Filmmaker Facts Investigation That Identified Alleged Pan Am Flight 103 Bomb-Maker

Thirty-two a long time immediately after the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103, new fees have been brought against the man suspected of generating the bomb that took down the aircraft in excess of Lockerbie, Scotland.

U.S. Attorney Common William Barr declared Monday that the office was charging former Libyan intelligence officer Abu Agela Mas’ud Kheir Al-Marimi. He is accused of supplying a Samsonite suitcase with a Toshiba cassette participant that was armed with an explosive.

The prices appear soon after many years of investigations in quite a few international locations that led to only one conviction for the assault that killed 270 people today. Scottish judges convicted Libyan Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi in 2001 for his position in the bombing. He died in 2012.

Filmmaker Ken Dornstein was confident other individuals had been involved.

His brother, David, was killed in the bombing, and Dornstein has devoted his daily life to seeking for the reality. In his 2015 Frontline documentary series “My Brother’s Bomber,” he exposed inbound links that inevitably led to the indictment of Mas’ud as the suspected bomb skilled.

Irrespective of the Libyan government’s denial of involvement, Dornstein was convinced there were other folks included in the plot. So he did what journalists do: pored above travel information and movie archives and even went all-around the entire world to track down people liable for his brother’s demise. He identified journey paperwork linking Mas’ud to a different assault on Us residents in Germany two decades right before the Lockerbie bombing.

But it appeared like most anyone who had labored with Mas’ud was dead, and other individuals questioned to Dornstein whether that was even his true name.

“My Libyan pal and fixer at the time appeared at the identify and stated, which is virtually a made-up identify,” Dornstein tells Morning Version host Noel King.

Then, in 2012, Dornstein figured out about a Libyan person living in Germany. He experienced gone to jail for bombing a German nightclub in 1986. Dornstein went to Germany to inquire him who had created the bomb he used. The male went on to identify Mas’ud.

Still, there was no just one who could inform Dornstein wherever to locate the suspected bomb-maker.

Then in 2015, much more than two yrs just after they met, the Libyan man in Germany sent Dornstein a text. It was a image of a male extensive suspected was Mas’ud. He was staying held in a Libyan jail.

On Morning Version Dornstein describes what took place upcoming:

And so what do you do? Do you take that info to the FBI? Do you contact them up and say, “Men, there’s a guy who was involved in Lockerbie and I’ve got a picture of him. He’s in prison on trial in Libya.”

I was in anything of a bind for the reason that as a filmmaker and a journalist, clearly I was striving to get as significantly as I could on the history. I had at distinctive moments been questioned by the FBI. They desired to know if I experienced something related to their investigation at distinctive details. I did give them information, so they understood what I understood as of 2014. And it was truly just a ready activity of no matter whether there would be the skill or the political will possibly to do nearly anything about it.

If this man, Abu Agela Mas’ud, is in truth responsible, that usually means he is in component responsible for your brother’s demise. How did you truly feel hearing Attorney Normal Barr say we have indicted this gentleman, this guy that you expended decades chasing?

You know, it is maybe understandably a mixed bag of thoughts. I imply, as a journalist and filmmaker, I’m often grateful if a person normally takes your work seriously and some thing will come of it. As a brother, the thing that interests me at this minute is about the small business of fact and lies and that [Libyan leader] Moammar Gadhafi was the unique form of strongman and he lied brazenly. And all those lies were repeated by his internal circle, and they ended up repeated by the convicted bomber, al-Megrahi, who went to his death denying that he performed any purpose in stating he was scapegoated. And even some family of Lockerbie victims have internalized these lies. And in excess of time, that procedure is corrosive. I have believed that if you could discover selected truths and create certain specifics and even movie them, then you could disarm of the harm. And I’m ready to see what will come of the Justice Department’s announcement. My hope is that it puts additional specifics on the history that are incontrovertible and that it finishes any remaining questions and that it silences the lies.

You tried out extremely challenging to converse to Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi in advance of he died. You did not get a possibility. What would you want to talk to Abu Agela Mas’ud if you had an option to sit down with him?

What I needed a lot more than something, was for him to inform me the tale. The narrative really was what I was looking for, the type of specificity of element that you could not deny and you could not make up. And the instant I wished was the instant when he to start with listened to that his title experienced arrive up in link with Lockerbie and that 20 years, 20 moreover years of lies and denials about his position experienced essentially occur to very little. And I required him to know that you couldn’t lie and deny eternally and that an individual would care ample to point out the real truth. And I needed him to know in this case that that was me.