Saturday, 5 November 2011

Evidence Syrians bombed Pan Am flight 103

[This is the headline over a report by Lucy Adams on page 2 of today's edition of The Herald. The article, which does not appear on the newspaper's website, reads in part:]

Study casts Libyan as fall-guy

Fresh evidence on the Lockerbie bombing has been lodged with MSPs as part of the most comprehensive dossier on the atrocity to go before the Scottish Parliament.

The report to the Justice Committee, which will include evidence thrown up by the recent conflict in Libya, will make the case for a full judicial inquiry into the case. 

One of its key findings is that even at the time of the indictment of two Libyans, intelligence was suggesting the bomb had been provided by a Syrian terror group.

The report includes a document from Dr Jim Swire (...) which provides a summary of a new academic report citing major inconsistencies in the public and private views of the intelligence community.

The paper also raises concerns about major anomalies in the forensic evidence. (...)

Dr Swire says the report from the internationally renowned Centre for Conflict Resolution at Bradford University makes it clear the investigation into the case was "deeply dependent upon the intelligence agencies of Britain and America".

He says: "The paper shows that even by the time of the indictments against the two Libyans by Scotland and America at the end of 1991, American intelligence still believed the Lockerbie bomb had been provided by a Syrian terror group.

"American intelligence also knew the Syrian bombs could be kept at ground level indefinitely without exploding, but that once on an aircraft they sensed the drop in air pressure following take-off and would then inevitably explode within 35 - 45 minutes after leaving the ground, this timing not being adjustable.  The Lockerbie plane had flown for 38 minutes before being destroyed.

"The paper records that throughout most of the intervening months America had therefore been pressing for the expulsion of the leader  (Ahmed Jibril) of a Syrian terrorist group (the PFLP-GC) in the belief they had supplied the bomb that destroyed the Lockerbie aircraft.  Bombs of this type were unique to the Syrian PFLP-GC group."

Robert Black (...) told The Herald: "The fact they were trying to extradite Megrahi when they still believed another man was responsible, shows that privately they were saying Jibril was responsible yet publicly they wanted to blame someone else.

"The Libyan scenario was never intended to stand up in court.  It was simply intended to be good enough to convince the media in the US and UK someone had been caught.  But lo and behold they were lucky enough to get a bench of judges that swallowed it hook line and sinker."

The submission also includes a supplement from John Ashton who is Megrahi's official biographer.

He states: "I have had access to all the disclosed Crown evidence; the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission's statement of reasons, on the basis of which it granted him a second appeal against conviction; and all the evidence that would have been aired at Mr Megrahi's second appeal.  Uniquely, I have interviewed Mr Megrahi numerous times, both in prison and in Tripoli.  On the basis of everything that I have learned, I am convinced, not only that Mr Megrahi was wrongly convicted, but, more importantly, that the case is a huge scandal for the Scottish criminal justice system." (...)

[The report has at last -- Saturday evening -- been posted on the Herald Scotland website.  It can be read here.]


  1. How do we know the CIA "still believed the Lockerbie bomb had been provided by a Syrian terror group" in November 1991?

    Or is this simply another piece of CIA disinformation?

  2. 'But lo and behold they were lucky enough to get a bench of judges that swallowed it hook line and sinker'

    No, I don't think this was the case. The judges were primed by the intelligence services to bring in the verdict required.

  3. first its libya now its syria:
    as you may recall, Hariri assassination led to howls of outrage first against Syria, that led to syrias withdrawal from lebanon, followed by the israel invasion, then Hezbollah was blamed.....Meanwhile the real assassination of Gadafi draws absolutely no arrest warrants for those who we know DID do it! such is international law in these degraded days

  4. I think this just means that the Herald now judges that the truth on Megrahi is now more dangerous to the SNP than to Labour. They're probably right about that.

  5. This is a critical breakthrough, which gives me heart. As I have told the Scottish families, at my introductory meeting at the Libyan Embassy in New York in May, 1995, I informed Libyan diplomats that a key faction of the CIA and Defense Intelligence Agency recognized Libya's innocence in the Lockerbie bombing. I told diplomats that my own CIA handler, Dr. Richard Fuisz, was part of the hostage rescue effort in Lebanon & Syria in the 1980s, and he claimed to have first-hand knowledge of the conspiracy at the ground level. He had assured me of Syria's guilt.

    Throughout those years of my relationship with Libya, I repeatedly assured diplomats of Dr. Fuisz's ability to confirm Libya's innocence & swore that, if Tripoli submitted to the Trial, I would personally pressure the CIA to allow Dr. Fuisz to testify. What's more, I delivered a sworn affidavit to U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan, at the time of his trip to Libya for a meeting with Gadhaffi, explaining Dr. Fuisz's credentials in this matter.

    I want to be clear: From the first days of talks for the Lockerbie Trial, a key faction of the CIA was convinced of Libya's innocence. At the hand over, the CIA was convinced of Libya's innocence. On the first day of the Trial, the CIA was convinced of Libya's innocence. And on the last day, nothing in the testimony had persuaded us to reconsider our position. We have been constant and unwavering all along.

    It will upset some of you to realize that the Trial was for the benefit of the families only. We persuaded GAdhaffi to accept the hand over, by persuading him that only when the families could see the (lack of) evidence and the foolishness of the arguments would (you) recognize that YOU had made a terrible mistake. At that point, we fully expected Megrahi to go free with Fhimah. We expected an acquittal, and armed with Dr. Fuisz's depositions, we were prepared to jump in with arrest warrants for the Syrians.

    The Scottish Judges made a gross error in judgment, which thwarted our intentions. But it's not too late. The deposition by Dr. Fuisz can still be opened by a Scottish Judge. The families of Pan Am 103 should demand this without wasting further time. You will have the answers you seek. The men who did this crime will be arrested.

    The time for action is now. If Megrahi dies or gets extradited to America, you will have lost your chance. Don't wait!

    [Posted on behalf of Susan Lindauer.]

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  7. I was very interested in Dr Swire's reference to a report from the Bradford Centre for Conflict Resolution concerning the central role of the intelligence services, an aspect in which I am particularly interested. I believe the whole Malta scenario arose because of the imput of MI5 and Libya's support for the IRA. (They didn't just get Megrahi's name from the Tripoli telephone directory!) Is this paper in the public domain?

  8. ps A delightfully batty comment from susan Lindauer!