Abu Mas’ud involvement in the Lockerbie bombing’s well known, the only surprise being his recent apprehension. At the very outset he was one of many sought. Top of the list was Gadhafi, followed by his evil henchman Senussi. But Mas’ud was up there and far higher in the wanted list than either Megrahi or his co-accused Fimmah.
But the agreement to a trial in the Netherlands albeit under Scots Law was only brokered on several conditions. Firstly, the main man Gadhafi wasn’t to be in the frame. Secondly, that it wouldn’t be in the USA or under American jurisdiction. And thirdly only Megrahi and Fimmah would be offered up. In a nutshell, they were the highest-ranking suspects Libya would release and the lowest the UK/USA would accept.
But Mas’ud role was always known and hence why he’s remained on the wanted list. Megrahi and Fimmah were bit part players whilst he was the technician. Megrahi and Fimmah didn’t have the skills to make the bomb that destroyed the plane and devastated the town below, but Mas’ud certainly did. My view’s he primed the bomb that was placed in a suitcase brought into Malta by Megrahi and handed over by him to Fimmah who was Libyan Airlines head of security at Luqa Airport.
Indeed, as documented by Ken Dornstein whose brother died in the atrocity his skills as a bombmaker seem longstanding with him suspected of involvement in the “La Belle“ discotheque bombing in Berlin before Lockerbie, when US servicemen were killed and suspicion fell once again on Libya and the PFLP-GC.
He was easily identifiable as he’s black rather than Arab but despite demands for him to be offered up for trial on Pan Am 103, Gadhaffi held firm. Access even to interview him was denied and hence he remained a main suspect but always out of reach.
Even when Gadhaffi fell Mas’ud remained out of reach. Warlords hated each other but all loathed the US and handing him over was unthinkable. Why it’s been done now who knows? Arms, money, but whilst he’s been offered up, Senussi remains off limits, yet he’s also in a Libyan jail.
But it’s a further piece in the Lockerbie jigsaw and maybe offers some further closure for some.