Commentary Magazine


Lockerbie Terrorist Again Near Death?

On August 20, 2009, a Scottish court released Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi, the only man convicted of the Lockerbie bombing; he served 11.5 days for each person he murdered. British and Scottish officials explained that Megrahi’s release was “compassionate.” After all, the doctor who examined him said he had terminal prostate cancer and had only three months to live. Of course, he was wrong by more than a factor of ten, but compassion most likely was not the reason for his release.

Megrahi is once again reportedly near death. But, then again, Western journalists have dutifully reported the same story for years. When Libyan strongman Muammar Qaddafi fell, reporters raced to interview Megrahi only to be told that he was in the hospital and might never recover, yet he seems to have gone home as soon as cameramen filmed him looking frail in a hospital bed.

When Megrahi eventually does die, the families of Lockerbie victims can go to sleep knowing a man responsible for the deaths of their loved ones is no longer among his own friends and families. That he has lived in relative freedom, however, means he will die not only as a terrorist, but also as the poster boy for Western fecklessness.