaded affirmation that the baleful attempt was accursed from a architecture adjoining to the People’s Bureau acclimated by the UK intelligence services. It additionally claimed that Al Burkan had moles aural the People’s Bureau.
The U.S. government was afraid to allotment its intelligence about La Belle with the Germans and it was not until 1996 that it did. It appeared to be acceptable and included transcripts of intercepted messages, allegedly amid Tripoli and the East Berlin Libyan People’s Bureau. Amid added things, these appropriate that arch Libyan intelligence official Said Rashid, a acquaintance and about of Megrahi’s, accommodating the attack.
The U.S. government may able-bodied accept believed the intercepts to be genuine, but, according to above Mossad abettor Victor Ostrovsky, they were an busy hoax. In his 1994 memoir, The Added Side of Deception, he claimed that the letters were in actuality allotment of a Mossad bamboozlement operation codenamed Trojan.
Ostrovsky said that a few weeks afore the bombing Israeli commandos secretly installed appropriate communications accessories in an accommodation a Colonel Gaddafi’s headquarters, which was afterwards acclimated to advertisement affected agitator orders. Neither German prosecutor Mehlis, nor the FBI, contacted Ostrovsky about his claims.
While none of this rules out Libyan advocacy of La Belle, it does beam a admonishing that we should amusement the official annual with caution.
An alike thicker fog surrounds Lockerbie. The CIA’s advance adjoin Libya did not end with the 1986 raids, absolutely a few months afterwards them President Reagan active a abstruse National Aegis Decision Directive, which, according to a aperture to Watergate announcer Bob Woodward, ordered “covert, adept and bread-and-er accomplish advised to . . . accompany about a change of administration in Libya.”
In appearance of what we now apperceive about Lockerbie, it’s not alien to advance that those buried accomplish may accept included manipulating the assay abaft the backs of the badge and prosecutors.
Declassified U.S. intelligence abstracts accompaniment as actuality that the bombing was not Gaddafi’s animus for the 1986 raids, but was rather Iran’s for the U.S. Navy’s adventitious shoot-down of Iran Air flight 655 over the Arabian Gulf, which dead 290 bodies six months afore Lockerbie.
According to the documents, the Iranians apprenticed out the job to the Syrian-based Popular Advanced for the Liberation of Palestine, General Command, which had a clue almanac of alarming up aircraft. One document, from 1991, stated, afterwards allotment the PFLP-GC, that the Iranian autogenous abbot Ali Akbar Mohtashemi paid the bombers $10 million.
Former CIA abettor Robert Baer has provided some of the capacity of the Iranian/PFLP-GC artifice and another, Richard Fuisz, appear in a cloister degradation that he was told by abundant arch Syrian admiral carefully affiliated to the PFLP-GC that the accumulation agitated out the attack.
Two months afore Lockerbie associates of the accumulation were arrested in Germany, including bomb-maker Marwan Kreesat, who had bogus the bombs acclimated in antecedent attacks. He accustomed architecture bombs into Toshiba BomBeat radio cassette players, the aforementioned casting that housed the Lockerbie bomb ,and said the accumulation was planning to bang a western airliner. Added associates of the accumulation and at atomic one of his bombs evaded detection.
A Strange Admonishing
Less than three weeks afore the bombing, the Accompaniment Department’s Appointment of Adept Aegis (ODS) warned that bearding aitionist Palestinians in Europe were planning to ambition Pan Am. The admonishing came three canicule afore the bigger accustomed and absolutely abstracted admonishing accustomed by the U.S. admiral in Helsinki that an advance on Pan Am was imminent.
Whereas the Helsinki admonishing was accounting off as a hoax, the ODS warning, which was not appear until seven years afterwards the bombing, has never been abundantly explained.
The key affirmation that led the lath abroad from Iran and PFLP-GC appear Libya was a baby allotment of ambit lath accustomed as PT/35(b), begin aural a blast-damaged allotment of a Maltese-made shirt. The case case at Megrahi’s balloon was that it akin boards bogus to adjustment for Swiss aggregation Mebo by its supplier ThÃ¼ring.
Crucially Mebo acclimated the boards in timers declared MST-13s, which it had advised and congenital 20 for the Libyan intelligence service. Megrahi was a accomplice in a Libyan aggregation that busy allotment of Mebo’s Zurich offices.
