[This is the title of an important article by Dr Davina Miller published earlier this month in the journal Defence & Security Analysis. The following are excerpts. I sought permission from the copyright holders, the publishers Taylor & Francis, to quote from the article but was told that it would take ten weeks for them to consider the matter. In the circumstances I have decided to proceed without formal clearance, relying on the fair use and educational use provisions of copyright law.]
Pan Am Flight 103 was destroyed by an improvised explosive device (IED) at 19.03 whilst over the Dumfries and Galloway region of Scotland, 38 minutes after leaving Heathrow, on 21 December 1988. The IED, installed in a Toshiba Bombeat RT-SF16 stereo cassette/radio player, was hidden in a brown hard-shell Samsonite suitcase. All 259 passengers and crew were killed together with eleven people in Lockerbie. More than anything, the issue of responsibility matters to the families of those who died, and the official narrative remains problematic for many.
A number of conspiracy theories surround this awful event. This article puts aside all allegations and speculation and relies only upon legal and governmental papers to examine the evidence. It is in three parts: first, it examines the official narrative that emerged in the course of the prosecution and conviction of Libyan intelligence officer, Abd-al-Basit al-al-Miqrahi (al-Megrahi) for the Lockerbie bombing; second, it assesses the available evidence that the governments of the US and Britain knew that Iran via the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command (PFLP-GC) bore responsibility for the outrage; and third, it investigates the plausibility of a deal between the US and Iran over Pan Am 103. To reiterate, this article is not definitive, but exploratory.
PAN AM FLIGHT 103: THE OFFICIAL NARRATIVE AND ITS PROBLEMS
According to the Trial Court, the circumstantial case against al-Megrahi rested upon four interlocking planks: the presence of an unaccompanied bag from Malta to London; the identification of al-Megrahi as the buyer of the Maltese clothing found in the brown Samsonite suitcase containing the bomb; his presence in Malta under a false name at the time the bomb was placed on a plane; and his association with both Edmond Bollier, the manufacturer of the MST-13 timer, said to have been used in the IED, and members of Libyan Intelligence who purchased such timers.[iv]
The case against al-Megrahi depended upon the bomb having originated in Malta (on Flight KM180) since that was where he was on 21 December 1988. In contrast to the theory of the crime presented to the Trial Court, the President’s Commission on Aviation Security and Terrorism, published in May 1990, eighteen months into the investigation, determined that the bomb “probably was placed aboard at Frankfurt”.[v] The Trial Court, however, relied upon a Frankfurt airport dispatch record, which could have shown the presence of an unaccompanied bag from Malta. Nonetheless, it noted that, “the method by which the primary suitcase might have been placed on board KM180 is a major difficulty for the Crown”, given the “relatively elaborate security system at Luqa airport” and that KM180’s baggage records show “no discrepancy”.[vi]
The US Defence Intelligence Agency noted on 30 December 1991 that, “Malta’s position on the Pan Am crisis supports Libya (i.e. Malta stated that it can prove that all the luggage on Pan Am 103 belonged to passengers on the flight)” (emphasis as in the original).[vii] Air Malta reached an out-of-court settlement with Granada Television in 1993 for its claim in a television documentary that the bomb had been loaded in an unaccompanied bag at Malta.
Another problem with the theory that the bomb began its journey in Malta concerns a CIA document. On 30 August 1989, the station in Malta noted intelligence from their Libyan agent, ‘Abd al-Majid Gaika, that there had been an External Security Organisation (ESO) survey of Luqa International Airport in 1986, which had found that controls there “ruled out insertion of unaccompanied baggage containing explosives on to onward flights”.[viii] In short, and in spite of Libya’s close connections to Malta, Libyan security had ruled out the very act of which it would be accused of having committed just two years later.
[The next section of the article deals with the well-known problems surrounding the “identification” of Megrahi by Tony Gauci.]
