The former second-in-command to Palestinian terrorist Abu Nidal has claimed they and Libyan intelligence co-operated on a number of plots.
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Atef Abu Bakr has told the influential international Arabic newspaper Al Hayat that the fall of the Libyan regime will lead to revelations about Gaddafi’s involvement in many atrocities.
He said the Libyan dictator personally sanctioned the use of the Abu Nidal group to organise the 1988 aircraft bombing in co-operation with his own intelligence service, for which Megrahi was an officer. The two organisations then assassinated many of those involved to cover their tracks.
He claimed Megrahi promised on the night before his extradition to keep silent about Gaddafi’s involvement but later “threatened to expose the whole process unless the Libyan authorities made efforts to secure his release”.
Bakr claims the attack on the Pan Am jet was in retaliation for the US bombing raid two years previously on Benghazi and Tripoli in which Gaddafi’s daughter died.
He said of the bomb manufacture and delivery on to the flight: “I can assure you categorically that the two processes were the outcome of a partnership between the Abu Nidal group and the security of the Libyan Jamahiriya.
His version of events has the bomb being built by Abu Nidal’s experts in Southern Lebanon and then being sent to Tripoli via Brazzaville, the capital of Congo. From there the bomb was transported via Malta, which accords with the prosecution case at the Lockerbie trial.
He stressed: “The Lockerbie explosive came from Tripoli to Malta and was then shipped from Malta. I want to emphasise that the shipment came from Malta.”