MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – Families of the victims of the 1988 bombing of a passenger jet attack are calling the arrest of one of the suspected terrorists involved a major milestone, and one of the victims was from right here in South Florida.
On Dec. 21, 1988, a Pan American flight from London to New York exploded over Lockerbie, Scotland, killing hundreds of people onboard.
Now, just 10 days before the bombing’s 34th anniversary, the Justice Department says one of the men accused of making the bomb, is in U.S. custody.
Abu Agela Mas’ud Kheir Al-Marimi was a Libyan intelligence officer.
Described as an explosives expert, he was charged two years ago in the attack along with two other Libyan intelligence officials, but he’s the first to be in custody on U.S. soil.
One of the victims of the attack was John Cummock, who was heading back to the States to be reunited with his family in Miami when the attack happened.
His widow, Victoria Cummock, still lives in South Florida.
She released a statement Sunday that read:
“Today is a major milestone in the victim’s families’ stalworth quest to identify and hold accountable all those responsible for the second most deadly terrorist attack against Americans. This is a decades-old promise I made to John Cummock, my 38-year-old husband, my best friend and the father of my three children.
“The U.S. arrest and apprehension of Libyan terror suspect Mas’ud, is the first tangible step made by the U.S. Dept. of Justice, in 34 years, to hold any suspect accountable in U.S. courts, for the December 21, 1988, terrorist attack against America that murdered our loved ones, aboard Pan American flight 103, flying from London to New York, exploding over Lockerbie, Scotland.
“Our wish is for criminal trial proceedings to begin immediately. The victim’s families are keenly aware that after 34 years, informants and witnesses die, memories fade, and evidence can deteriorate or disappear.”
Mas’ud is expected to make his first court appearance in Washington, D.C., this week.