The third circumstantial plank of the case against al-Megrahi was his presence in Malta on a false passport at the appropriate time for placing the bomb on board a Maltese flight. Much was made of his use of a passport in a different name. However, as the CIA noted in a contact report on 21 January 1989, it was “common practice among ranking officers wishing to conceal their movements through the use of passports (ppts) bearing variations on their true names”.[xii] On 22 December 1988, the CIA reported that al-Megrahi had travelled through Malta earlier, on 7 December. The fact that he was then also travelling on a passport in an assumed name was reported without comment. The CIA also identified al-Megrahi as a “technical communications expert”. Further, its report went on to say that, “it is likely that el-Megrahi (sic) was carrying technical intelligence-gathering equipment with him” and was “involved in some type of technical intelligence operation”.[xiii]
[The next section of the article deals with the well known problems regarding the Mebo MST-13 timer fragment and the evidence of Hayes and Feraday.]
AN ALTERNATIVE NARRATIVE: THE PFLP-GC AND IRAN
Al-Megrahi’s defence team presented evidence about the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine – General Command (PFLP-GC) and the Palestinian Popular Struggle Front (PPSF). In its judgment, the Trial Court argued that, while these organisations were engaged in terrorist activities during the same period, there was not any reasonable doubt - in spite of the Trial Court’s admission - that, “we cannot say that it is impossible that the clothing might have been taken from Malta, united somewhere with a timer from some source other than Libya, and introduced into the airline baggage system at Frankfurt or Heathrow”.[xx]
On 26 October 1988, the Federal Criminal Police Office, or Bundeskriminalamt (BKA), arrested members of a PFLP-GC cell in an operation centred on Frankfurt and Neuss and known as ‘Autumn Leaves’. Inter alia, the BKA found explosives, timers, barometric pressure devices, radio cassette players, Lufthansa luggage tags and airline timetables, including Pan Am’s. Most members of the cell, bar Haj Hafez Kassem Dalkamoni, the right hand man of Ahmed Jabril, leader of the PFLP-GC and Abdel Fatah Ghadanfar, a Palestinian associate, were released shortly thereafter.[xxi] Improvised explosive devices (IEDs) found later had pressure switches that would trigger about seven minutes after takeoff and timing devices with time elapsed between 35 and 45 minutes.[xxii]
Marwan Khreesat, the PFLP-GC Frankfurt cell bomb-maker - and a Jordanian agent - was interviewed on 12 and 13 November 1989 at the Headquarters of the Jordanian Intelligence Service. Khreesat “does not think he built the device responsible for Pan Am 103, as he only built the four devices in Germany” and did not use models with two speakers.[xxiii] Only three devices were recovered by the BKA. Khreesat had, however, seen “a not very good” device (the alterations to the radio cassette player could easily be discovered) that he believed Dalkamoni had taken to Frankfurt and handed over to Abu Elias, the PFLP-GC’s security expert. This he identified as being similar to a Toshiba RT-F423.[xxiv]
From 19-26 October 1988, Abu Talb, a member of the Palestine Popular Struggle Front (PPSF) in Sweden, who had ties to the PFLP-GC cell in Frankfurt, was in Malta as a guest of Abd El Salam (aka Abu Nada), a Director of the Miska Bakery. Talb took home clothing from Hashem Salem, Salam’s brother. He flew to Sweden on an open return ticket, but had no intention, he told the Court, of returning; it was simply a cheaper ticket than a single. He remained in contact with Abd El Salam.[xxv]
In summary, from the evidence presented at the trial, at the time of the bombing of Pan Am 103, there were two groups actively planning to attack Western aircraft and with the capabilities to do so. In addition, both these groups had links to Malta. (...)
Even after the indictments of Libyan co-defendants Lamen Khalifa Fhimah and al-Megrahi, intelligence documents continued to assert the involvement of the PFLP-GC, though it was now linked to Libya, rather than Iran. An information report dated 26 November 1991 assigned blame to Ahmed Jabril “in training the perpetrators and in designing the bomb”. The report goes on to assert that, “the luggage containing the bomb was purportedly intercepted in London by al-Megrahi, who probably claimed the bag, set the timer, then switched luggage tags to route it on to Pan Am flight 103”.[xxix] A Defence Intelligence Terrorism Summary on 13 December 1991 also linked Jabril with training the accused and in designing the bomb.[xxx]
It is not clear exactly when or why the PFLP-GC and PPSF were dropped as suspects post-1991 to leave a single focus upon Libya as the perpetrator of the Pan Am 103 bombing. (...)
