- Pan Am Flight 103? Oh yes, Christmas time 1988, those
two Libyans did it, but the Libyan leader, Col. Muammar Qaddafi has refused
to allow them to be tried in an American or British court. He knows they'll
be found guilty, and the whole world will condemn him.
- He does indeed. But not necessarily because the two men
are guilty. The acquittal of the Los Angeles police in the Rodney King
beating was sufficient confirmation of the Libyan leader's lack of illusions
about the workings of the American justice system.1 The verdict in the
O.J. Simpson case may well have reinforced that view, while "The Guilford
Four," the "Birmingham Six," and other infamous miscarriage-of-justice
cases in Britain have reportedly imparted to Qaddafi a similar lesson about
- Now, with December 21 having marked the tenth anniversary
of the tragedy that took two hundred and seventy lives in Lockerbie, Scotland,
the United States, the United Kingdom, and Libya have agreed, at least
in principle, to try the two Libyan suspects in the Netherlands, before
Scottish judges, and under Scottish law.
- In actuality, the evidence against the Libyans, Abdel
Basset Ali al-Megrahi and Lamen Khalifa Fhimah, who worked for Libyan Arab
Airlines at the Malta airport, is thin to the point of transparency. There
is no forensic evidence to support the charge that they placed a suitcase
containing the fatal bomb in an Air Malta plane in Malta, tagging it so
it would eventually be transferred to Flight 103 in London. No witnesses,
no fingerprints. Nothing to tie them to that particular brown Samsonite
suitcase. No past history of terrorism.
- Among the reported pieces of evidence casting suspicion
on the two Libyans or on the Libyan government is an entry on December
15, 1988, in a diary kept by Fhimah, which, according to the U.S. indictment,
says: "Abdel Basset is coming from Zurich with Salvu...take taggs
from Air Malta." It is all in Arabic except for the misspelled "taggs."
"Salvu" is not explained.3
- However, the indictment further states that "Air
Malta...was the handling agent for Libyan Arab Airlines" for flights
to and from Malta, "and as such utilized Air Malta luggage tags on
luggage destined for Libyan Arab Airline flights." It therefore seems
rather unsurprising that Fhimah might have had some normal business reason
to be using such tags. More importantly, if he were actually planning a
murderous covert operation using the tags, why would he mention them on
paper? And then leave the diary in his office where it could be taken?
- Another piece of evidence presented by U.S./U.K. investigators,
out of which they derived much mileage, is that the type of timing device
used in the bomb was sold only to Libya. It was later revealed that, in
fact, the investigators were told in 1990 by the Swiss manufacturer that
it had also sold the same timers to East German intelligence, which had
close contact with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General
Command (PFLP-GC) and numerous other "terrorist" groups.4
- The investigators' failure to disclose this information
can best be described by the word "coverup." And in any event,
there is no reason to assume that Libya could not have given one of their
timers to another party.
- Malta became a focus for investigators, even before serious
Libyan involvement was presumed, when tests indicated that the suitcase
which contained the bomb also contained several items of clothing manufactured
in Malta and supposedly sold in a particular clothing shop on the island.
The present U.S./ U.K. version of events would have the world believe that
al-Megrahi has been identified by the shopkeeper, Tony Gauci, as the purchaser
of the clothing. But there is no such evidence. Al-Megrahi has never been
presented to Gauci in person, and there has been no report that Gauci has
even been shown his photo. Moreover, the Maltese shopkeeper has already
made several erroneous "positive" identifications, including
one of a CIA asset.5
- Before the indictment of the two Libyans, the press reported
police findings that the clothing had been purchased on November 23.6 But
the indictment of al-Megrahi states that he made the purchase on December
7. Can this be because the investigators can document his being in Malta
on that date but cannot do so for November 23?
- The identification of al-Megrahi is even more questionable
than the above indicates.7 The fact that the investigative authorities
do not make clear exactly how al-Megrahi was identified by Gauci is indicative
of the weakness of their case.
