[The following are excerpts from a report in The Sunday Times of 29 November 2009. The document referred to is a US State Department press release dating from April 1992 which appeared on the State Department website for many years and is well known to all who have taken the trouble to follow the Lockerbie case. What motivated the newspaper to draw attention to it again in November 2009 remains a mystery.]
The Lockerbie bomber was implicated in the purchase and development of chemical weapons by Libya, according to documents produced by the American government.
The papers also claim that Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi sought to sponsor Latin American terrorist groups and to buy 1,000 letter bombs from Greek arms dealers while working as a Libyan intelligence officer. The documents, which were prepared by the US State Department, reveal the extent of Megrahi’s alleged terrorist activities. (...)
In 1987, Megrahi was appointed director of Libya’s Centre for Strategic Studies (CSS), which served the Department of Military Procurement. In a section headed “Procurement of chemical weapons precursors”, the documents state: “An al-Megrahi subordinate operating in Germany in 1988 played an important role in acquiring and shipping chemical weapons precursors to Libya. Megrahi is also linked to a senior manager of Libya’s chemical weapons development program.” (...)
Bill Aitken, justice spokesman for the Scottish Conservatives, said the documents made a mockery of Britain’s ongoing trade links with Libya and the decision to release Megrahi. (...)
Frank Duggan, president of Washington-based Victims of Pan Am Flight 103, said that the documents shed further light on Megrahi's terrorist activities.
"It was pretty clear that investigators from the US and Scotland knew they had a bad penny with Megrahi. I had never heard of Megrahi being linked with chemical weapons but his involvement doesn't surprise me. This strengthens the case against Megrahi as being the Lockerbie bomber."
Tony Kelly, Megrahi’s lawyer in Scotland, said he was unaware of the existence of the State Department documents but was sure they were based on “unsubstantiated and unattributed intelligence rumours”.
“If there was any evidence backing any of this up I am absolutely certain it would have been introduced at trial, and it wasn’t,” he said.