On 24 September 1989, the US Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA), in a secret information report not releasable to foreign nationals and relying on information acquired through the National Security Agency (NSA) at Fort Meade’ (i.e. through Foreign Signals Intelligence), asserted that the attack on Pan Am Flight 103, “was conceived, authorised and financed by Ali-Akbar (Mohtashemi-Pur)”, the former Iranian Minister of the Interior. The execution of the operation was contracted to Ahmad (Jabri’il), the PFLP-GC leader, for the sum of $1,000,000. The report was highly detailed in describing the organisation of the bombing and claimed that, “the flight was supposed to be a direct flight from Frankfurt to New York, not Pan Am Flight 103”.[xxxii]
In October 1989, a further DIA report noted that Iranian “radicals want to be able to retaliate in less time than it took them to carry out the Pan Am 103 bombing”.[xxxiii] The CIA’s ‘Terrorism Review’ for 14 December 1989 also noted that liaison between Iran and radical Palestinian groups “was most likely responsible for the bombing of Pan Am 103”.[xxxiv] The Defence Intelligence Agency in a brief in December 1989, titled “Pan Am 103: Deadly Co-operation” argued that, “Iran probably was the state sponsor for the PFLP-GC attack on Pan Am 103”. The same report noted: that the bomb was “a sophisticated, barometrically triggered explosive device probably fabricated by the PFLP-GC”; that “DIA believes the device was placed aboard...in Frankfurt”; and that, “analysis of material confiscated from this PFLP-GC cell has provided strong circumstantial evidence linking the cell to the bombing”. The report further detailed the relationship between Iran and the PFLP-GC, including the initial overtures, payment for Pan Am 103, and the latter’s exploitation of Iran’s “established terror network in Europe”.[xxxv]
A Combined Message from the DIA on 22 December 1989 asserted that, “a compelling body of evidence indicates the PFLP-GC placed a sophisticated, altimeter-fused, radio-encased bomb aboard Pan Am flight 103”. The missing improvised explosive device (IED) from the Autumn Leaves Operation was noted: “the fourth device was believed to be a Toshiba radio/cassette player larger than the Bombeat 453” and “may prove to be the bomb that destroyed Pan Am 103”. [xxxvi] In January 1990, the DIA then argued that, “Iran probably was the state sponsor for the PFLP-GC attack on Pan Am 103”.[xxxvii] (...)
A Defence Intelligence ‘Terrorism Summary’, dated 15 September 1990, summarised a discussion about Pan Am 103 and the PFLP-GC during a meeting between the US Secretary of State, James Baker, and the Syrian Foreign Minister. The Summary notes that, “although the US has provided evidence of PFLP-GC complicity, the Syrian government has dismissed it as insufficient”.[xl] A Defence Intelligence Terrorism Summary on 16 November 1990 asserted that, “The US has long sought Jibril’s expulsion for his role in the bombing of Pan Am 103”.[xli]
(...) in February 1991, eight months after the FBI had supposedly identified the timer which led away from the PFLP-GC and Iran, in an Intelligence Report for Multinational Forces, Desert Storm, the DIA noted Iran’s Interior Minister, Ali Akbar Mohtashemi’s payment of $10 million for “terrorist activities” and that he “was the one who paid the same amount to bomb Pan Am Flight 103”.[xlii]
This Report was published in the UK media on 24 January 1995. UK and US officials insisted, however, that there was, “no credible evidence” linking Iran to the bombing and denied the claims made. Libya saw the report as, “exonerating” it of any involvement.[xliii] More tellingly, in November 1991, DIA officials commented upon an earlier report on Syria: “We found the article helpful. However ... the statement that the PFLP-GC is accused of bombing Pan Am 103 directly contradicts the recent announcement that Libya was behind the act”.[xliv] The anonymous officials did not question the veracity of the assertion; their main concern was about its being leaked.
While US intelligence services were asserting Iranian complicity, they ruled out Libyan and Syrian involvement. As the December 1989, “Pan Am 103: Deadly Co-operation” Defense Intelligence brief noted, the “DIA continues to discount Libyan or Syrian involvement in the bombing of Pan Am 103 because there is no current credible intelligence implicating either”.[xlv] This was consistent with the conclusions contained in other DIA and CIA reports throughout 1989. (...) Both before and after the indictments, there was no discussion in US intelligence records of how to prevent similar future acts of Libyan terrorism.
