Sunday, 14 March 2010

Taking another look at the destruction of Pan Am 103

[This is the headline over an article in the March 2010 edition of the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs by the magazine's publisher, Ambassaador Andrew I Killgore. It reads in part:]

In February 1986 Israeli Mossad operatives installed a “Trojan” communications device on the top floor of an apartment house in Tripoli, Libya. The six-foot-long device was able to receive messages on one frequency and automatically rebroadcast the same message on a different frequency—in this case, one used by the government of Libya.

Israeli naval commandos arriving in miniature submarines in the middle of the night had delivered the Trojan, only seven inches in diameter, to the lone Mossad agent in Tripoli, who drove a rented van to their rendezvous point on a deserted beach outside Tripoli. The agent, along with four of the commandos, then took the Trojan to an apartment building in the Libyan capital where he had rented the top floor, and installed the device. By March the Trojan was broadcasting a series of “terrorist” orders to Libyan embassies around the world. (...)

Less than two months after the Trojan was installed, on April 5, 1986, the La Belle nightclub in then-West Berlin was bombed, killing two American soldiers and a Turkish woman. At the same time a false “success” signal was sent, apparently from the device in Tripoli.

“False-flagged” by Israel, President Ronald Reagan on April 14 sent American bombers from Britain and from U.S. aircraft carriers in the Mediterranean to strike Tripoli and Benghazi, killing 101 people, including the adopted young daughter of Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi when his house in Tripoli was bombed. (...)

The proximity in time between the Lockerbie crash and the shooting down by the USS Vincennes on July 3 of that year of an Iran Air passenger plane over the Persian Gulf, with the loss of 290 lives, presented a perfect “revenge” scenario. That, clearly, was the initial premise of the investigators at Lockerbie. Dr Robert Black, professor of criminal law at Edinburgh University in Scotland, told this writer that, for the first two years following the Pan Am crash, investigators were focused on Iran as having hired Ahmad Jibril’s Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine–General Command to carry out a retaliatory bombing.

In a Jan 28, 2009 article in the UK’s Guardian newspaper, however, the late Russell Warren Howe cited the book Gideon’s Spies by Gordon Thomas. Thomas quotes a Mossad source as saying, “Within hours after the [Pan Am 103] crash Mossad’s LAP [psychological warfare or disinformation] staff were working their media contacts, urging them to blame and publicize that ‘Libya-did-it.’”

They could have blamed Iran, of course, but that would have gone against the Israeli grain. Iran was a large, non-Arab Muslim nation — and, as such, always of potential benefit to an Israel heavily outnumbered by the Arabs. Israel had even “done business” with the Islamic Republic a few years earlier, in what became known as the Iran-Contra affair. It’s also possible, of course, that the Israelis know Iran was not the guilty party.

The perpetrators of the crime against the passengers and crew of Pan Am Flight 103 had intended that it crash at sea, leaving no physical evidence and no bodies to tell the tale. But turbulent weather over Heathrow Airport had led the pilot of the giant Boeing 747 to steer slightly more northward than usual, so the plane was still over land when it crashed at Lockerbie, Scotland.

The criminals thus had to think fast. A fragment from the alleged bomb trigger device was “found” several days after the crash. However, as the BBC program “Newsnight” reported on Jan 8 of this year, tests aimed at reproducing the blast indicated that no such fragment would have survived the mid-air explosion. The “evidence,” moreover, was placed in a sack which was labeled in a certain way—but the label was subsequently changed by an unknown person, causing suspicion that evidence was being altered. As Dr Jim Swire, whose daughter Flora was killed in the crash, has written: “Coming from a scientific educational background, I found that it was the forensic evidence at [the trial at Camp] Zeist…which first convinced me that the prosecution case was a fabrication.”

Another astonishing factor was that the Crown (the prosecutors) ignored evidence of a break-in of the Pan Am luggage area at Heathrow early in the morning of that fatal December day. One wonders whether Pan Am had been alerted to security problems at Heathrow by Isaac Yeffet, the former head of security at Israel’s Ben-Gurion Airport, where security is airtight. In an article in the March 1989 issue of the now-defunct Life magazine entitled “The Next Bomb,” Edward Barnes wrote, “in 1986 Yeffet was part of a team commissioned by Pan Am to survey 25 of its branches around the world…Yeffet now runs a security consulting business in New Jersey.”

Dr. Swire, who has described the Court’s conviction of Megrahi as “a cock and bull story,” is not alone in his skepticism. Hans Köchler, the UN observer at the trial, has described the verdict as “incomprehensible,” and Dr Robert Black has denounced the guilty verdict in equally dismissive language.

