Pan Am 103/washingtonpost.com staff
Navigation Bar
Navigation Bar

Partners:
Related Items
On Our Site
  • Terrorism Report: Lockerbie Bombing

  •   Time Line
    The Bombing of Pan Am Flight 103

    Pan Am Flight 103 crashed into the town of Lockerbie, Scotland on December 21, 1988 killing all 259 people on board and 11 on the ground. The following time line details the aftermath of the crash, including the investigation and the fight to bring the suspects to justice.

    | 1988 | 1989 | 1990 | 1991 | 1992 | 1993 | 1994 | 1995 | 1996 | 1997 | 1998 | 1999 |

    1988
      December
    Pan Am 103/AP
    Crash site in 1988. (AP)
    21: A Pan American jumbo jet bound from London to New York crashes into the town of Lockerbie, Scotland, killing all 259 persons aboard and 11 more on the ground.

    28: British investigators conclude that a bomb in the luggage compartment caused the midair disintegration of Pan Am Flight 103.

    29: The Federal Aviation Administration imposes new security measures on American airlines that fly out of 103 airports in Western Europe and the Middle East.

    1989
      May
    11: The Washington Post reports that a Central Intelligence Agency assessment of the Pan Am Flight 103 bombing has concluded that Iran hired a Damascus-based radical Palestinian faction to carry out the operation.

    1990
      March
    22: Czechoslovak President Vaclav Havel discloses that his country's former Communist regime supplied to the Libyan government 1,000 tons of Semtex – a virtually undetectable explosive believed to have been used in the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103.

    May
    15: A presidential commission places much of the blame for the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 on a "seriously flawed" aviation security system, and the Federal Aviation Administration's failure to enforce its rules.

    1991
      November
    Abdel Basset Megrahi/AP
    Abdel Basset Ali Al-Megrahi. (AP)
    Fhimah/AP
    Lamen Khalifa Fhimah. (AP)
    14: The United States and Britain announce criminal charges against two Libyan intelligence officers for the bombing and said the evidence also suggested involvement by higher-level aides to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi. Gadhafi subsequently refuses to turn over the suspects.

    1992
      January
    21: The U.N. Security Council unanimously adopts a resolution urging Libya to "provide a full and effective response" to U.S. and British requests for the surrender of the two Libyans linked to the bombing.

    July
    22: A federal jury in Brooklyn awards $9.23 million to the family of a man killed in the bombing. The jury earlier found that Pan American World Airways guilty of "willful misconduct" in its airport security.

    November
    27: The United States, Britain and France condemns Libya's continued refusal to surrender the intelligence agents accused in the bombing and threatened new efforts to compel Libya to cooperate in bringing the suspects to justice.

    1993
      September
    7: A Scottish lawyer tells reporters that he is now representing the two Libyans accused of planting the bomb that destroyed the plane.

    November
    11: The Security Council votes to tighten trade sanctions on Libya to force the extradition of two suspects in the bombing.

    1994
     

    December
    21: Libya marks the sixth anniversary of the bombing by proposing that a Scottish court conduct a trial of the two Libyan suspects at the International Court of Justice in the Hague.

    1995
     

    March
    23: The FBI announces a $4 million reward for the two Libyan intelligence officers charged with the bombing, and says it plans a worldwide information blitz seeking help in bringing them to justice.

    27: The Clinton administration says that it will ask the United Nations to impose a worldwide oil boycott against Libya in retaliation for that country's refusal to turn over the two suspects.

    April
    17: A federal jury awards $19 million to the widow of an executive killed in the airline disaster. A federal appeals court later upholds most of the record damage award.

    1996
     

    August
    05: President Clinton signs legislation imposing harsh economic sanctions on companies that make future investments in Iranian and Libyan petroleum ventures and vows to wage an international battle against terrorism.

    November
    06: Newsday reports that a former federal informant, who had been accused of perjury for falsely swearing that a federal undercover operation was responsible for the explosion, is arrested reentering the United States after several years as a fugitive in Europe.

    1997
     

    June
    07: The Washington Post reports that Libya has made a direct appeal to families of victims of the bombing, declaring that the country is ready to enter into serious negotiations over procedures for handing over the two accused Libyan intelligence agents.

    1998
     

    August
    Moammar Gadhafi/AFP
    Moammar Gadhafi. (AFP)
    24: The United States and Britain announce a proposal to convene a Scottish court in the Netherlands in an effort to bring the two Libyan agents to trial.

    26: Libya announces its acceptance of the U.S. and British plan to put the two suspects on trial in the Netherlands. Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi later hesitates on the deal and demands guarantees that the suspects won't be turned over to Britain.

    December
    05: United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan holds discussions with Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi over the extradition and trial of the two Libyans wanted in the bombing. No agreement is reached but Annan says later a settlement is "well on the way."

    1999
     

    February
    14: Saudi Arabian diplomats tell U.N. officials that Libya has agreed to the terms of a trial of the two Libyans in a Scottish court. The announcement is met with skepticism.

    March
    19: Libya officially tells the United Nations it will hand over the two suspects by April 6, 1999.

    April
    05: The two Libyans are turned over to Scottish authorities in preparation for trial. The arrival of the men in the Netherlands triggers an automatic suspension of U.N. economic sanctions against Libya.


    © Copyright 1999 The Washington Post Company

    Back to the top

    Navigation Bar
    Navigation Bar