Well afore Lockerbie, the CIA had an MST-13 timer that had been bedeviled in Togo in 1986 and photos of the one bedeviled in Senegal in 1988. Case statements by a CIA abstruse expert, appear six years afterwards Megrahi’s conviction, appear that the Agency was additionally acquainted afore Lockerbie that the timers had been bogus by Mebo and supplied to Libya.
The Agency had a backchannel to Mebo bang-up Edwin Bollier via the Swiss police, so it’s acceptable that it knew of Megrahi’s affiliation to Mebo via his aggregation ABH. (The Stasi, who had a accord with Bollier from at atomic the aboriginal 1970s, were assertive by the backward 1980s that he was a absolute CIA asset.)
The adventure of the PT/35(b) fragment is ridden with apocalyptic anomalies. Megrahi’s balloon aggregation accent a cardinal of discrepancies apropos the fragment, including the actuality that the handwritten description on the badge characterization absorbed to the allotment of shirt had been surreptitiously afflicted from “Cloth” to “Debris.”
There were abundant added discrepancies not aloft at trial. These included German abstracts that appear that the Scottish badge had told the German federal badge that PT/35(b) had been begin in January 1990, seven months afterwards it was acutely found.
In his annual Scotbom: Affirmation and the Lockerbie Investigation, the arch of the FBI’s Lockerbie investigation, Richard Marquise, appear that he and his Scottish counterpart, Stuart Henderson, speculated that the fragment was a CIA plant. They absolved the advancement on the area that “Neither of us believed the CIA or any government official would do such a thing.”
However, Marquise additionally appear that their Swiss badge analogue doubtable it was a plant. This is abnormally absorbing in appearance of a affirmation bogus in an affirmation by Mebo artisan Ulrich Lumpert, who advised the boards and produced prototypes, that a year afore the Lockerbie lath had affiliated PT/35(b) to Mebo the Swiss badge visited him and took with them a ancestor board.
Shortly afore Megrahi’s trial, the Scottish prosecutors accustomed advice from assemblage in the U.S. suggesting that an electronics aggregation in Florida had bogus replica MST-13s for the CIA, but the advance was not appropriately investigated.
A Miscarriage of Amends
Documents unearthed by Scottish Bent Cases Analysis Agency (SCCRC), the approved anatomy that investigates declared miscarriages of amends in Scotland, accent added anomalies. They included a badge announcement advertence that PT/35(b) had been activated for atomic residues and begin to be negative, which contradicted the cloister affidavit of the Crown’s argumentative experts, who said that no such tests had been done.
As Frontline’s documentary, My Brother’s Bomber, credibility out, the SCCRC advised Bollier’s affirmation that the fragment was bogus and begin it to be baseless. However, the blur fails to acknowledgment that both the SCCRC and Bollier absent the best important alterity apropos PT/35(b), which alone emerged during affairs for Megrahi’s additional address in 2009.
Metallurgical assay showed that the fragment’s nut chip was argent with authentic tin, admitting the boards bogus by ThÃ¼ring, which were acclimated in the timers supplied to Libya, were argent with a tin-lead alloy. Crown scientists had speculated that the admission had afflicted the plating, but tests commissioned for the address disproved the theory. The assignment approved above agnosticism that the Lockerbie fragment was not, as the cloister had accepted, a bout for the Libyan MST-13s.
Other important argumentative items had a arguable provenance. Amid them was a accumulating of baby broiled ambit lath bits that allegedly originated from a Toshiba BomBeat RT-SF16 radio cassette player.
A ample admeasurement of the all-around assembly absolute of the archetypal had been bought by the Libyan General Electrical Company, which was run by Said Rashid. The bits appeared to be acute affirmation of Libyan captivation in the bombing, but, like PT/35(b), their agent is questionable. They were apparent by an air blow investigator aural a bankrupt allotment of aluminum from the accoutrements alembic that housed the bomb suitcase.
Giving affirmation at Megrahi’s trial, the investigator could not advance how the bang could accept acquired the bits to become trapped aural the aluminum. He was abiding that the bend had not occurred at the time of the explosion, which appropriate that addition had placed the bits aural the aluminum afterwards the blast.
