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Lockerbie bombing suspect detained in US

A police officer walks away from the wreckage of the plane that exploded and crashed over Lockerbie, Scotland in 1988. (Roy Letkey/AFP/Getty Images)

On December 21, 1988, Pan Am Flight 103 exploded 31,000ft over Lockerbie, Scotland 38 minutes after takeoff from London.

American and British investigators found fragments of a circuit board and a timer, and concluded that a bomb, not a mechanical failure, had caused the explosion.

The attack had killed 270 people – 259 people on board the airliner, as well as 11 on the ground – as the bomb exploded over the Scottish city as it flew from London to New York.

It remains the deadliest terrorist attack to take place in the UK

Libyans Abdelbeset Ali Mohmed al Megrahi and Al Amin Khalifah Fhimah were tried for the bombing. They were accused planting explosives in a portable boombox that was inside a suitcase on the plane. Megrahi was sentenced in 2001 to 27 years in prison, but was released from prison after being diagnosed with cancer. He died in 2012. Fhimah was acquitted.

Two years ago, the United States indicted a Libyan, Abu Agila Mohammad Mas’ud Kheir Al-Marimi, for his alleged involvement in the making of the bomb that destroyed the flight. He is now being held in the United States.

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