- Furthermore, after the world was assured that these items
of clothing were sold only on Malta, it was learned that at least one of
the items was actually "sold at dozens of outlets throughout Europe,
and it was impossible to trace the purchaser."8
- Once Malta became a focus due to the clothing, it appears
that the next "logical" conclusion for the investigators was
that the suitcase containing the bomb and the Maltese clothing was put
together there; and thus the suitcase was somehow put aboard Air Malta
flight KM180 to Frankfurt without an accompanying passenger, on the first
leg in its fateful journey. News reports presenting the latter as a certainty
have alternated with reports like the following: The Lockerbie investigating
team "discovered [that] the list of luggage checked into the hold
against passengers' names on Air Malta KM180 to Frankfurt bore no resemblance
to what the passengers had checked in. The Air Malta list was a shambles,
one officer said."9
- Air Malta itself made an exhaustive study of this matter
and has categorically denied that there was any unaccompanied baggage on
KM180 or that any of the passengers transferred to the Frankfurt to London
flight.10 And a report sent by the FBI from Germany to Washington in October
1989 reveals profound doubts about this thesis. The report concludes: "There
remains the possibility that no luggage was transferred from Air Malta
180 to Pan Am 103."11
- In January 1995, more than three years after the indictment
of the two Libyans, the FBI was still of the same mind. A confidential
Bureau report stated: "There is no concrete indication that any piece
of luggage was unloaded from Air Malta 180, sent through the luggage routing
system at Frankfurt airport, and then loaded on board Pan Am 103."
The report added that the baggage records are "misleading" and
that the bomb suitcase could have come from another flight or was simply
a "rogue bag inserted into the system."12
- To accept the Malta scenario is to believe that the suitcase
itself led the following charmed life: 1) loaded aboard the Air Malta flight
to Frankfurt without an accompanying passenger; 2) transferred in Frankfurt
to the Pan Am 103A flight to London without an accompanying passenger;
3) transferred in London to the Pan Am 103 flight to New York without an
- To the magic bullet of the JFK assassination, can we
now add the magic suitcase?
- Under international airline rules, baggage unaccompanied
by passengers should not be allowed onto aircraft without being searched
or x-rayed. Actual practice is, of course, more lax, but how could serious
professional terrorists count on this laxness occurring three times in
a row for the same suitcase? Regular airline passengers would not make
such an assumption. Moreover, since the perpetrators in all likelihood
wanted to time the explosion to occur over the ocean, adding Malta as an
extra step could only add much more uncertainty.
- In any event, the Pan Am x-ray operator at Frankfurt
on December 21 testified in court that he had been told to look for a radio
in such baggage, but found none.13
- A passenger could conceivably have accompanied the suitcase
on the first, and/or second leg, but this would carry with it the sizeable
risk of subsequent identification.
- We must also ask why Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher,
writing in her 1993 memoirs about the U.S. bombing of Libya in 1986, with
which Britain had cooperated, stated: "But the much vaunted Libyan
counter-attack did not and could not take place. Qaddafi had not been destroyed
but he had been humbled. There was a marked decline in Libyan-sponsored
terrorism in succeeding years."14
- Finally, it should be pointed out that even if the two
Libyans were involved, there is no reason to assume they knew that the
suitcase contained a bomb, and not drugs, or some other contraband.
- Alternative Theory
- There is, moreover, an alternative scenario, laying the
blame on Iran and Syria, which is much better documented and makes a lot
more sense, logistically, politically, and technically. Indeed, this was
the Original Official Version, delivered with Olympian rectitude by the
U.S. government? guaranteed, sworn to, Scout's honor, case closed? until
the Gulf War came along and the support of Iran and Syria was needed, and
Washington was anxious as well to achieve the release of American hostages
held in Lebanon by groups close to Iran. The distinctive scurrying sound
of backtracking then became audible in the corridors of the White House.
Suddenly?or so it seemed?in October 1990, there was a New Official Version:
It was Libya, the Arab state least supportive of the U.S. buildup to the
Gulf War and the sanctions imposed against Iraq, that was behind the bombing
after all, declared Washington.
- The two Libyan airline employees were formally indicted
in the U.S. and Scotland on November 14, 1991. "This was a Libyan
government operation from start to finish," declared the State Department
spokesman.15 "The Syrians took a bum rap on this," said President
Bush.16 Within the next 20 days, the remaining four American hostages were
released along with the most prominent British hostage, Terry Waite.
- The Original Official Version accused the PFLP-GC, a
1968 breakaway from a component of the Palestine Liberation Organization
(PLO), of making the bomb and somehow placing it aboard the flight in Frankfurt.
The PFLP-GC was led by Ahmed Jabril, one of the world's leading terrorists,
and was headquartered in, financed by, and closely supported by, Syria.
The bombing was done at the behest of Iran as revenge for the U.S. shooting
down of an Iranian passenger plane over the Persian Gulf on July 3, 1988,
which claimed 290 lives.
- The support for this scenario was, and remains, impressive,
as this sample indicates:
- In April 1989, the FBI?in response to criticism that
it was bungling the investigation?leaked to CBS the news that it had tentatively
identified the person who unwittingly carried the bomb aboard. His name
was Khalid Jaafar, a 21-year-old Lebanese-American. The report said that
the bomb had been planted in Jaafar's suitcase by a member of the PFLP-GC,
whose name was not revealed.17
- In May, the State Department stated that the CIA was
"confident" of the Iran/Syria/ PFLP-GC account of events.18
- On September 20, The Times of London reported that "Security
officials from Britain, the United States, and West Germany are 'totally
satisfied' that it was the PFLP-GC" behind the crime.
- In December, Scottish investigators announced that they
had "hard evidence" of the involvement of the PFLP-GC in the
- A National Security Agency (NSA) electronic intercept
disclosed that Ali Akbar Mohtashemi, Iranian interior minister, had paid
Palestinian terrorists ten million dollars to gain revenge for the downed
- Israeli intelligence also intercepted a communication
between Mohtashemi and the Iranian Embassy in Beirut "indicating that
Iran paid for the Lockerbie bombing."21
- Even after the Libyans had been indicted, Israeli officials
declared that their intelligence analysts remained convinced that the PFLP-GC
bore primary responsibility for the bombing.22
- In 1992, Abu Sharif, a political adviser to PLO chairman
Yasser Arafat, stated that the PLO had compiled a secret report which concluded
that the bombing of Pan Am 103 was the work of a "Middle Eastern country"
other than Libya.23
- In February 1995, a former Scottish Office minister,
Alan Stewart, wrote to the British Foreign Secretary and the Lord Advocate,
questioning the reliability of the evidence which had led to the accusations
against the two Libyans. This move, wrote The Guardian, reflected the concern
of the Scottish legal profession, reaching into the Crown Office, the equivalent
of the office of the Attorney General, that the bombing may not have been
the work of Libya, but of Syrians, Palestinians, and Iranians.24
- Key Question
- A key question in the PFLP-GC version has always been:
How did the bomb get aboard the plane in Frankfurt, or at some other point?
One widely disseminated explanation was in a report, completed during the
summer of 1989 and leaked in the fall, which had been prepared by a New
York investigating firm called Interfor. Headed by a former Israeli intelligence
agent, Interfor?whose other clients included Fortune 500 companies, the
FBI, the IRS, and the Secret Service25?was hired by the law firm representing
Pan Am's insurance carrier.
- The Interfor report said that in the mid-1980s, a drug
and arms smuggling operation was set up in various European cities, with
Frankfurt airport as the site of one of the drug routes. The Frankfurt
operation was run by Manzer Al-Kassar, a Syrian, the same man from whom
Col. Oliver North's shadowy network purchased large quantities of arms
for the contras. At the airport, according to the report, a courier would
board a flight with checked luggage containing innocent items; after the
luggage had passed all security checks, one or another accomplice Turkish
baggage handler for Pan Am would substitute an identical suitcase containing
contraband; the passenger then picked up this suitcase upon arrival at
- The only courier named by Interfor is Khalid Jaafar,
although this may well have derived from the many news reports already
citing Jaafar as a prime suspect.
- The report spins a web much too complex and lengthy to
go into here. The short version is that the CIA in Germany discovered the
drug operation at the airport and learned also that Al-Kassar had the contacts
to gain the release of American hostages in Lebanon. He had already done
the same for French hostages. Thus it was that the CIA and the German Bundeskriminalamt
(BKA, Federal Criminal Office) allowed the drug operation to continue in
hopes of effecting the release of American hostages.
- According to the report, this same smuggling ring and
its method of switching suitcases at the Frankfurt airport were used to
smuggle the fatal bomb aboard Flight 103, under the eyes of the CIA and
BKA. Because of several warnings, these same officials had reason to suspect
that a bomb might be aboard Flight 103, possibly in the drug suitcase.
But the CIA, for various reasons, including not wanting to risk the hostage-release
operation, told the BKA to do nothing.
- Interfor gave three of the baggage handlers polygraphs,
and two of them were judged as being deceitful when denying any involvement
in baggage switching. However, neither the U.S., U.K. or German investigators
showed any interest in the results, or in questioning the baggage handlers.
Instead, the polygrapher, James Keefe, was hauled before a Washington grand
jury, and, as he puts it, "they were bent on destroying my credibility?not
theirs [the baggage handlers]." To Interfor, this attempt at intimidation
was the strongest evidence of a coverup.26
- Critics claimed that the report had been inspired by
Pan Am's interest in proving that it was impossible for normal airline
security to have prevented the loading of the bomb, thus removing the basis
for accusing the airline of negligence.
- The Interfor report was likely the principal reason Pan
Am's attorneys subpoenaed the FBI, CIA, DEA, State Department, National
Security Council, and NSA, as well as, reportedly, the Defense Intelligence
Agency and FAA, to turn over all documents relating to the crash of 103
or to a drug operation preceding the crash. The government moved to quash
the subpoenas on grounds of "national security," and refused
to turn over a single document in open court, although it gave some to
a judge to view in private.
- The judge later commented that he was "troubled
about certain parts" of what he had read, that he did not "know
quite what to do because I think some of the material may be significant."27
- Drugs Revelation
- A year later, on October 30, 1990, NBC News reported
that "Pan Am flights from Frankfurt, including 103, had been used
a number of times by the DEA as part of its undercover operation to fly
informants and suitcases of heroin into Detroit as part of a sting operation
to catch dealers in Detroit."
- The TV network reported that the DEA was looking into
the possibility that a young man who lived in Michigan and regularly visited
the Middle East may have unwittingly carried the bomb aboard Flight 103.
His name was Khalid Jaafar. "Unidentified law enforcement sources"
were cited as saying that Jaafar had been a DEA informant and was involved
in a drug-sting operation based out of Cyprus. The DEA was investigating
whether the PFLP-GC had tricked Jaafar into carrying a suitcase containing
the bomb instead of (or in addition to?) the drugs he usually carried.
- The report added that "Informants would put [suit]cases
of heroin on the Pan Am flights apparently without the usual security checks...through
an arrangement between the DEA and German authorities."28
- These revelations were enough to inspire a congressional
hearing, held in December 1990, entitled, "Drug Enforcement Administration's
Alleged Connection to the Pan Am Flight 103 Disaster."
- The chairman of the House committee, Rep. Robert Wise
(Dem.-W. Va.), began the hearing by lamenting the fact that the DEA and
the Department of Justice had not made any of their field agents who were
most knowledgeable about Flight 103 available to testify; that they had
not provided requested written information, including the results of the
DEA's investigation into the air disaster; and that "the FBI to this
date has been totally uncooperative."
- The two DEA officials who did testify admitted that the
agency had, in fact, run "controlled drug deliveries" through
Frankfurt airport with the cooperation of German authorities, using U.S.
airlines, but insisted that no such operation had been conducted in December
- The officials denied that the DEA had had any "association
with Mr. Jaafar in any way, shape, or form." However, to questions
concerning Jaafar's background, family, and his frequent trips to Lebanon,
they asked to respond only in closed session. They made the same request
in response to several other questions. (NBC News had reported on October
30 that the DEA had told law enforcement officers in Detroit not to talk
to the media about Jaafar.)
- The hearing ended after only one day, even though Wise
had promised a "full-scale" investigation and indicated during
the hearing that there would be more to come. What was said in the closed
sessions remains closed.29
- One of the DEA officials who testified, Stephen Greene,
had himself had a reservation on Flight 103, but he canceled because of
the warnings. He has described standing on the Heathrow tarmac, watching
the doomed plane take off.30
- There have been many reports of heroin being found in
the field around the crash, from "traces" to "a substantial
quantity" found in a suitcase.31 Two days after the NBC report, however,
the New York Times quoted a "federal official" saying that "no
hard drugs were aboard the aircraft."
- The DEA of course knew of its sting operation in Frankfurt
two years earlier when the tragedy occurred, but they said nothing, not
even to the President's Commission on Aviation Security and Terrorism,
which held hearings in the first months of 1990 in response to the Flight
- The Whistleblowers
- Lester Coleman, author and radio talk-show host, who
spent several years with the Defense Intelligence Agency and the DEA, beginning
in the mid-1980s, has revealed that when he was working with the DEA station
in Cyprus, he met Khalid Jaafar several times, that Jaafar was working
for the DEA, and that the young man had run two or three controlled deliveries
of heroin into Detroit.32
- Because Coleman did not keep what he knew to himself,
but repeated his story in an affidavit for Pan Am's action against the
U.S. government, and then co-authored a highly revealing book, he was hounded
for several years, across continents, and severely punished by various
institutions of that same government, including being imprisoned on phony
charges to damage his credibility. His tale reads like something out of
Les Miserables with the U.S. government as Inspector Javert.
- At one point, a federal judge warned Coleman: "If
you attack the government on the radio, I will take that very, very seriously."33
- Several other individuals who have raised questions about
a U.S. government role in the Pan Am 103 disaster have also paid a heavy
price, including Juval Aviv, the head of Interfor. His office suffered
a series of break-ins; the FBI visited his clients; his polygrapher was
harassed, as mentioned; and a contrived commercial fraud charge was brought
against him. Even though Aviv eventually was cleared in court, it was a
long, expensive, and painful ordeal.34
- There was also Allan Francovich, who made a documentary
film, The Maltese Double Cross, which presents Jaafar as an unwitting bomb
carrier with ties to the DEA and the CIA. Showings of the film in Britain
were canceled under threat of lawsuits, and venues burglarized or attacked
with arson. When Channel 4 agreed to show the film, the Scottish Crown
Office and the U.S. Embassy in London sent press packs to the media, labeling
the film "blatant propaganda," and attacking some of the film's
interviewees, including Coleman and Aviv.35 Additionally, Francovich said
he had learned that five CIA operatives had been sent to London and Cyprus
to discredit the film while it was being made, that his office phones were
tapped, and staff cars sabotaged, and that one of his researchers narrowly
escaped an attempt to force his vehicle into the path of an oncoming truck.36
- Lockerbie investigators went so far as to ask the FBI
to investigate the film. The Bureau later issued a highly derogatory opinion
- The film's detractors made much of the fact that the
film was initially funded jointly by a U.K. company (two-thirds) and a
Libyan government investment concern (one-third). Francovich said that
he was fully aware of this and had taken pains to negotiate a guarantee
of independence from any interference.
- On April 17, 1997, Allan Francovich suddenly died of
a heart attack at age 56, upon arrival at Houston Airport.38 His film has
had almost no showings in the United States.39
- Abu Talb
- The DEA sting operation and Interfor's baggage-handler
hypothesis both predicate the bomb suitcase being placed aboard the plane
without going through the normal security checks. In either case, it eliminates
the need for the questionable triple-flight unaccompanied-baggage scenario.
It does not eliminate the matter of the clothing purchased in Malta, but
we do not need the Libyans for that.
- Mohammed Abu Talb fits that and perhaps other pieces
of the puzzle. The Palestinian had close ties to PFLP-GC cells in Germany
which were making Toshiba radio-cassette bombs, similar, if not identical,
to what was used to bring down Flight 103. In October 1988, two months
before Lockerbie, the German police staged several raids against these
cells, uncovering all but one of their five known bombs. In May 1989, Talb
was arrested in Sweden, where he lived, and was later convicted of taking
part in several bombings of the offices of American airline companies in
Scandinavia. In his Swedish apartment, police found large quantities of
clothing made in Malta.
- Police investigation of Talb disclosed that during October
1988 he had been to Cyprus and Malta, at least once in the company of Hafez
Dalkamoni, the leader of the German PFLP-GC, who was arrested in the raid.
The men met with group members who lived in Malta. Talb was also in Malta
on November 23, which was originally reported as the date of the clothing
purchase before the indictment of the Libyans, as mentioned earlier.
- After his arrest, Talb told investigators that between
October and December 1988 he had retrieved and passed to another person
a bomb that had been hidden in a building used by the PFLP-GC in Germany.
Officials declined to identify the person to whom Talb said he had passed
the bomb. A month later, however, he recanted his confession.
- Additionally, Talb was reported to possess a brown Samsonite
suitcase, and to have circled December 21 in a diary seized in his Swedish
flat. After the raid upon his flat, his wife was allegedly heard to telephone
Palestinian friends and say: "Get rid of the clothes."
- In December 1989, Scottish police, in papers filed with
Swedish legal officials, made Talb the only publicly identified suspect
"in the murder or participation in the murder of 270 people."40
Since that time, the world has scarcely heard of Abu Talb, who was sentenced
to life in prison in Sweden, but never charged with anything to do with
- In Allan Francovich's film, members of Khalid Jaafar's
family?which long had ties to the drug trade in Lebanon's notorious Bekaa
Valley?are interviewed. In either halting English or translated Arabic,
or paraphrased by the film's narrator, they drop many bits of information,
but they are difficult to put together into a coherent whole. Among the
bits: Khalid had told his parents that he had met Talb in Sweden and had
been given Maltese clothing; someone had given Khalid a tape recorder,
or put one into his bag; he was told to go to Germany to friends of Ahmed
Jabril who would help him earn some money; he arrived in Germany with two
kilos of heroin; "He didn't know it was a bomb. They gave him the
drugs to take to Germany. He didn't know. Who wants to die?"
- It cannot be stated with certainty what happened at Frankfurt
airport on that fateful day, if, as seems most likely, that is the place
where the bomb was placed into the system. Either Jaafar, the DEA courier,
arrived with his suitcase of heroin and bomb and was escorted through security
by the proper authorities, or this was a day he was a courier for Manzer
al-Kassar, and the baggage handlers did their usual switch.
- International Law
- Contrary to what American officials and the media have
stated on numerous occasions, the 1992 U.N. resolutions do not demand that
Libya turn the two men over to the United States or Scotland. No specific
venue is mentioned.41
- In 1992, Qaddafi declared that if the U.S. could demand
that al-Megrahi and Fhimah be turned over for trial, he could ask for the
surrender of the American airmen who bombed two Libyan cities, killing
37 people, including his daughter.
- The United States refuses to accede to the request of
Costa Rica for the extradition of John Hull, an American who was a major
player in Iran-Contra, and who is wanted in Costa Rica for drug trafficking
and other crimes. Similar requests from Cuba over the years for the terrorists
harbored by the U.S. in Washington and Miami have also been ignored.
- It is surprising that Qaddafi has agreed to subject the
two Libyans to a Scottish judge and Scottish law, without a jury. Even
though it would take place in the Netherlands, there is no reason to assume
that the Scottish judges would be any less biased than in Scotland. To
return home after acquitting the men could not be a pleasant thing to face.
- At the same time, it is unlikely that any U.S. or British
official really believes that Libya played a significant role, if any.
And for that reason, they probably do not actually want to see the trial
of the two men take place.42 Not only would the paucity of their evidence
be exposed for all the world to see, but they might be obliged to reveal
information they'd rather not see the light of day, perhaps touching upon
the role played by one or more U.S. intelligence agencies.
- William Blum is the author of Killing Hope: U.S. Military
and CIA Interventions Since World War II (Monroe, Maine: Common Courage
Press, 1995), portions of which can be read at http://members.aol.com/bblum6/American_
- 1. The Times (London), May 11, 1992, p. 11.
- 2. "God Bless America?A Personal View," paper
written by Dr. Jim Swire, spokesman for the bereaved U.K. families of Pan
Am 103 victims, Oct. 20, 1995. Copy in author's possession. Swire met with
Qaddafi in Libya.
- 3. Grand Jury indictment, U.S. District Court for the
District of Columbia, 1991.
- 4. Der Spiegel (Germany), Apr. 18, 1994, pp. 92-7; Sunday
Times (London), Dec. 19, 1993, p. 2; The Times (London), Dec. 20, 1993,
p. 11; Los Angeles Times, Dec. 20, 1993.
- 5. Mark Perry, Eclipse: The Last Days of the CIA (New
York: Wm. Morrow, 1992), pp. 342-47. See also Time, Apr. 27, 1992, p. 27,
for another example of the unreliability of the shopkeeper's identification.
- 6. See, e.g., Sunday Times, Nov. 12, 1989, p. 3.
- 7. See The Independent (London), Jan. 24, 1995, p. 3,
for more on this matter.
- 8. Sunday Times, Dec. 17, 1989, p. 14. Malta is, in fact,
a major manufacturer of clothing, especially denims, sold throughout the
- 9. The Independent, Oct. 30, 1989, p. 2.
- 10. The Guardian (London) July 29, 1995, p. 26.
- 11. Time, Apr. 27, 1992, p. 28.
- 12. The Independent, Jan. 30, 1995, p. 3. The newspaper
reported it was a five-page official briefing paper that had been leaked
to them. It is possible this is the same 1989 report referred to in note
11. Time magazine also said it was a five-page document.
- 13. Donald Goddard with Lester Coleman, Trail of the
Octopus: Behind the Lockerbie Disaster (London: Penguin Books, 1994), p.
- 14. Margaret Thatcher, The Downing Street Years (New
York: Harper-Collins, 1993), pp. 448-49.
- 15. New York Times, Nov. 15, 1991, p. 1.
- 16. Los Angeles Times, Nov. 15, 1991, p. 25.
- 17. New York Times, Apr. 13, 1989, p. 9; David Johnston,
Lockerbie: The Tragedy of Flight 103 (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1989),
pp. 157, 161-62. Johnston says investigators believed that the person who
put the bomb into Jaafar's bag was Abdul Dalkamoni, the brother of Hafez
Dalkamoni, whom we shall meet later.
- 18. Washington Post, May 11, 1989, p. 1.
- 19. New York Times, Dec. 16, 1989, p. 3.
- 20. Department of the Air Force?Air Intelligence Agency
intelligence summary report, March 4, 1991, released under an FOIA request
made by lawyers for Pan Am. The intercept appears to have taken place in
July 1988, shortly after the downing of the Iranian plane. Reports of the
intercept appeared in the press long before the above document was released;
see, e.g., New York Times, Sept. 27, 1989, p. 11; Oct. 31, 1989, p. 8;
Sunday Times, Oct. 29, 1989, p. 4. But it was not until January 1995 that
the exact text became widely publicized and caused a storm in the U.K.,
although ignored in the U.S.
- 21. The Times, Sept. 20, 1989, p. 1.
- 22. New York Times, Nov. 21, 1991, p. 14. It should be
borne in mind, however, that Israel may have been influenced because of
its hostility toward the PFLP-GC.
- 23. Reuters dispatch, datelined Tunis, Feb. 26, 1992.
- 24. The Guardian, Feb. 24, 1995, p. 7.
- 25. National Law Journal (New York), Sept. 25, 1995,
p. A11, from papers filed in a New York court case.
- 26. Barron's (New York), Dec. 17, 1990, p. 22.
- 27. Ibid., p. 18.
- 28. Goddard/Coleman, op. cit., n. 13, p. 205; Washington
Times, Oct. 31, 1990, p. 3; The Times, Nov. 1, 1990, p. 3.
- 29. Government Information, Justice, and Agriculture
Subcommittee, Committee on Government Operations, House of Representatives,
Dec. 18, 1990, passim.
- 30. The film, The Maltese Double Cross (see below).
- 31. Sunday Times, Apr. 16, 1989 (traces); Johnston, op.
cit., n. 17, p. 79 (substantial). The Maltese Double Cross mentions other
reports of drugs found by a Scottish policeman and by a mountain rescue
- 32. Goddard/Coleman, pp. 40-43.
- 33. Goddard/Coleman, passim, and conversations with Coleman
by the author in 1998. Coleman was eventually obliged to plead guilty to
a contrived perjury charge in order to be released from detention while
- 34. Article by John Ashton, The Mail on Sunday (London),
June 9, 1996; Wall Street Journal, Dec. 18, 1995, p. 1, and Dec. 18, 1996,
- 35. Ashton, op. cit., n. 34, and Financial Times (London),
May 12, 1995, p. 8.