Thus the downing of Pan Am Flight 103 remains a mystery. If two years of investigating Iran produced no evidence, and the evidence used to convict Megrahi was fake, who was responsible for the horrific crime?

[The past week's absence of posts on this blog was due to my having taken a trip across the border to Namibia. But as far as I can see, little worthy of mention has appeared in the media during my absence.

For those with the stomach for it, a nasty little story in today's edition of the Sunday Mirror headed "The man who will not die ..." can be read here.

Since I posted the link to the piece in the Sunday Mirror, the headline over the report on the newspaper's website has been altered to "Lockerbie bomber Abdul-Basset Al-Megrahi has 30,000 visitors and babies named after him". Can it be that a humble blogger can arouse feelings of shame in a tabloid journalist or sub-editor? Surely not.]


    only a computer "Babylon" translation german/english

    It looks in such a way that over detours the true background of the PanAm 103- tragedy comes to the light. It is clear, there must with swing other facts ...

    by Edwin and Mahnaz Bollier, MEBO Ltd., Switzerland

    only a computer "Babylon" translation german/english

    It looks in such a way that over detours the true background of the PanAm 103- tragedy comes to the light. It is clear, there must with swing others facts ...

    more information on
    by Edwin and Mahnaz Bollier, MEBO Ltd., Switzerland

  3. I think it's wonderful particularly for Megrahi that so many little babies are being named after him and I hope the parents will give their children a full account of why they've been given his name.

    But I think it's a shame that the general public here has not been given the true circumstances of Megrahi's release and that this manipulation has led to the withdrawing of the appeal and the consequent cover up of a corrupt trial in which the judges acted for the state rather than justice.

  4. Interesting comments in response to Ambassador Killgore's article!

    I've replied to Richard Marquise as follows:

    Dear Mr Marquise,

    Law enforcement and Bernt Carlsson

    In your book "Scotbom: evidence and the Lockerbie investigation" you do not even mention Lockerbie's most prominent victim: Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations and UN Commissioner for Namibia, Bernt Carlsson.

    My comment entitled "Why Pan Am Flight 103? That's the Wii" concludes: As of March 2010, there has been no criminal investigation into Bernt Carlsson’s murder. The decision not to investigate was taken by Scottish policeman, Detective Constable John Crawford, on the basis of information supplied to him by "a very helpful lady librarian in Newcastle" (see "The Lockerbie Incident : A Detective's Tale", by John Crawford, pages 88/89).

    Could you please tell us why 'people with a law enforcement background' (Marquise, Henderson, Crawford et al) have failed so spectacularly to investigate Bernt Carlsson's murder?


    Patrick Haseldine

  5. Mr. Haseldine: With all due respect to your comments, all 270 victims of Lockerbie were "prominent." The investigation was conducted to determine who murdered each of them--not one individually. The criminal investigation was thorough and complete and the EVIDENCE was presented to an impartial court. The EVIDENCE proved beyond a "reasonable doubt" that Mr. Megrahi was involved and the Libyan Government was responsible for the attack.

  6. I thought this was a dreadfully poor article with a touch of anti-semitism. Based around an unproven claim featured in "Victor Ostrovsky's" supposed memoirs of a former Mossad agent the article contains nothing of use or interest.

    Ambassador Killgore quotes his friend Warren Russell Howe from an article in the Guardian of the 28.1.2009 in which Howe quotes unsubstantiated claims from Gordon Thomas' "Gideon's Spies". I cannot trace this article, published two months after Howe's death but would note that Howe's own article on Lockerbie was riddled with factual errors and blamed Israel solely on the basis of convoluted "false flag" logic, doubtless because he was writing for a Arab weekly. How one inept journalist quoting another amounts to evidence escapes me completely.

    What is that paragraph concerning Isaac Yeffert about? Was he supposed to have been in on it?

    Twice Killgore writes that "the perpetrators had intended that PA103 should crash at sea". On what evidence?

    Ambassador Killgore seems to have little concept of what constitutes evidence.

  7. The criminal investigation was thorough and complete says Mr Marquise.

    Here is what Detective Constable John Crawford had to say on the subject in his above-referenced book (pages 79-84):

    Just after being set up in this format we were told that a team of us would form the Priority Profiling team. Both Alex and I would be responsible for taking a close look at all of the so-called 'first fifteen' of the interline passengers: those most likely to have been targeted or of some status that would make them a possible target.

