Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Semtex mystery

[The text of Peter Biddulph's letter, as published in The Sunday Times on 20 June, is as follows:]

You report that Libyan Semtex “was used in the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 at Lockerbie, when 270 were killed, for which Libya has paid more than £5m to each family” (“Gadaffi to pay £2bn to victims of IRA bombs”, News, last week).

As a longtime researcher — jointly with Dr Jim Swire, among others — into the Lockerbie bombing, I have found no mention of the use of Libyan Semtex. Nor does one appear in any associated documents or even allegations by those involved in the inquiry (including the Scottish police, the FBI and the CIA).

The origins of the Semtex used and the explosive enhancer have never been proved or even guessed at. The critical evidence advanced at trial — that the timer that triggered the bomb came from a batch sold to Libya — is itself now subject to deep suspicions that it was manufactured and planted.


  1. Curiously, in the sometimes related UTA destruction, the explosive used was Pentrite, the detonator (one was found) was of ICI manufacture, and the timer (it was a timer, unlike Pan Am 103) was of Taiwanese manufacture sourced from Taiwanese company.

    But then the Lockerbie investigators have always been casual as to fact.

    The Libyans even had copies of the UTA device, used in store in the ESO/JSO at the time of Lockerbie!

    So why didn't they use them? And go to the complicated business of sourcing their stuff from MEBO?

  2. Is this not now NI copyright? (as far as I was aware you had to provide a bung to have anything published in the ST).

    Mr Biddulph's letter does not mention the key fact that the story was wrong or premature - no such announcement was made. I presume he had to submit it several days in advance of publication.

    The Sunday Times reader may find Mr Biddulph's argument nothing but sophistry. How do you identify the origin of semtex (or the Value alternative C4) that has been detonated? As a Libyan was convicted of the bombing it follows that it was was "Libyan semtex". Would Mr Biddulph have been satisfied if the article said "semtex was used in the Lockerbie bombing for whih a Libyan national was convicted."

    I am sorry he did not use his letter to link Libya's arming of the IRA (and other terrorist/liberation groups) to the blaming of Libya for the Lockerbie bombing. Perhaps he doesn't see this.

  3. I agree, Biddulph blew it.