The widow of a victim of the 1988 plane explosion that killed 270 people in Scotland spoke on Monday, shortly before the suspected Lockerbie bombmaker is due to appear in court.
The alleged maker of the Pan Am Flight 103 bomb, Abu Agila Mohammad Mas’ud Kheir Al-Marimi, has been taken into US custody, nearly 34 years after the attack, the Justice Department confirmed Sunday.
Victoria Cummock, whose husband, John, died in the attack, expressed her gratitude for the arrest on Monday. The suspect is expected to make his first appearance in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia at 1 p.m. ET.
Pan Am Flight 103, en route from London to New York, exploded over Lockerbie on December 21, 1988, killing all 259 people on board and 11 others on the ground. It remains the deadliest terrorist attack on British soil.
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Of the casualties, 35 Syracuse University students were killed while returning from study abroad.
At the press conference, held in Miami, Florida, Victoria Cummock, widow of passenger John B. Cummock, and founder and CEO of the Pan Am 103 Lockerbie Legacy Foundation, delivered prepared remarks.
“Today is a milestone in the courageous quest by the families of the victims to identify and hold accountable all those responsible for the second-deadliest terrorist attack against Americans. That’s a decades-old promise I made to John Cummock, my 38-year-old husband, my best friend and the father of my three children,” Cummock said in a statement previously provided to Fox News.
He celebrated that “the US arrest and arrest of suspected Libyan terrorist Mas’ud, is the first tangible step taken by the US Department of Justice, in 34 years, to hold any suspect accountable in US courts , for the December 21, 1988, terrorist attack on America that killed our loved ones, aboard Pan American Flight 103, en route from London to New York, exploding over Lockerbie, Scotland.”
“On behalf of my family and members of my organization, I want to express our gratitude to President Biden, a Syracuse University alumnus, and the US authorities for carrying out their promises,” he continued. “Hopefully, this significant first step will begin to address the more than 3-decade-old miscarriage of justice. Our wish is for criminal proceedings to begin immediately.”
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“The victim’s families are acutely aware that after 34 years, whistleblowers and witnesses die, memories fade, and evidence can deteriorate or disappear,” he added. “Aside from the 1991 criminal charges against Libyans, al-Megrahi and Fhimah, and the 2020 criminal charges against Libyan Mas’ud, US authorities have never arrested or prosecuted ANY suspects in the mass murder of 190 U.S. citizens and 69 foreign nationals, aboard a U.S. flagship, including 11 people killed on the ground.”
EDITOR’S NOTE: This report has been updated to clarify that the FBI did not speak at the Monday morning press conference.