ACCESSION NUMBER:318051 FILE ID:TXT201 DATE:12/21/93 TITLE:LIBYA AND THE PAN AM BOMBING (12/21/93) TEXT:*93122101.TXT LIBYA AND THE PAN AM BOMBING (VOA Editorial) (450) (Following is an editorial, broadcast by the Voice of America December 21, reflecting the views of the U.S. government.) December 21, 1988. A crowded commercial jet departs London's Heathrow airport for the United States. Among the 259 passengers of Pan America flight 103 are men, women and children of 30 nations. Many are American citizens, eager to rejoin their loved ones for the holiday season. Thirty-five minutes later -- all are dead. Just after 7:00 p.m., a powerful bomb blew the plane apart, 31,000 feet above the quiet Scottish village of Lockerbie. Some of the passengers and crew were instantly killed. Others died strapped to their seats, in a horrifying fall that took as long as three minutes. For 11 persons on the ground, death came in the form of burning wreckage and debris crashing on homes, businesses and city streets. The perpetrators of this cowardly and barbaric act of international terrorism were agents of the regime of Libyan dictator Muammar Qadhafi. Authorities in the United States and Britain uncovered evidence linking Abd al-Basit al-Maqrahi, a senior Libyan intelligence officer, and Lamin Fhimah, former manager of the Libyan airlines office in Malta, to the suitcase bomb used to destroy Pan Am flight 103. The United States and Britain issued warrants for the arrest of these Libyan agents in November 1991. Libyan agents are also being sought by French authorities in connection with the bombing of UTA flight 772 in 1989 -- a bombing that took the lives of 171 people. Outraged at the Qadhafi regime's wanton disregard of international law and the norms of civilized conduct, the U.N. Security Council imposed sanctions on Libya on two occasions, most recently in Resolution 883. Adopted last month, this resolution includes a freeze on certain Libyan financial assets, a ban on the export of certain types of petroleum technology to Libya, the closing of all Libyan Arab airlines offices, and an end to all commercial dealings with that airline. On the fifth anniversary of the Pan Am bombing, the United States reaffirms its pledge to bring Libyan terrorists to justice. The United States will continue to support sanctions against Libya until the Qadhafi regime cooperates fully with the investigations of the Pan Am and UTA bombings, hands over the accused terrorists for trial, pays compensation for the terrorist attacks, and renounces international terrorism. As Madeleine Albright, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, said, "strengthened sanctions cannot bring back lost lives. But pressure to enforce Libya's compliance with the demands of the international community...can ensure that our citizens will not fall victim to future acts of state-sponsored terrorism." NNNN 1 .