William Blum

Official website of the author, historian, and U.S. foreign policy critic.

The Bombing of PanAm Flight 103: Case Not Closed

By William Blum – Published March 2001

The newspapers were filled with pictures of happy relatives of the victims of the December 21, 1988 bombing of PanAm 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland. A Libyan, Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al Megrahi, had been found guilty of the crime the day before, January 31, 2001, by a Scottish court in the Hague, though his co-defendant, Al Amin Khalifa Fhimah, was acquitted. At long last there was going to be some kind of closure for the families.

But what was wrong with this picture?

What was wrong was that the evidence against Megrahi was thin to the point of transparency. Coming the month after the (s)election of George W. Bush, the Hague verdict could have been dubbed Supreme Court II, another instance of non-judicial factors fatally clouding judicial reasoning. The three Scottish judges could not have relished returning to the United Kingdom after finding both defendants innocent of the murder of 270 people, largely from the U.K. and the United States. Not to mention having to face dozens of hysterical victims’ family members in the courtroom. The three judges also well knew the fervent desires of the White House and Downing Street as to the outcome. If both men had been acquitted, the United States and Great Britain would have had to answer for a decade of sanctions and ill will directed toward Libya.

One has to read the entire 26,000-word “Opinion of the Court”, as well as being very familiar with the history of the case going back to 1988, to appreciate how questionable was the judges’ verdict.

The key charge against Megrahi – the sine qua non – was that he placed explosives in a suitcase and tagged it so it would lead the following charmed life:

  1. loaded aboard an Air Malta flight to Frankfurt without an accompanying passenger;
  2. transferred in Frankfurt to the PanAm 103A flight to London without an accompanying passenger;
  3. transferred in London to the PanAm 103 flight to New York without an accompanying passenger.

To the magic bullet of the JFK assassination, can we now add the magic suitcase?

This scenario by itself would have been a major feat and so unlikely to succeed that any terrorist with any common sense would have found a better way. But aside from anything else, we have this – as to the first step, loading the suitcase at Malta: there was no witness, no video, no document, no fingerprints, nothing to tie Megrahi to the particular brown Samsonite suitcase, no past history of terrorism, no forensic evidence of any kind linking him or Fhimah to such an act.

And the court admitted it: “The absence of any explanation of the method by which the primary suitcase might have been placed on board KM180 [Air Malta] is a major difficulty for the Crown case.” 1

Moreover, under security requirements in 1988, unaccompanied baggage was subjected to special X-ray examinations, plus – because of recent arrests in Germany – the security personnel in Frankfurt were on the lookout specifically for a bomb secreted in a radio, which turned out to indeed be the method used with the PanAm 103 bomb.

Requiring some sort of direct and credible testimony linking Megrahi to the bombing, the Hague court placed great – nay, paramount – weight upon the supposed identification of the Libyan by a shopkeeper in Malta, as the purchaser of the clothing found in the bomb suitcase. But this shopkeeper had earlier identified several other people as the culprit, including one who was a CIA agent. 2  When he finally identified Megrahi from a photo, it was after Megrahi’s photo had been in the world news for years. The court acknowledged the possible danger inherent in such a verification: “These identifications were criticised inter alia on the ground that photographs of the accused have featured many times over the years in the media and accordingly purported identifications more than 10 years after the event are of little if any value.” 3

There were also major discrepancies between the shopkeeper’s original description of the clothes-buyer and Megrahi’s actual appearance. The shopkeeper told police that the customer was “six feet or more in height” and “was about 50 years of age.” Megrahi was 5’8” tall and was 36 in 1988. The judges again acknowledged the weakness of their argument by conceding that the initial description “would not in a number of respects fit the first accused [Megrahi]” and that “it has to be accepted that there was a substantial discrepancy.” 4

Nevertheless, the judges went ahead and accepted the identification as accurate. Before the indictment of the two Libyans in Washington in November 1991, the press had reported police findings that the clothing had been purchased on November 23, 1988. 5  But the indictment of Megrahi states that he made the purchase on December 7. Can this be because the investigators were able to document Megrahi being in Malta (where he worked for Libya Airlines) on that date but cannot do so for November 23? 6

There is also this to be considered – if the bomber needed some clothing to wrap up an ultra-secret bomb in a suitcase, would he go to a clothing store in the city where he planned to carry out his dastardly deed, where he knew he’d likely be remembered as an obvious foreigner, and buy brand new, easily traceable items? Would an intelligence officer – which Megrahi was alleged to be – do this? Or even a common boob? Wouldn’t it make more sense to use any old clothing, from anywhere?

