[What follows is excerpted from an article on the website of The Guardian dated 27 February 2000:]
Meckenheim, Germany, 14 September 1989 Swedish officials attending an international conference of Lockerbie investigators reported a lead that might implicate the PFLP-GC, the People's Front for the Liberation of Palestine - General Commando, a radical Palestinian splinter group that includes some of the most experienced bomb experts in the Middle East. In May 1989, the Swedish police arrested Mohammed Abu Talb, a PFLP-GC agent born in Egypt, for several attacks with explosives in Sweden, Denmark and the Netherlands. What caught the attention of other investigators was the fact that Abu Talb had visited Malta twice, in October and November 1988. In apartments where the Egyptian had lived, investigators found pieces of clothing that had been bought in Malta and also a calendar on a kitchen table on which the date of 21 December 1988 - the day of the crash - had been circled.
Could the PFLP-GC have been responsible for Lockerbie? And what motive would the terrorist group have had? The investigators believed there might have been an easy answer for the second question: money and revenge. For years the PFLP-GC had received political and military support from the Soviet Union and Syria, but this came to a stop at the end of the 1980s when an Iran Air Airbus with 290 passengers onboard was shot down in the Persian Gulf by the US cruiser Vincennes on 3 July 1988. Ayatollah Khomeini demanded revenge. Might the bomb experts of the PFLP-GC have been working for Iran? According to the CIA, several million US dollars were transferred from Iran to the accounts of the PFLP-GC after the airbus strike. [RB: But see Lockerbie & The Legend of The Iranian Payment.]
But investigators were nevertheless sceptical about this lead. A number of technical details seemed contradictory and one would have thought the shopkeeper in Malta would have recognised Abu Talb's Egyptian accent. In addition, Abu Talb, who was sitting out a life prison sentence in Sweden, denied any involvement in Lockerbie.
[RB: Further details about the Meckenheim meeting can be found here (in German).]