20 Dec 2013

Secret CIA testimony identifies real Lockerbie mastermind

New documents reveal that both high-level Syrian officials and the CIA independently stated that a Syrian-based Palestinian group, not Libya, was responsible for the Lockerbie bombing.

An exclusive report to be broadcast on Channel 4 News at 7pm reveals that a deep cover CIA agent was told by up to 15 high-level Syrian officials that the Syria-based group was involved.

The revelations, which feature in tonight’s programme, were made in a US court deposition by CIA asset Dr Richard Fuisz in early 2001.

He claimed that between 1990 and 1995, 10 to 15 senior Syrian officials told him the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command, led by Ahmed Jibril, was responsible.

The interview was tightly controlled by US government lawyers and CIA observers sat in. There was to be nothing on his CIA employment – what he called “context” – only “broad brush” answers.

“Broad brush would simply be that numerous high officials in the Syrian government were quite affirmative on Jibril’s involvement in Pan Am 103.”

Dr Fuisz said that the officials interacted with Ahmed Jibril Ahmed Jibril “on a constant basis” and that he was the mastermind behind the bombing.

Lawyer: “Did any of them tell you who their sources were?”

Fuisz: “Again, staying out of context, broad brush, my recollection is they were direct. They were not hearsay sources on their part.”

Lawyer: “Direct in the sense that as you understood it, you were being told by members of the Syrian government that Jibril, and or members of the PFLGC were taking credit for the bombing?”

Fuisz: “Yes.”

Dr Fuisz gave the deposition at the request of defence lawyers for Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, who was, at the time, on trial for the bombing.

Too late to be used

However, the revelations came too late to be used at the trial, which ended soon after.

The PFLP-GC were the original prime suspects in the bombing, thought to have been commissioned by the Iranian government to avenge the 290 lives lost when Iran Air flight 665 was accidentally shot down by a US battleship over the Persian Gulf a few months before Lockerbie.

But attention soon turned to Libya and eventually Abdelbaset al-Megrahi was convicted of the bombing in 2001. He was later controversially released on compassionate grounds and died last year back in Libya.

The transcripts of the hearings, and related documents, were found by Scotland’s Shame author John Ashton earlier this year in al-Megrahi’s defence file.