CHOOSING ONE’S ENEMIES
The United States’ Potential Motives
Given the concerns around the safety of al-Megrahi’s conviction, the evidence pointing to the PFLP-GC and PPSF, as well as the US intelligence community’s apparent conclusion that Iran orchestrated the bombing of Pan Am 103, it is worth examining the circumstantial evidence as to the possibility of a decision, or a deal, to overlook Iranian potential guilt.
The most popular conspiracy theories attribute such a decision to the exigencies of Middle Eastern politics around the period of the first Gulf War of 1990-1. The investigation began to focus on Libya, however, at a much earlier time in September 1989, a year before Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait. While investigators sought to link Libya to the PFLP-GC, US government agencies retained and adhered to the original theory of the crime. For example, at least until late 1990, the State Department pressed Syria for Jibril’s expulsion, because of his alleged involvement in the bombing of Pan Am 103. Moreover, US intelligence documents continued to speak of PFLP-GC and Iranian involvement long after the public focus upon Libya. (...)
A deal between the US and Iran that involved the issue of Pan Am 103 is not an unreasonable hypothesis, given previous US behaviour and British and French ‘deals’ with Iran for the release of hostages. For example, on 21 March 1991, the CIA criticized Britain for having deported Mehradad Kokabi, an Iranian charged in connection with a bomb attack. While this would, “help Rafsanjani by using an issue used by hardliners to argue against the release of hostages”, it would also reinforce the view in Tehran that, “Washington, like London, will strike a deal favourable to Iran”. Equally, the CIA complained that the French government had earlier done a deal with Iran for the release of nine hostages between 1986 and 1988.[li]
Even as the US was contemplating in early 1989 that Iran had a hand in the bombing of Pan Am 103, it was still signalling the hope for a deal with Iran on the hostage issue as expressed in President Bush’s inaugural address. As he said, “There are today Americans who are held against their will in foreign lands and Americans who are unaccounted for. Assistance can be shown here and will be long remembered”.[lii] (...)
US/UK indictments of the two Libyan suspects were announced on 13 November 1991. On 16 November 1991, Iranian radio declared that the indictments of Fhima and al-Megrahi represented, “the start of a new psychological and propaganda war by Washington against Libya”.[lviii] A DIA report on 23 November, from intelligence acquired from Fort Meade, (that is, from Foreign Signals Intelligence) noted, however, that the “Iranian President voiced his pleasure in seeing the recent press attribute the blame to Libya for the 1988 Pan Am flight 103 bombing”.[lix]
On 18 November 1991, the American, Thomas Sutherland, and the Briton, Terry Waite, were freed by Islamic Jihad in Beirut.[lx] Later that month, there was a comprehensive exchange of hostages and human remains on one side and, on the other, prisoners in Israeli jails. On 2 December, the US also paid compensation to Iran some $278,000,000 for weapons confiscated in 1979.[lxi] On 10 December, a UN report found that Iraq’s invasion of Iran on 22 September 1980, and the occupation of Iranian land that followed, were unjustified and illegal.[lxii]
While many elements comprised the hostages deal, it could be argued that Pan Am 103 was necessarily part of the comprehensive settlement that involved, inter alia, money, prisoners, and international judgments about the Iran-Iraq War. It was necessary because, as the CIA commented on 1 June 1989, the Iranians “believe that the presence of Western hostages in Lebanon will help deter retaliation” for the bombing of Flight 103.[lxiii] It follows that Iran could not feel safe from US retaliation for Pan Am 103 (whether the retaliation was justified or not) if the hostages were freed without some guarantee. Thus, the eventual indictment of a rival state, it could be argued, provided that guarantee and was thus the necessary condition for the deal that followed.
Even before the final settlement, it is possible to argue that the US and Iran reached a tentative agreement about Pan Am 103. If Mohtashemi were the architect, as US intelligence seemed firmly to believe, using the back channels already established through ‘Irangate’, and relying on the policy of searching for moderates with whom to do business, it is possible that the US sought the isolation of Mohtashemi in exchange for a policy of non-retaliation. (...)
