Saturday, 21 November 2015

Visceral resistance to challenges to the Lockerbie narrative

[Lockerbie’s long shadow is the headline over a column by Dr Neil Berry published today on the Arab News website.  It reads as follows:]

The explosion of the Russian airbus over the Sinai desert had sombre echoes of Lockerbie, the destruction in 1988 above the Scottish town of that name of Pan Am Flight 103 by a terrorist bomb.

Lockerbie can be seen as a portent of the present dark moment. The fresh Paris atrocities are the latest chapter of a conflict in which non-Muslims increasingly perceive the Islamic world as a reservoir of motiveless malignity.

The issue of Lockerbie has been revived by a film recently broadcast by the PBS television network in the US and in the UK by BBC4. Hugely emotive, My Brother’s Bomber is the work of the American journalist, Ken Dornstein, who lost his older brother at Lockerbie and who has spent years investigating the attack. Dornstein takes for granted that the Libyan intelligence officer, Abdelbasset Al-Megrahi, convicted in 2001 of murdering 243 (mostly American) people at Lockerbie, was guilty as charged. But his film points an accusing finger at two possible accomplices, Abdullah Senussi, the late Libyan leader Col Qaddafi’s security chief, and Abu Agila Masud, the alleged bomb-maker. It conveys that the latter was also behind the 1986 attack on the La Belle discotheque in Berlin, popular with US servicemen, which led to the US bombing of Libya, for which Lockerbie was presumed vengeance. Currently imprisoned in Libya, the two men are now being treated as Lockerbie suspects by Scotland’s prosecuting authority.

The striking thing about Dornstein’s film is the one-eyed fixity of its gaze. Those unfamiliar with the tangled Lockerbie story could hardly grasp from it the disquiet about Megrahi’s conviction felt by British people of conscience, among them Dr Jim Swire, who, notwithstanding the loss of his daughter at Lockerbie became Megrahi’s friend, and the authors, John Ashton and Morag Kerr. They believe that the three Scottish judges who convicted Megrahi at a special court in the Netherlands perpetrated a gross miscarriage of justice. They question the credibility of Tony Gauci, the Maltese shopkeeper who testified that Megrahi bought clothes from him that were wrapped round the Lockerbie bomb; they insist that the claim that the bomb originated in Malta has to be set against strong indications that it was planted in London; and they point out that the timer attached to the bomb, a key piece of evidence in the prosecution of Megrahi, proved not to belong to a batch of timers sold to Libya by a Swiss firm.

Swire and his fellow skeptics believe that Megrahi’s conviction would not have survived the appeal he was preparing when, in 2009, diagnosed with terminal cancer, he was released by Scotland’s devolved government to return to Libya to die. Public outrage at his release was matched by that of the political establishments of London and Washington. Yet one may wonder if this official fury was not in some measure theatrical. An appeal might well have unveiled politically embarrassing matters: the lavish efforts made by the US to look after Tony Gauci; the CIA’s black propaganda war against Libya; the grounds for suspecting that the Lockerbie attack was orchestrated by Iran.

Swire figures fleetingly in My Brother’s Bomber. The film shows him going to pay his last respects to the Megrahi in Tripoli, with Dornstein in attendance. Kitted out with concealed recording equipment, Dornstein hoped to accompany Swire into the dying man’s home but was politely refused entry and ended up writhing with frustration outside.

My Brother’s Bomber plays to the familiar stark binary narrative of terrorized West versus demonic Arab world. It may be felt that Dornstein shares with the US media and public opinion a visceral resistance to challenges to this narrative. In truth, there has never been much chance of the mainstream western media lending credence to alternative versions of the Lockerbie story. Now, in the poisonous, furiously polarized aftermath of the Paris massacre, the freedom of people like Jim Swire to question the official story could become more circumscribed than ever.


  1. An important point to make here is that nobody mentioned above as challenging the official narative is making a case for the Lockerbie bombers not being Arab. Just, not the particular Arabs charged or suspected by the official inquiry.

    1. “Dr. Jim Swire lost his daughter Flora in the Lockerbie tragedy. On Jan. 11 of this year (2008), Swire wrote to me that he never doubted who ordered the bombing, why they did it and who supplied the technology: ‘As you know, I have always believed that it was Iranian revenge’…” [Former Iranian President Blames Tehran for Lockerbie]
      A Persian (Iranian) is not an Arab and the language Farsi belongs to the Indo-European branch of languages.

    2. “Dr. Jim Swire lost his daughter Flora in the Lockerbie tragedy. On Jan. 11 of this year (2008), Swire wrote to me that he never doubted who ordered the bombing, why they did it and who supplied the technology: ‘As you know, I have always believed that it was Iranian revenge’…” [Former Iranian President Blames Tehran for Lockerbie]
      A Persian (Iranian) is not an Arab and the language Farsi belongs to the Indo-European branch of languages.

