The Washington Post
Navigation Bar
Navigation Bar

Related Items
  • Latest Story
  • Time Line


    $4 Million Reward Offered in Pan Am Case

    By Pierre Thomas and Thomas W. Lippman
    Washington Post Staff Writers
    Friday, March 24, 1995; Page A30

    The FBI yesterday announced a $4 million reward for two Libyan intelligence officers charged with the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, and said it planned a worldwide information blitz seeking help in bringing them to justice.

    The bureau also placed the pair, believed to be in Libya, on its 10 Most Wanted List. Seeking to rekindle international interest in the bombing, the FBI and State Department said they will work with the U.S. Information Agency to communicate with persons in Libya who might assist in bringing the suspects to court.

    As part of the campaign, for the first time ever, U.S. law enforcement and diplomatic officials placed information about the fugitives on the Internet computer network. The State Department asked Internet clients to send information to

    Federal officials also plan to use radio, facsimile and matchbook covers written in Arabic in the campaign, which will concentrate on the Middle East and North Africa. In addition, the FBI will circulate traditional wanted posters and a glossy new poster showing a suitcase full of money to attract tips.

    "We will never quit or leave this case," vowed Robert "Bear" Bryant, assistant director of the FBI's national security division.

    White House officials recently promised families of Pan Am 103 victims that the United States would intensify efforts to bring the two suspects to trial. The publicity campaign coincides with a periodic review at the United Nations of international economic sanctions against Libya, which the United States wants to maintain and perhaps broaden.

    It also comes as Washington begins a diplomatic effort to block Libya from obtaining a seat on the U.N. Security Council, which it would acquire next year in a regular rotation among Arab and African countries. Libya would be the first country elected to a seat on the Security Council while under U.N. sanctions, although Rwanda was sanctioned last year while already a council member.

    On Dec. 21, 1988, 270 people, including 189 Americans, were killed when a bomb hidden in luggage exploded aboard Pan Am Flight 103 en route from London to New York. Roughly three years later, United States and Scotland officials announced charges against Abdel Basset Ali Megrahi and Lamen Khalifa Fhimah, described as officers and operatives of Libyan intelligence.

    While both men are now believed in Libya, Bryant noted the bureau has received intelligence the two occasionally have left the country. Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi has offered to make them available to an international tribunal in The Hague, but the United States and Britain have insisted they be tried here or in Scotland.

    The reward was touted yesterday as the largest ever offered in a terrorism case. U.S. officials, buoyed by the apprehension of Ramzi Yousef, alleged mastermind of the World Trade Center bombing, believe the sizable amount may entice someone to offer assistance, as happened in that case.

    But Yousef was caught because security forces in friendly countries -- the Philippines and Pakistan -- cooperated with U.S. authorities. It would be difficult for anyone to spirit the two suspects out of Libya.

    © Copyright 1995 The Washington Post Company

    Back to the top

    Navigation Bar
    Navigation Bar