This article is not definitive. Rather, given the persistence of counter-narratives, it seeks to explore the available reliable evidence. That there remain some problematic issues around the conviction of al-Megrahi is evidenced in the referral of his case to a further appeal by the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission in 2007. That appeal was never heard because of al-Megrahi’s release on compassionate grounds in 2009. The Crown’s case rested upon four inter-locking circumstances, each and all of them problematic. Security at Luqa was ‘a major difficulty’ for the Crown’s case that the bomb originated in Malta. Moreover, Libyan intelligence, according to CIA reports, seemed to have ruled Luqa out as an airport for the insertion of IEDs because of said security.
The identification of al-Megrahi as the purchaser of the clothes found in the bomb case was, as the Trial Court acknowledged, ‘not absolute’. Subsequently it has been revealed that Gauci was paid for his evidence. Al-Megrahi’s presence in Malta on a false passport does not seem to have caused the CIA concerns in the late 1980s. A false passport was common among Libyan security personnel and the CIA had defined al-Megrahi as a ‘technical communications expert’. Finally, in terms of the bomb and its timer, the Trial Court noted problems in the evidence chain and subsequently the central US and British forensics staff involved have been discredited.
Turning to the defence’s theory of the crime, it is known that the PFLP-GC and PPSF had both the intention and capability for an attack on an airliner. In addition, they can be connected to Malta. Looking at the investigation, the PFLP-GC continued to be suspects, but with attempts from 1989 to link them to Libya. US intelligence spoke of “a compelling body of evidence” that “the PFLP-GC placed a sophisticated, altimeter-fused, radio-encased bomb aboard Pan Am flight 103” in December 1989 and the US was lobbying Syria, at Secretary of State level, for Jabril’s expulsion for Pan Am 103 in late 1990. The conviction that the PFLP-GC committed the bombing seems to have been widely held and long-lasting within the US government. Why there was an attempt first to link the PFLP-GC to Libya and then to abandon the “compelling evidence” against this group are interesting questions.
Given the attack on [sic; presumably "by" is meant] the USS Vincennes, less than six months before the bombing of Pan Am 103, Iran had, on the one hand, an obvious motive for retaliation against the US – and, indeed, US intelligence anticipated such action. On the other hand, Libyan motives were unclear, given that the anticipated date for an attack against the US was April (the anniversary of the Tripoli bombing in 1986). It is well known that the West had both a history of, and reasons for, backchannel deal-making with Iran, chief among those reasons the hostages held in Lebanon by pro-Iran groups. Given the belief by some factions that the hostages were deterring US retaliation for Pan Am 103, it would be necessary for any hostage deal to entail a guarantee on said retaliation. It is possibly telling both that Rafsanjani took private pleasure at the Libyan indictments and that US intelligence reported it. (...)
Given the current mix of circumstances in the Middle East and South Asia, it has never been more important that the West gets its policy towards Iran right. It is equally important for democratic politics and the human rights of those who must live under such regimes that there is honesty about the foreign policy choices that the West is making.
This article and its references are the copyright of Taylor and Francis, which must be acknowledged ©Taylor and Francis 2011.
[iv] In the High Court of the Justiciary at Camp Zeist, Case No. 1475/99, Opinion of the Court, delivered by Lord Sutherland in causa Her Majesty’s Advocate v Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al Megrahi and Al Amin Khalifa Fhimah, paras.87-89, http://www.scotcourts.gov.uk/library/Lockerbie/docs/lockerbiejudgement.pdf, 18 July 2010.
[v] Report to the President by the President’s Commission on Aviation Security and Terrorism, GPO, Washington DC, May 1990, p. ii.
[vi] I n the High Court of the Justiciary at Camp Zeist, Case No. 1475/99, Opinion of the Court, delivered by Lord Sutherland in causa Her Majesty’s Advocate v Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al Megrahi and Al Amin Khalifa Fhimah, paras.38-39, http://www.scotcourts.gov.uk/library/Lockerbie/docs/lockerbiejudgement.pdf, 18 July 2010.
[vii] Defence Intelligence Agency, Combined Message, 30 December 1991, http://www.dia.mil/foia/panam103.pdf, 18 March 2010.
[viii] Central Intelligence Agency, Contact Report, 30 August 1989, http://www.foia.cia.gov/browse_docs_full.asp, 9 July 2010.
[xii] Central Intelligence Agency, 20 January 1989, http://www.foia.cia.gov/browse_docs_full.asp , 13 July 2010.
