A widow of a victim of the 1988 plane explosion in Scotland that killed 270 people spoke on Monday, shortly before the suspected Lockerbie bombmaker is expected to appear in court.
The alleged bomb maker of Pan Am Flight 103, Abu Agila Mohammad Mas’ud Kheir Al-Marimi, was taken into custody by the United States nearly 34 years after the attack, the Justice Department confirmed on Sunday.
Victoria Cummock, whose husband, John, was killed in the attack, expressed her gratitude for the arrest Monday. The defendant is expected to make his first appearance in U.S. 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 another 11 on the ground. It remains the deadliest terror attack on British soil.
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Of the victims, 35 Syracuse University students were killed while returning from study abroad.
During the press conference in Miami, Florida, Victoria Cummock, widow of passenger John B. Cummock, and the founder and CEO of the Pan Am 103 Lockerbie Legacy Foundation delivered prepared remarks.
“Today marks an important milestone in the determined quest of the families of the victims to identify and hold accountable all those responsible for the second deadliest terrorist attack against Americans. This is 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 provided to Fox News ahead of time.
She celebrated that the “U.S. arrest and detention of Libyan terror suspect Mas’ud, marks the first tangible step taken by the U.S. Justice Department in 34 years to hold each suspect accountable in U.S. courts for the 21 attacks December 1988.” , terrorist attack against America that killed our loved ones, aboard Pan American Flight 103, flying from London to New York, exploding over Lockerbie, Scotland.”
“On behalf of my family and the members of my organization, I would like to express our gratitude to President Biden, a Syracuse University alumnus, and the US authorities for taking action on their commitments,” she continued. “Hopefully, this important first step will begin to address the 3+ decades-long miscarriage of justice. It is our wish that criminal proceedings begin immediately.”
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“Victim’s families are well aware that after 34 years, informants and witnesses die, memories fade and evidence may deteriorate or disappear,” she added. “Apart from issuing the 1991 criminal charges against Libyans, al-Megrahi and Fhimah, and the 2020 criminal charges against Libyan Mas’ud, U.S. authorities have never arrested or prosecuted ANY suspect in the mass murder of 190 U.S. citizens and 69 foreigners, aboard a US flagship, including 11 people killed on the ground.”
EDITOR’S NOTE: This report has been updated to clarify that the FBI was not speaking at Monday morning’s press conference.