His son, Khaled al-Megrahi, confirmed that he died in Tripoli in a telephone interview but hung up before giving more details. Saad Nasser al-Megrahi, a relative and a member of the ruling National Transitional Council, said al-Megrahi's health had seriously deteriorated in recent days and he died of cancer-related complications.This news saturated the net this morning likely due to the closure it may provide to the families of victims on Pan Am 103. But the AP-generated story used by many sites contained, shall we say, some skeptism:
Al-Megrahi's lawyers also claimed that British and U.S. authorities tampered with evidence, disregarded witness statements and steered investigators away from suggestions the bombing was an Iranian-financed plot carried out by Palestinians to avenge the shooting down of a civilian Iranian airliner by a U.S. warship -- in which some 290 people were killed -- several months before the Lockerbie bombing. The judicial body, however, discounted theories of intentional misdirection.Iran was certainly outraged at the time, but Gaddafi also had his reasons for revenge of course--Reagan's raid on his palace in 1986. As with most of these events there are theories aplenty--others believe the CIA engineered the crash for some reason or another (this would have been the evil CIA of Reagan-Bush not the good CIA under Clinton and Obama, where glamorous blonds speak truth to power and mystery double agents penetrate AQAP).
None of the theories explain why Gaddafi was also blamed for the downing of UTA 772 a year later using the same methodology. However, it wouldn't be surprising if Megrahi was some kind of fall-guy, although it's a bit harder to imagine the Persians were involved that fast after the loss of Iran Air 655. It's just as believable to consider that Saddam Hussein was involved in some way relating to their mutual affection for Abu Nidal, after all one of the alleged bomb-makers was reputedly hiding in Iraq before the invasion:
Khala Khadar al Salahat, a member of ANO, surrendered to the First Marine Division in Baghdad on April 18, 2003. According to an August 25, 2002 report in the Sunday Times of London, a Palestinian source claimed that Salahat and Nidal had furnished Libyan agents the Semtex (plastic explosive) bomb that destroyed Pan American Flight 103 over Lockerbie Scotland in 1988. Among the 259 persons killed in the air and 11 killed on the ground were 35 American college students.Everyone knows Abu Nidal committed suicide in Baghdad in 2002 by shooting himself in the head, several times, as the Iraqi Mukhabarat stood by and watched.
As to Megrahi there was one man who claimed to know the truth; a man who defected to the west as soon as the excrement began to hit the fan in Tripoli:
Former justice minister Mustapha Abdeljalil told Swedish newspaper Expressen that he had proof Gaddafi personally ordered the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103, which exploded over the Scottish town of Lockerbie on December 21, 1988, killing 270 people, mostly Americans.Whatever happened to that guy?