Furthermore, after the world was repeatedly assured that these items of clothing were sold only on Malta, it was learned that at least one of the items was actually “sold at dozens of outlets throughout Europe, and it was impossible to trace the purchaser.” 7

The “Opinion of the Court” placed considerable weight on the suspicious behavior of Megrahi prior to the fatal day, making much of his comings and goings abroad, phone calls to unknown parties for unknown reasons, the use of a pseudonym, etc. The three judges tried to squeeze as much mileage out of these events as they could, as if they had no better case to make. But if Megrahi was indeed a member of Libyan intelligence, we must consider that intelligence agents have been known to act in mysterious ways, for whatever assignment they’re on. The court, however, had no idea what assignment, if any, Megrahi was working on.

There is much more that is known about the case that makes the court verdict and written opinion questionable, although credit must be given the court for its frankness about what it was doing, even while it was doing it. “We are aware that in relation to certain aspects of the case there are a number of uncertainties and qualifications,” the judges wrote. “We are also aware that there is a danger that by selecting parts of the evidence which seem to fit together and ignoring parts which might not fit, it is possible to read into a mass of conflicting evidence a pattern or conclusion which is not really justified.” 8

It is remarkable, given all that the judges conceded was questionable or uncertain in the trial – not to mention all that was questionable or uncertain that they didn’t concede – that at the end of the day they could still declare to the world that “There is nothing in the evidence which leaves us with any reasonable doubt as to the guilt of [Megrahi]”. 9

The Guardian of London later wrote that two days before the verdict, “senior Foreign Office officials briefed a group of journalists in London. They painted a picture of a bright new chapter in Britain’s relations with Colonel Gadafy’s regime. They made it quite clear they assumed both the Libyans in the dock would be acquitted. The Foreign Office officials were not alone. Most independent observers believed it was impossible for the court to find the prosecution had proved its case against Megrahi beyond reasonable doubt.” 10

Alternative scenario

There is, moreover, an alternative scenario, laying the blame on Palestinians, Iran and Syria, which is much better documented and makes a lot more sense, logistically and otherwise.

Indeed, this was the Original Official Version, delivered with Olympian rectitude by the U.S. government – guaranteed, sworn to, scout’s honor, case closed – until the buildup to the Gulf War came along in 1990 and the support of Iran and Syria was needed.

Washington was anxious as well to achieve the release of American hostages held in Lebanon by groups close to Iran. Thus it was that the scurrying sound of backtracking became audible in the corridors of the White House.

Suddenly – or so it seemed – in October 1990, there was a New Official Version: It was Libya – the Arab state least supportive of the U.S. build-up to the Gulf War and the sanctions imposed against Iraq – that was behind the bombing after all, declared Washington.

The two Libyans were formally indicted in the U.S. and Scotland on Nov. 14, 1991.

“This was a Libyan government operation from start to finish,” declared the State Department spokesman. 11

“The Syrians took a bum rap on this,” said President George H.W. Bush. 12

Within the next 20 days, the remaining four American hostages were released along with the most prominent British hostage, Terry Waite.

The Original Official Version accused the PFLP-GC, a 1968 breakaway from a component of the Palestine Liberation Organization, of making the bomb and somehow placing it aboard the flight in Frankfurt.

The PFLP-GC was led by Ahmed Jabril, one of the world’s leading terrorists, and was headquartered in, financed by, and closely supported by, Syria. The bombing was allegedly done at the behest of Iran as revenge for the U.S. shooting down of an Iranian passenger plane over the Persian Gulf on July 3, 1988, which claimed 290 lives.

The support for this scenario was, and remains, impressive, as the following sample indicates:

In April 1989, the FBI – in response to criticism that it was bungling the investigation – leaked to CBS the news that it had tentatively identified the person who unwittingly carried the bomb aboard. His name was Khalid Jaafar, a 21-year-old Lebanese- American. The report said that the bomb had been planted in Jaafar’s suitcase by a member of the PFLP-GC, whose name was not revealed. 13

In May, the State Department stated that the CIA was “confident” of the Iran-Syria-PFLP-GC account of events. 14

On Sept. 20, The Times of London reported that “security officials from Britain, the United States and West Germany are ‘totally satisfied’ that it was the PFLP-GC” behind the crime.

In December 1989, Scottish investigators announced that they had “hard evidence” of the involvement of the PFLP-GC in the bombing. 15

A National Security Agency electronic intercept disclosed that Ali Akbar Mohtashemi, Iranian interior minister, had paid Palestinian terrorists $10 million dollars to gain revenge for the downed Iranian airplane. 16 The intercept appears to have occurred in July 1988, shortly after the downing of the Iranian plane.