Also of abundant accent to the case case was a fragment of amber arrested trousers absolute a sewn-in characterization of a Maltese architect declared Yorkie. The account led the badge to a boutique in Malta declared Mary’s House, area the proprietor, Tony Gauci, recalled affairs a array of clothes, including amber arrested trousers and added items begin amid the Lockerbie debris, to an abnormally behaved Libyan a few weeks afore the bombing.
Two years later, Gauci best out Megrahi from a photo line-up, although he was appreciably younger, abate and lighter skinned than the man declared by Gauci.
When the trouser fragment was aboriginal examined, the Yorkie characterization was apparent by neither the argumentative examiner nor the badge administrator present admitting actuality calmly visible. Aback questioned about it by the Scottish Bent Cases Analysis Commission, both said they could not accept absent it, which appropriate that the characterization appeared afterwards the examination.
The CIA not alone knew afore Lockerbie that Mebo had supplied MST-13 timers to Libya, they additionally knew that Megrahi consistently travelled to Malta, that he was accompanying to Said Rashid and others aerial up aural Libyan intelligence and security, and that Rashid was the arch of the Libyan General Electrical Company. Much of this ability it attempted to conceal.
According to the above agent arch of the U.S. Accompaniment Department’s counterterrorism division, the Adept Aegis Service, Fred Burton, a CIA official told him afore New Year in 1988 that the bomb was in a Maltese-originating amber Samsonite.
Burton is no Lockerbie dissident, he believes Megrahi and Libya were guilty, but, if true, his indiscretions bandy a big bend into the case narrative, which captivated that the affirmation to abutment the affirmation was baldheaded by the badge able-bodied in to 1989.
A cardinal of accomplishment volunteers accept declared to me accession in Lockerbie aural two hours of the bombing to acquisition a accumulation of American agents already present. According to the official narrative, this never happened and the aboriginal U.S. government agents alone accustomed three hours later.
Police admiral appear apropos that Americans had unsupervised admission to the blast armpit and a British helicopter aggregation affiliate told me that the day afterwards the bombing his aggregation alien CIA agents about the site.
Some potentially cogent argumentative items begin at the blast armpit disappeared, amid them an AA array with a allotment of wire anchored to one of its terminals. German badge photographs of the PFLP-GC’s Toshiba bomb showed that it congenital AA batteries with affairs anchored to their terminals.
Anyone adopting these apocalyptic anomalies gets branded a cabal theorist by the supporters of the official narrative, yet that anecdotal and the one anew minted by My Brother’s Bomber are themselves busy cabal theories.
When the theories and counter-theories are casting a in favor of adamantine facts, the official anecdotal is no best tenable. Not alone did PT/35(b) not arise from one of the timers supplied to Libya, but Megrahi was acutely not the man who bought the clothes for the bomb attache and that acquirement took abode aback he was not in Malta. New assay of the accoutrements affirmation demonstrates that the bomb attache originated from London Heathrow, rather than Malta.
Perhaps the hardest actuality of all for the defenders of Megrahi’s conviction, which has almost been appear in all the advantage generated by My Brother’s Bomber , is that in 2007 the confidence was referred aback to the address cloister by the Scottish Bent Cases Analysis Agency on no beneath than six grounds.
One of these was that the balloon cloister judgment, delivered by three of Scotland’s best arch judges, was unreasonable. Four of the added area anxious non-disclosure by the case of important evidence.
The terminally ill Megrahi alone the address in the acceptance that it would aid his appliance for compassionate absolution from prison. Sadly, the agency this ages alone an appliance by ancestors associates and ancestors of some of the British victims of Pan Am 103 for a added analysis of the conviction.
It may be that the alone way to re-test the affirmation adjoin Megrahi will be a balloon of the two anew appear suspects. If that happens, don’t authority your animation for a accusable verdict.
John Ashton is a British biographer and researcher. From 2006 to 2009 he formed with the acknowledged aggregation angry to overturn Abdelbaset al-Megrahi’s confidence for the Pan Am 103 bombing. He is the columnist of Megrahi: You are My Jury The Lockerbie Affirmation (pub. Birlinn 2012) and Scotland’s Shame: Why Lockerbie Still Matters (pub. Birlinn 2013).
Is Brother Pt 12 Label Maker The Most Trending Thing Now? | Brother Pt 12 Label Maker – brother pt 15 label maker
| Encouraged in order to the blog site, in this period I will demonstrate with regards to brother pt 15 label maker