[xiii] Central Intelligence Agency, ’Travel of Libyan External Security Organisation Officers through Malta in December 1988’, 22 December 1988, http://www.foia.cia.gov/browse_docs_full.asp, 9 July 2010.
[xx] In the High Court of the Justiciary at Camp Zeist, Case No. 1475/99, Opinion of the Court, delivered by Lord Sutherland in causa Her Majesty’s Advocate v Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al Megrahi and Al Amin Khalifa Fhimah, para.82, http:/www.scotcourts.gov.uk/library/Lockerbie/docs/lockerbiejudgement.pdf, 18 July 2010.
[xxi] In the High Court of the Justiciary at Camp Zeist, Case No. 1475/99, Opinion of the Court, delivered by Lord Sutherland in causa Her Majesty’s Advocate v Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al Megrahi and Al Amin Khalifa Fhimah, paras.73-4, http:/www.scotcourts.gov.uk/library/Lockerbie/docs/lockerbiejudgement.pdf, 18 July 2010.
[xxii] In the High Court of the Justiciary at Camp Zeist, Case No. 1475/99, Her Majesty’s Advocate v Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al Megrahi and Al Amin Khalifa Fhimah, Evidence, Rainer Gobel, physicist, BKA, pp. 8793-8796.
[xxiii] In the High Court of the Justiciary at Camp Zeist, Case No. 1475/99, Her Majesty’s Advocate v Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al Megrahi and Al Amin Khalifa Fhimah, Evidence, Edward Marshman, FBI Special Agent, p. 9268 and p. 9298.
[xxiv] In the High Court of the Justiciary at Camp Zeist, Case No. 1475/99, Her Majesty’s Advocate v Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al Megrahi and Al Amin Khalifa Fhimah, Evidence, Edward Marshman, FBI Special Agent, p. 9300.
[xxv] In the High Court of the Justiciary at Camp Zeist, Case No. 1475/99, Opinion of the Court, delivered by Lord Sutherland in causa Her Majesty’s Advocate v Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al Megrahi and Al Amin Khalifa Fhimah, paras.78-9, http://www.scotcourts.gov.uk/library/Lockerbie/docs/lockerbiejudgement.pdf, 18 July 2010.
[xxix] Defence Intelligence Agency, Information Report, 26 November 1991, http:/www.dia.mil/foia/panam103.pdf, 18 March 2010.
[xxx] Defence Intelligence Agency, Terrorism Summary, 13 December 1991, http://www.dia.mil/foia/panam103.pdf, 18 March 2010.
[xxxii] Defence Intelligence Agency, Information Report, 24 September 1989, http://www.dia.mil/foia/panam103.pdf, 18 March 2010
[xxxiii] Defence Intelligence Agency, Information Report, 7 October 1989, http://www.dia.mil/foia/panam103.pdf, 18 March 2010.
[xxxiv] Central Intelligence Agency, Directorate of Intelligence, Terrorism Review, 14 December 1989, http://www.foia.cia.gov/browse_docs_full.asp, 19 March 2010.
[xxxv] Defence Intelligence Agency, Defence Intelligence Brief, ‘Pan Am 103: Deadly Co-operation’, December 1989, http:/www.dia.mil/foia/panam103.pdf, 18 March 2010.
[xxxvi] Defence Intelligence Agency, Combined Message, 22 December 1989, http:/www.dia.mil/foia/panam103.pdf, 18 March 2010.
[xxxvii] Defence Intelligence Agency, January 1990, http:/www.dia.mil/foia/panam103.pdf, 18 March 2010.
[xl] Defence Intelligence Agency, Terrorism Summary, 15 September 1990, http://www.dia.mil/foia/panam103.pdf, 18 March 2010.
[xli] Defence Intelligence Agency, Terrorism Summary, 16 November 1990, http://www.dia.mil/foia/panam103.pdf, 18 March 2010.
[xlii] Defence Intelligence Agency, Intelligence Report, February 1991, http://www.dia.mil/foia/panam103.pdf, 18 March 2010.
[xliii] Keesing’s Record of World Events, Vol. 41, January 1995, Libya, p. 40380.
[xliv] Defence Intelligence Agency, Memorandum, November 1991, http://www.dia.mil/foia/panam103.pdf, 18 March 2010.