Israeli intelligence also intercepted a communication between Mohtashemi and the Iranian embassy in Beirut “indicating that Iran paid for the Lockerbie bombing.” 17

Even after the Libyans had been indicted, Israeli officials declared that their intelligence analysts remained convinced that the PFLP-GC bore primary responsibility for the bombing. 18

In 1992, Abu Sharif, a political adviser to PLO chairman Yasser Arafat, stated that the PLO had compiled a secret report which concluded that the bombing of 103 was the work of a “Middle Eastern country” other than Libya. 19

In February 1995, former Scottish Office minister, Alan Stewart, wrote to the British Foreign Secretary and the Lord Advocate, questioning the reliability of evidence which had led to the accusations against the two Libyans. This move, wrote The Guardian, reflected the concern of the Scottish legal profession, reaching into the Crown Office (Scotland’s equivalent of the Attorney General’s Office), that the bombing may not have been the work of Libya, but of Syrians, Palestinians and Iranians. 20

We must also ask why Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, writing in her 1993 memoirs about the US bombing of Libya in 1986, with which Britain had cooperated, stated: “But the much vaunted Libyan counter-attack did not and could not take place. Gaddafy had not been destroyed but he had been humbled. There was a marked decline in Libyan-sponsored terrorism in succeeding years.” 21

Key Question

A key question in the PFLP-GC version has always been: How did the bomb get aboard the plane in Frankfurt, or at some other point? One widely disseminated explanation was in a report, completed during the summer of 1989 and leaked in the fall, which had been prepared by a New York investigating firm called Interfor. Headed by a former Israeli intelligence agent, Juval Aviv, Interfor – whose other clients included Fortune 500 companies, the FBI, IRS and Secret Service 22  – was hired by the law firm representing PanAm’s insurance carrier. The Interfor Report said that in the mid-1980s, a drug and arms smuggling operation was set up in various European cities, with Frankfurt airport as the site of one of the drug routes. The Frankfurt operation was run by Manzer Al-Kassar, a Syrian, the same man from whom Oliver North’s shadowy network purchased large quantities of arms for the contras. At the airport, according to the report, a courier would board a flight with checked luggage containing innocent items; after the luggage had passed all security checks, one or another accomplice Turkish baggage handler for PanAm would substitute an identical suitcase containing contraband; the passenger then picked up this suitcase upon arrival at the destination.

The only courier named by Interfor was Khalid Jaafar, who, as noted above, had been named by the FBI a few months earlier as the person who unwittingly carried the bomb aboard.

The Interfor report spins a web much too lengthy and complex to go into here. The short version is that the CIA in Germany discovered the airport drug operation and learned also that Kassar had the contacts to gain the release of American hostages in Lebanon. He had already done the same for French hostages. Thus it was, that the CIA and the German Bundeskriminalamt (BKA, Federal Criminal Office) allowed the drug operation to continue in hopes of effecting the release of American hostages. According to the report, this same smuggling ring and its method of switching suitcases at the Frankfurt airport were used to smuggle the fatal bomb aboard flight 103, under the eyes of the CIA and BKA.

In January 1990, Interfor gave three of the baggage handlers polygraphs and two of them were judged as being deceitful when denying any involvement in baggage switching. However, neither the U.S., UK or German investigators showed any interest in the results, or in questioning the baggage handlers. Instead, the polygrapher, James Keefe, was hauled before a Washington grand jury, and, as he puts it, “They were bent on destroying my credibility – not theirs” [the baggage handlers]. To Interfor, the lack of interest in the polygraph results and the attempt at intimidation of Keefe was the strongest evidence of a cover-up by the various government authorities who did not want their permissive role in the baggage switching to be revealed. 23

Critics claimed that the Interfor report had been inspired by PanAm’s interest in proving that it was impossible for normal airline security to have prevented the loading of the bomb, thus removing the basis for accusing the airline of negligence.

The report was the principal reason PanAm’s attorneys subpoenaed the FBI, CIA, DEA, State Department, National Security Council, and NSA, as well as, reportedly, the Defense Intelligence Agency and FAA, to turn over all documents relating to the crash of 103 or to a drug operation preceding the crash. The government moved to quash the subpoenas on grounds of “national security”, and refused to turn over a single document in open court, although it gave some to a judge to view privately.

The judge later commented that he was “troubled about certain parts” of what he’d read, adding “I don’t know quite what to do because I think some of the material may be significant.” 24

Drugs Revelation

On October 30, 1990, NBC-TV News reported that “PanAm flights from Frankfurt, including 103, had been used a number of times by the DEA as part of its undercover operation to fly informants and suitcases of heroin into Detroit as part of a sting operation to catch dealers in Detroit.”

The TV network reported that the DEA was looking into the possibility that a young man who lived in Michigan and regularly visited the Middle East may have unwittingly carried the bomb aboard flight 103. His name was Khalid Jaafar. “Unidentified law enforcement sources” were cited as saying that Jaafar had been a DEA informant and was involved in a drug-sting operation based out of Cyprus. The DEA was investigating whether the PFLP-GC had tricked Jaafar into carrying a suitcase containing the bomb instead of the drugs he usually carried.