    3. If t's the case, though, the actual bombers are believed to be Palestinian, Syrian, Jordanian.

  2. Al-Megrahi's first appeal began on January 23rd 2001, four months after the destruction of New York's Twin Towers (9/11) by agents funded by a rich member of a Saudi Arabian family with many connections and financial ties within the USA itself. Eleven members of the 19-strong team were Saudi by birth and allegiance.

    Nevertheless, "Someone will hear from us" muttered the traumatised President George Bush as he stood among the ruins of the Twin Towers. He would shortly lead his nation into war against Iraq, an Arab nation innocent of the 9/11 attack. Strange how the bravest in the world have a habit of attacking only the weakest.

    As war hysteria built in the USA and elsewhere, sixty percent of the American public believed that Iraq's Saddam Hussein was responsible for 9/11. Revenge and a demonstration event were necessary to prove to the world that America remained primus inter pares. Hussein and his entire family must die. As this was happening, in the Zeist appeal court two Libyan arabs were the focus of that hatred.

    An American bereaved relative who hated and still hates everything that Jim Swire stands for commented "We are here [at this appeal] to ensure that the Libyan gets his just deserts. It's all part of of the war against terrorism by our President."

    History repeats, people die, tous ca change, mais c'est la meme chose....

    1. One wonders how a bereaved relative could possibly influence the outcome of an appeal simply by being there.

    2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    The crucial evidence of the MST-13 Timerfragment (PT-35) to the detriment of MEBO Ltd and Libya, was a "Scottish evidence Fraud"!
    After, I have examined more of (not published investigation files) - by Swiss authorities (ex BUPO) - and false statements under oath by Eng. Lumpert and other witnesses, I call the Scottish Justice and the US Authorities on, to renew the International legal assistance, by request to the Swiss Federal Justice­ and Policedepartement EJPD.

    The former Scottish SIO Chief Superintendent Stuart Henderson (Crown witness number 696) - in June 1990 – accompanied by Chief Inspector, William Williamson (Scottish Police) and Forensic expert Allen Feraday (RARDE) - visited on june 1990, the FBI Criminal Laboratory in Washington, lead by FBI Expert Tom Thurmann.
    Their task was to compare a MST-13 Timerfragment (PT-35) - was (allegedly) found in Lockerbie- with a MST-13 Timer (K-1) in possession of the CIA. The K-1 Timer timer, was found in Togo.

    The results of the investigations and comparison have been documented in a secret FBI-Report in Washington on August 20th, 1990. Dok. Nr. 262-23. The document is now declassified:
    Link to FBI declassified FBI-report:

    Based on research by Edwin Bollier & MEBO Ltd. the presented fragment (PT-35) to the FBI lab, cannot be the original MST-13 fragment (black carbonized) as (allegedly) found in Lockerbie. The reasons for a fraud is following allegation:

    1) At the time of the presentation of the (PT-35) fragment at the FBI laboratory on June, 1990, the original (black carbonised) MST-13 timer fragment (PT-35) consisted already of two pieces and was not longer green colored ! The PT-35 fragment was cut by Siemens Germany on April 27th, 1990 into two pieces, 2 (two) months before the visit by Henderson & Co at the FBI laboratory in the USA. After the Siemens cutting session, the larger part was marked as (PT-35/b) and the smaller part was marked as (DP-31/a).

    2) The FBI laboratory report confirms, that the examined (PT-35) timer fragment was covered on both sides with solder masque. (solder masque are green).

    3) The FBI laboratory report confirms, that the colour of fragment was green and consisted of 9 layers of fibreglass.
    All those characteristics confirm that they did not examine and compared the original black carbonised (PT-35) fragment as allegadly found in Lockerbie; the fragment (PT-35) was a false DUPLICATE - A FRAUD EVIDENCE !
    A long time after the court verdict in Zeist - a secret kept fax by expert Feraday to SIO Chief Stuart Henderson – unveiled that the (PT-35) fragment was found on January 20th, 1990 in a Slalom shirt.

    The original fragment on the photo (red circle) showed - on a second look - 3 handmade scratches and the letter “M”. (short form for “Muster” = sample” in the German language) - and was from a brown prototype with 8 layers of fibreglass (not delivered to Libya) !

    At the court in Zeist, witnesses as, Scottish Chief Inspector, William Williamson, Dr. Thomas Hayes (RARDE) and expert Allen Feraday (RARDE) made under oath, false statements. For example it was testified that the MST-13 timerfragment, registered on the additional page 51, was found already on Mai 12th, 1989 in a Slalom shirt !!!

    All those “flops” lead to a slowdown of a possible new review of the Lockerbie case. False statements – especially by high-ranking police officers and forensic experts - should be taken serious.
    Must now taking place, a criminal investigation against SIO Stuart Henderson, William Williamson, Allen Feraday and Dr. Thomas Hayes.

    by Edwin Bollier, MEBO LTD, Telecommunication Switzerland. Webpage: