Lockerbie bomb suspect in US custody was ‘abducted from home’ by warlord

A former Libyan intelligence operative accused of preparing the bomb that brought down Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, in 1988 was taken into US custody after being abducted from his home by a notorious warlord and then detained by armed militia for two weeks, the Guardian has been told.

Mohammed Abouagela Masud appeared briefly in court in Washington DC on Monday, accused of having set the timer for the bomb that destroyed the Boeing 747, killing 270 people in the most deadly terrorist attack to have taken place on British soil.

The US Department of Justice announced it had custody of Masud at the weekend, but gave no details of how he had arrived in the US.

Officials with knowledge of the case in Libya told the Guardian that Masud was seized at his home in the capital’s Abu Salem neighbourhood by forces loyal to Abdel Ghani al-Kikili, known as “Gheniwa”, who commands the Stability Support Authority (SSA)of the Tripoli-based Government of National Unity.

At the time,…

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This article was written by Jason Burke Africa correspondent and originally published on