    All fifteen had boarded 103 from another flight and therefore had their luggage checked through at an airport other than Frankfurt or Heathrow. Our task was to examine every aspect of the person, obtain as much background as possible, examine every detail we could find and eliminate them from further enquiry as a target or possible 'stooge' who had been tricked into carrying anything onboard. Another four groups were dealing with the other interline passengers.

    The people we had to profile [included] Bernt Carlsson, a United Nations Commissioner. It was not an easy task establishing all we wanted to know about each. We confirmed very quickly that the businessmen identified were just that.

    We asked the FBI to make certain enquiries in the US on our behalf to establish antecedents for all of our subjects. Some of the agents were slow on the uptake and seemed reluctant to carry out enquiries. They couldn't see the point of investigating someone who was patently innocent. That was our first wee sign that each investigating force has its own methods of investigation.

    In Scotland we gather as much information as possible about a murder victim in an attempt to ensure that there are no skeletons lurking that might have an effect on the crime. We never leave any stone unturned - it might conceal an all-important clue. Each fact must be examined from all angles and then filed away for any future reference that may be required. We double and then triple check everything.

    Questions for Mr Marquise:

    1. Did the FBI 'establish antecedents' on Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations and UN Commissioner for Namibia, Bernt Carlsson?

    2. If so, will you publish the relevant FD402 report in full?

  8. WRMEA has a long history of blamin Israel for everything. I find the claims of Israeli protection of Iran/blaming of Libya spurious. Of the people who question the Libyan guilt, some include Ariel Sharon and other prominent Israelis, who seem to suspect Iran.

    It’s also possible, of course, that the Israelis know Iran was not the guilty party.

    There you go, use their own indirect admission of guilt (they can't blame Iran if THEY did it) to explain why framing Libya was a Jew plot as well.

    I do however find the "trojan" behind the terror messages an intriguing thought. I may check into the evidence for that sometime. Seeing the shenanigans to get Tripoli glues to Lockerbie, one should re-consider also the previous terror record.

  9. Richard Marquise said:

    Mr. Haseldine: With all due respect to your comments, all 270 victims of Lockerbie were "prominent." The investigation was conducted to determine who murdered each of them--not one individually.

    I do agree with that half of your comment. Well-put and thank you.

  10. I suspect the Israeli intelligence service Mossad has a pretty good idea as to who bombed flight PA103 and why.

    I also suspect that in 1988 there was some divergence between Tel Aviv and Washington in their attitude towards the Iran-Iraq War Israel being de facto pro-Iranian (Iran-Contra "piggybacked" an earlier Israeli operation).

    However I do not see that "Lockerbie" served any Israeli
    interest but keeping their views/knowledge to themselves might!

  11. I fully agree to baz. The only thing that puzzles me is why there is no outcry from the Israeli corner in these days: "Yes folks, Teheran was the mastermind!" That would perfectly fit the Netanyahu policy. But maybe it is only a matter of time till the sensation will be revealed.

  12. This is a card that loses it's value when you play it!

  13. Professor Black put me off reading the "nasty little story" from the Sunday Mirror. It actually contains something of great interest a quote from Professor Al-Magrahi's brother Mohammed Ali that

    "my brother sacrificed 10 years of his life to assist in the lifting of the economic blockade against Libya."

    This I believe is absolutely and literally true - Professor Al-Megrahi paid a high price for his country's adventurist foreign policy (as most of the victims of flight PA103 paid the ultimate price for a blunder that arose from their own country's foreign policy).

    I am not the least bit surprised that he is a national hero or that the regime recognises the debt they owe him - not for an act of terrorism but for bringing an end to sanctions.

  14. Professor? You have evidence he had a chair at a university then? ;)

    I agree about the sacrificing ten years of his life bit though - more if you count the house arrest. I suspect he could possibly have got the hounds off his back if he'd been prepared to explain exactly what he was doing at Luqa airport that morning.

    Might not have been too healthy to go back to Tripoli after giving that away though.

  15. This is only a "Babylon" computer translation, german/english:

    Is the MEBO 'MISSION LOCKERBIE' a chaos theory and will end as 'Mission Impossible' ? Surely not !!!

    What exactly is the chaos in the "Lockerbie-Tragedy" ? Those not opening of documents of the Reappeal Commission, (SCCRC) promised by Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill 2009...
    The name "chaos theory" comes from the fact that the systems that the theory describes are apparently disordered, but chaos theory is really about finding the underlying order in apparently random data...
    One day in March of 2010, MEBO wanted to see a particular sequence in the 'Lockerbie-Divide'.
    By all conventional fakts and ideas of the time, we have worked.

