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August 20th, 2009
05:46 PM ET

Most families outraged at Pan Am 103 bomber's release

Victoria Cummock holds daughter Ashley during a 1995 memorial service. John Cummock died in the bombing.

Victoria Cummock holds daughter Ashley during a 1995 memorial service. John Cummock died in the bombing.

Jim Kavanagh
CNN

Victims' family members and advocates are grieving anew as the only man convicted in the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland - which killed 270 people - was released Thursday from a British prison.

"I feel sick. I feel depressed and outraged. I mean, I am just heartbroken," said Susan Cohen, whose daughter Theodora, a 20-year-old Syracuse University music student, was killed in the bombing.

Abdelbeset Ali Mohmed al Megrahi, 57, sick with advanced prostate cancer, was released on compassionate grounds and sent home to Libya to die, Scottish authorities said. Megrahi, who prosecutors said was a Libyan intelligence agent, was convicted in 2001 of placing a bomb on the Boeing 747.

Libya has formally accepted responsibility for the bombing and has compensated the families, although longtime Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi denied any culpability in the attack.

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soundoff (6 Responses)
  1. Renee Boulanger Shrewsbury, MA

    Over the past few weeks, I have had nightmares regarding the possible release of al Megrahi. This man murdered 270 people, and had no compassion for the lives he ended or their families. My life was turned upside down on December 21st, 1988 because I was waiting for my sister to return home for Christmas. She was one of the 35 Syracuse students, who were studying abroad for a semester.

    My sister’s body was not returned to us, and my family had no body to bury. My sister wasn’t given the opportunity to live the life she was supposed to. She was murdered, blown up, never found. How, can anyone in their right mind, allow this terrorist a compassionate death. My sister didn't have a compassionate death!!!! I feel my country has let me down.

    August 21, 2009 at 2:13 am |
  2. Renee Boulanger

    Over the past few weeks, I have had nightmares regarding the possible release of al Megrahi. This man murdered 270 people, and had no compassion for the lives he ended or their families. My life was turned upside down on December 21st, 1988 because I was waiting for my sister to return home for Christmas. She was one of the 35 Syracuse students, who were studying abroad for a semester.

    My sister's body was not returned to us, and my family had no body to bury. My sister wasn't given the opportunity to live the life she was supposed to. She was murdered, blown up, never found. How, can anyone in their right mind, allow this terrorist a compassionate death I feel my country has let me down.

    August 21, 2009 at 1:51 am |
  3. Ken California

    What kind of bonehead could make a boneheaded decision like this. Make no mistake about it. Our current administration could and should have done alot more to stop this!!!

    August 20, 2009 at 10:52 pm |
  4. Annie Kate

    I don't blame the Lockerbie families. I'd be outraged too if one of my friends or family killed on that jet there would never any mercy shown to the perpetrators. It is a slap in he face to those who survived it.

    August 20, 2009 at 8:12 pm |
  5. Scott, FL

    The release of this terrorist is an outrageous act. To even consider that he deserves treatment any more humane than he gave his victims is incomprehensible.

    As harsh as it may sound, he deserves to suffer and die a painful and tradgic death with the same disregard as his victims. The day any Government Office or Department places a level of humanity on a terrorist greater than those of the victims, needs to follow the truth and turn the focus to what was and is still real today. The terrorist had a total disregard for human life and should be treated with that same respect until the very moment he stops breathing.

    In the face of the European Union and place in the World at large, Scotland should hang their heads in shame for their actions today.

    August 20, 2009 at 8:02 pm |
  6. Stephen Ward

    Talk to Jim Swire – who lost a daughter on Pan Am flight 103. He has been unswerving in his quest to find the truth about the death of his daughter and the other passengers. He now believes absolutely that Al Megrahi was innocent.

    August 20, 2009 at 6:25 pm |