[xlv] Defence Intelligence Agency, Defence Intelligence Brief, ‘Pan Am 103: Deadly Co-operation’, December 1989, http://www.dia.mil/foia/panam103.pdf, 18 March 2010.
[li] Central Intelligence Agency, Directorate of Intelligence, Terrorism Review, 21 March 1991, http://www.foia.cia.gov/browse_docs_full.asp, 19 March 2010.
[lii] President George bush, Inaugural Address, 20 January 1989, http://bushlibrary.tamu.edu/research/, 20 March 2011.
[lviii] Keesing’s Record of World Events, Vol. 37, November 1991, Libya, p.38599
[lix] Defence Intelligence Agency, Information Report, 23 November 1991, http://www.dia.mil/foia/panam103.pdf, 18 March 2010.
[lx] Defence Intelligence Agency, Information Report, 19 November 1991, http:/www.dia.mil/foia/panam103.pdf, 18 March 2010.
[lxi] Keesing’s Record of World Events, Vol. 37, December 1991, Lebanon, p.38694.
[lxii] Keesing’s Record of World Events, Vol. 37, December 1991, Iran, p. 38697.
[lxiii] Central Intelligence Agency, Directorate of Intelligence, Terrorism Review, 1 June 1989
This is potentially a very important peice of research. However, many of the most important DIA and CIA references are untraceable. If the author, Dr Miller, can supply actual links which enable the reader to access the original documents, this would help immensely, but without traceable references, its value can not be guaranteed.ReplyDelete
I have deleted a comment because it did not relate to the Lockerbie case.ReplyDelete
Aku wrote, "many of the most important DIA and CIA references are untraceable."ReplyDelete
The DIA material is at:
CIA documents relevant to Pan Am 103 which have been released under Freedom of Information legislation are available through entering "pan am 103" without quotation marks, in the box labelled "this exact phrase" atReplyDelete
A commercial enterprise offers a collection for free download:
The article refers to "the attack on the USS Vincennes". Surely that's a little back-to front, as it was the USS Vincennes which shot down the Iranian passenger jet Iran Air Flight 655?ReplyDelete
MISSION LOCKERBIE, 2011 (doc. nr.7078.rtf.)ReplyDelete
Crucial detail assessment from MEBO:
1) 100%: Since August 1990, definitely a wrong date was created (7th of December, 1988) in order to accuse deliberately the libyan official Mr. Abdelbaset al Megrahi as the buyer of the cloths in "Mary's House".
A further proof from MEBO that the sale of dresses in Anhony Gauci "Mary's House" took undoubtedly place on Wednesday, 23th of November 1988.Mr. Abdelbaset al Megrahi was not in Malta on Wednesday, 23th of November 1988, thus Mr. Megrahi is definetely not the buyer of the dresses
2) 100%: There was no unaccompanied inter-line suitcase coming from Air Malta flight KM-180 transfair on PA-103A via Frankfurt to PA-103 on London-Heathrow!
3) 100%: There was not involved a MST-13 Timer from MEBO Ltd. There was a criminal activity with manipulated Evidence in the "Lockerbie-Case", inter alia
a manipulated MST-13 Timer fragment from a prototype (not delivered to Libya);
4) 100%: The swindle with the Toshiba radio-recorder fragment (AG/145).
This fragment was also manipulated and therefore there is no evidence that the radio-recorder was a Toshiba Type RT-8016/RT-SF16, Libya sale code (RT-SF16-K-VS-DW).
5) 100%: The libya ex Official Abdelbaset al Megrahi is indeed innocent and have nothing to do with the Lockerbie-tragedy !
by Edwin Bollier, MEBO Ltd. Telecommunication Switzerland. URL: www.lockerbie.ch
MISSION LOCKERBIE, 2011 (doc. nr.7080.rtf):ReplyDelete
For the 23rd anniversary of the Lockerbie tragedy, on 21st December 2011, MEBO give known why Abdelbaset Al Megrahi have not anything to do with the real "PanAm 103 bombing", because Al Megrahi and his chief and friend Ibrahim El Bishari together with a further five officials from the inner circle Gadhafi's, have at that time (since end of 1987) no longer worked for the "Benefit" of the Gadhafi regime...
The former head of security for Libyan Arab Airlines and former director of the Centre for Strategic Studies in Tripoli, Ali Mohamed Abdelbaset Al Megrahi, was for special reasons wrong convicted to life imprisoment as responsible for the Lockerbie bombing on 31 January 2001 !