    *We have get a reproach very close to the original sequence, the possibility of the MST-13 timerfragment PT/35(b) was altered but not swapped ?

    A scientist considers himself lucky if he can get proven forensic facts with accuracy to places. Surely to measure using reasonable methods, have a huge effect on the outcome of the experiment and as evidence.
    In advance: The crucial evidence (MST-13 Timer fragment) by Dr.Hayes/ Allen Feraday from 12th January 1990, re-booked deliberate to 12th March 1989, registered under ref. PP'8932, PT/35, paragraph > b) a fragment of a green coloured circuit board. This PC-board was a black carbonized circuit board, marked with three scratching places and a letter "M"on it, no "green" color was recognizable on this time!

    New Facts: Was Eng. U. Lumpert an official body as a consultant asked to participate, when creating the (MST-13) Timer fragments ?
    Eng. Lumpert was without the knowledge of MEBO, at least twice obscured at USA invited.
    The reason: Eng. U. Lumpert confirms on the Affidavit of 18th July 2007, (page 3, paragraph No. 5 actually, that he himself the scratching places "Kratzstellen" in the MST-13 Fragment had made !
    It is therefore absolute clear that at this moment the PT/35 Fragment already was carbonized with black soot !!!
    At the court in Kamp van Zeist were Lumpert's USA visits no topic!
    After forensic investigation on 27 April 1990 by company Siemens in Germany, it was clear, the fragment was from a standard print-material (prototype) with 8 lay of fibre glas, "brown" in color, not in "green" and thus not of a Libyan timer!

    *Provably free of doubts, the original MST-13 timer fragment under column b) registered as PT/35 was first altered, after that swapped by a duplicate PT/35(b) with a green fragment of a Libya MST-13 timer, without the letter "M" and the three scratching places on it, to bring Libya in connection with the Lockerbie tragedy... more soon....

    More information on our webpage:

    by Edwin and Mahnaz Bollier, MEBO Ltd. Switzerland

  16. BAZ says: "This is a card that loses it's value when you play it!"

    Well, that depends on who plays the card, I would suppose?

    Given Mr Netanyahu´s fanatic desire to throw the world into a war against Iran every card could be useful.

  17. "He is not an intelligence officer - he is a University professor" - Colonel Kadhafi

    see "Libya paid Lockerbie Compensation to Settle Row" - 19.2.10 (note comment by "porkylinda" - "curious as to which University and what faculty?".)

  18. At the time that charges were brought against him by the UK and the US (and for some time before that) Megrahi's job was Director of the Centre for Strategic Studies in Tripoli. Whether that position formally carried the title "professor" I do not know. But I suspect that is what Gaddafi was referring to.

  19. Not much help I am afraid. Is the "Centre for Strategic Studies" a University Department? Has Mr Al-Megrahi a higher degree? Is he published? Can I refer to him as Professor Al-Megrahi or should the word Professor be in inverted commas?

  20. Dear Mr Marquise,

    Lockerbie target: seven questions

    On 15 March 2010, I asked you two questions:

    1. Did the FBI 'establish antecedents' on Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations and UN Commissioner for Namibia, Bernt Carlsson?

    2. If so, will you publish the relevant FD402 report in full?

    Earlier this week, I posed a further five questions for you and your Scottish counterpart, Detective Chief Superintendent Stuart Henderson, to answer:

    3. Could you please tell us about the previous attack on Bernt Carlsson’s aircraft?

    4. Could you please publish DC Crawford’s report on Bernt Carlsson?

    5. Does the fact that in December 1988 the diamond mining and trading company De Beers was facing prosecution under the UNCN Decree for illegally exploiting Namibia’s gem diamonds over a 20-year period (estimated value $18.7 billion) make Bernt Carlsson a PA 103 target?

    6. Does the fact that in December 1988 the owners of the Rössing uranium mine were facing prosecution under the UNCN Decree for illegally exploiting Namibia’s uranium oxide over a 14-year period (estimated value $1.2 billion) make Bernt Carlsson a PA 103 target?

    7. Does the fact that the Rössing uranium mine is part-owned by the Iranian government, who were clandestinely receiving shipments of Namibian uranium oxide in 1988-1989, make it likely that Iran targeted Bernt Carlsson on PA 103?

    Thanking you and DCS Henderson in anticipation of an early and full response to each of the seven questions,

    Patrick Haseldine