[What follows is the text of a report published yesterday on the website of The Daily Orange, the newspaper of Syracuse University, New York:]
US Rep Ann Marie Buerkle, seizing on public frustration with the new Libyan government after the attack that killed the US ambassador and three other Americans, wants to turn up the heat on the new regime regarding Pan Am Flight 103.
Buerkle has proposed a House resolution that calls for Libya to cooperate with US authorities who have never closed the books on their investigation of the 1988 bombing that killed 270 people when a flight from London exploded over Lockerbie, Scotland.
Among the dead were 35 Syracuse University students returning from a semester abroad and five others with ties to Central New York.
Abdel Baset al-Megrahi, a former Libyan agent, was the only person convicted in the attack. The new Libyan government has promised to cooperate with the FBI and Justice Department in finding others who may have conspired in the attack.
Buerkle, R-Onondaga Hill, said her resolution will formally express the “disappointment and concern” of Congress regarding the stalled US probe of the bombing and the “failure of Libya” to grant permission for US authorities to investigate and gather evidence in Libya.
Buerkle’s resolution also would require the Justice Department to report what resources it has devoted to the open investigation over the past 24 years and the costs associated with the investigation.
In December, the new Libyan ambassador to the United States attended the annual memorial service for Pan Am Flight 103 victims at Arlington National Cemetery. Ambassador Ali Aujali told the families at the service that the new government will help bring to justice those responsible for the attack.
Separately, Buerkle is working on a second piece of legislation to help the families of Pan Am 103 victims obtain additional compensation from a fund set up in 2004 after the US received a $1.5 billion payment from Libya. Buerkle could introduce the bill when the House returns to session after the November election.