Former foreign minister (1990-92) Ibrahim al-Bishari (ESO) dies in a mysterious car crash on 13th September 1997, in Cairo Agypt...
Details of background informations will be published in the upcoming book of MEBO, entitled "Die Wahrheit starb vor Lockerbie" (The Truth was died before Lockerbie).
by Edwin Bollier, MEBO Ltd. Telecommunication. URL: www.lockerbie.ch
Many thanks, Matt (comment above). I realise I already have the DIA material, but I didn't have all the CIA stuff.ReplyDelete
A very good article which looks at the "politics" of Lockerbie rather than dealing with it as an episode of Law & Order.ReplyDelete
As Doctor Miller refers to Khreesat's later denial of having ever used a twin speaker device to precise model of radio cassette used it is (in my view)still doubtful that the model used in the bombing was an RF-16. (para 2)and third paragraph of "An Alternate Narrative."
Doctor Miller postulates that two other groups the PFLP-GC and PPSF were also planning aviation attacks. However as her own article states Abu Talb left Malta on the very day of the Autumn Leaves arrests. (26/12/88). The key point about "Autumn Leaves" is that this plot was foiled only a week before the US Presidential Election.
The final paragraph of this section notes another crucial point that the CIA (and presumably MI5) were aware of Al-Megrahi's coded passport prior to the bombing.
At ref xxix Doctor miller refers to a DIA intelligence report that I cannot locate that refers to Al-Megrahi "intercepting the luggage in London and switching the label". If this document exdists then this "Intelligence" is manifestly worthless. Indeed at reference vii (which again cannot be currently located on the DIA website) in the third paragraph of the section "The Official Narrative and it's Problems" the DIA noted on the 30th December 1989that "Malta supports the Libyan position" that "it can prove that all the luggage on Flight PA103 belonged to the passengers." Of course they mean KM 180 not PA103. Is Doctor Miller misquoting the reference or is the reference just careless?
It appea5rs to be a central plank of Doctor Miller's argument that Ahmed Jibril of the PFLP-GC was exclusively a Syrian creature. However according to Patrick searle's biography of Abu Nidal Jibril had a villa in Tripoli.
The Beirut Hostage Crisis was a matter of some interest to myself and through researching the activities of Ian Spiro brought me to Lockerbie. However I believe George Bush's reference in his inauguration to Americans being held abroad particularly the reference to an accounting was a reference to the "MIA issue" (or MIA hoax).
I think Doctor Miller's conclusion was a little over-elaborate. the USA did not retaliate agaibnst Iran for Lockerbie because is in the circumstances of the vincennes Incident they were in no position to do so.
"Another problem with the theory that the bomb began its journey in Malta concerns a CIA document. On 30 August 1989, the station in Malta noted intelligence from their Libyan agent, ‘Abd al-Majid Gaika, that there had been an External Security Organisation (ESO) survey of Luqa International Airport in 1986, which had found that controls there “ruled out insertion of unaccompanied baggage containing explosives on to onward flights”.ReplyDelete
If it's true, this is evidence that Libya was interested in planting a bomb on an airliner in 1986. Far from pointing investigators elsewhere they must surely consider the possibility that the problems were overcome. Of course, the fact that it was Gaika who presented it must throw it into doubt but is it corroborated anywhere?
Was it mentioned at all at Camp Zeist?
Yes this claim featured in the evidence of (the late?) Majid Giaka. It is not simply a comment about security at Luqa Airport but was the only evidence presented of motive. (Revenge for the April 1986bombing of Tripoli and Benghazi). This purported motive featured in a US State Department "fact sheet".ReplyDelete
Indeed it may be because of the 1986 bombings that security was so good!
Of course in their determination to convict someone (I believe simply due to their loathing of "Camp Zeist") their Lordships ignored or discounted evidence there was no "rogue suitcase" on KM180 (as they convinced themselves Megrahi purchased the Malta clothing) and as David Wolwitz
recently discovered (if the bomb was contained within a bronze Samsonite) then it is irrefutable that it was introduced at Heathrow.
The Trial Judges accepted uncritically the dubious Frankfurt evidence to infer a "rogue suitcase" had been transferred.