The Libyan man accused of setting off the bomb that brought down the Pan Am Flight 103 in Lockerbie, Scotland back in 1988 was kidnapped from his home by a notorious militia group, according to new reports.
Abu Agela Masud Kheir Al-Marimi was handed over to US custody last weekend, followed by an appearance at a Washington DC court on Monday in order to face accusations of activating the timer of the bomb that destroyed the plane, which killed 270 people.
According to the British Guardian, Al-Marimi’s transfer to US custody was planned by American and Libyan government officials three months prior, in a new report on Tuesday.
Al-Marimi is also thought to have been abducted by the infamous Stabilization Support Authority (SSA) from his home in Tripoli’s Abu Salim neighbourhood, reported The Guardian.
The SSA – headed by warlord Abdel Ghani al-Kikili – is known for brutally carrying out attacks on migrants in Libya, who are hoping to cross the Mediterranean in an attempt to make it to Europe. The SSA, which is made up from leading militias, has been accused of carrying out ‘organised and dangerous’ abuse and torture against migrants in the north African country, and are believed to doing so in coordination with the European Union, in a bid to prevent them from reaching the continent.
Al-Kikili, who is also known as Gheniwa, has been accused by Amnesty International for committing “serious human rights abuses” – a claim which he denies.
Al-Marimi was then detained at a military base in the port city of Misrata by another unidentified militia group, before being passed on to US government officials.
Additionally, Al-Marimi’s family was told initially told that the 75-year-old would be “returned” within a short period of time following his kidnapping. However, he was taken to Malta within a week after he was hustled onto a plane by “Americans”, his family told The Guardian.
Al-Marimi previously served a 10-year prison sentence for crimes he committed as an intelligence operative under disgraced former leader Muammar Gaddafi, before returning home approximately six months ago following the completion of his jail term.
Plans to extradite Al-Marimi had been ongoing since 2019, according to The Guardian, under the Trump administration, while current conversations regarding the topic occurred under President Joe Biden.
Fathi Bashagha, Libya’s prime minister who is recognised by the country’s eastern parliament, expressed concerns earlier this week that Al-Marimi was “illegally extradited”, but did not name him explicitly. The SSA is also associated with the western, Tripoli-based government (GNU) – headed by Abdul Hamid Dbeibah- who is Bashagha’s political rival.