The NBC report quoted an airline source as saying: “Informants would put [suit]cases of heroin on the PanAm flights apparently without the usual security checks, through an arrangement between the DEA and German authorities.” 25

These revelations were enough to inspire a congressional hearing, held in December, entitled, “Drug Enforcement Administration’s Alleged Connection to the PanAm Flight 103 Disaster”.

The chairman of the committee, Cong. Robert Wise (Dem., W. VA.), began the hearing by lamenting the fact that the DEA and the Department of Justice had not made any of their field agents who were most knowledgeable about flight 103 available to testify; that they had not provided requested written information, including the results of the DEA’s investigation into the air disaster; and that “the FBI to this date has been totally uncooperative”.

The two DEA officials who did testify admitted that the agency had, in fact, run “controlled drug deliveries” through Frankfurt airport with the cooperation of German authorities, using U.S. airlines, but insisted that no such operation had been conducted in December 1988. (The drug agency had said nothing of its sting operation to the President’s Commission on Aviation Security and Terrorism which had held hearings in the first months of 1990 in response to the 103 bombing.)

The officials denied that the DEA had had any “association with Mr. Jaafar in any way, shape, or form.” However, to questions concerning Jaafar’s background, family, and his frequent trips to Lebanon, they asked to respond only in closed session. They made the same request in response to several other questions. 26

NBC News had reported on October 30 that the DEA had told law enforcement officers in Detroit not to talk to the media about Jaafar.

The hearing ended after but one day, even though Wise had promised a “full-scale” investigation and indicated during the hearing that there would be more to come. What was said in the closed sessions remains closed. 9

One of the DEA officials who testified, Stephen Greene, had himself had a reservation on flight 103, but he canceled because of one or more of the several international warnings that had preceded the fateful day. He has described standing on the Heathrow tarmac, watching the doomed plane take off. 28

There have been many reports of heroin being found in the field around the crash, from “traces” to “a substantial quantity” found in a suitcase. 29  Two days after the NBC report, however, the New York Times quoted a “federal official” saying that “no hard drugs were aboard the aircraft.”

The film

In 1994, American filmmaker Allan Francovich completed a documentary, “The Maltese Double Cross”, which presents Jaafar as an unwitting bomb carrier with ties to the DEA and the CIA. Showings of the film in Britain were canceled under threat of law suits, venues burglarized or attacked by arsonists. When Channel 4 agreed to show the film, the Scottish Crown Office and the U.S. Embassy in London sent press packs to the media, labeling the film “blatant propaganda” and attacking some of the film’s interviewees, including Juval Aviv the head of Interfor. 30  Aviv paid a price for his report and his outspokenness. Over a period of time, his New York office suffered a series of break-ins, the FBI visited his clients, his polygrapher was harassed, as mentioned above, and a contrived commercial fraud charge was brought against him. Even though Aviv eventually was cleared in court, it was a long, expensive, and painful ordeal. 31

Francovich also stated that he had learned that five CIA operatives had been sent to London and Cyprus to discredit the film while it was being made, that his office phones were tapped, that staff cars were sabotaged, and that one of his researchers narrowly escaped an attempt to force his vehicle into the path of an oncoming truck. 32

Government officials examining the Lockerbie bombing went so far as to ask the FBI to investigate the film. The Bureau later issued a highly derogatory opinion of it. 33

The film’s detractors made much of the fact that the film was initially funded jointly by a UK company (two-thirds) and a Libyan government investment arm (one-third). Francovich said that he was fully aware of this and had taken pains to negotiate a guarantee of independence from any interference.

On April 17, 1997, Allan Francovich suddenly died of a heart attack at age 56, upon arrival at Houston Airport. 34  His film has had virtually no showings in the United States.

Abu Talb

The DEA sting operation and Interfor’s baggage-handler hypothesis both predicate the bomb suitcase being placed aboard the plane in Frankfurt without going through the normal security checks. In either case, it eliminates the need for the questionable triple-unaccompanied baggage scenario. With either scenario the clothing could still have been purchased in Malta, but in any event we don’t need the Libyans for that.

Mohammed Abu Talb fits that and perhaps other pieces of the puzzle. The Palestinian had close ties to PFLP-GC cells in Germany which were making Toshiba radio-cassette bombs, similar, if not identical, to what was used to bring down 103. In October 1988, two months before Lockerbie, the German police raided these cells, finding several such bombs. In May 1989, Talb was arrested in Sweden, where he lived, and was later convicted of taking part in several bombings of the offices of American airline companies in Scandinavia. In his Swedish flat, police found large quantities of clothing made in Malta.

Police investigation of Talb disclosed that during October 1988 he had been to Cyprus and Malta, at least once in the company of Hafez Dalkamoni, the leader of the German PFLP-GC, who was arrested in the raid. The men met with PFLP-GC members who lived in Malta. Talb was also in Malta on November 23, which was originally reported as the date of the clothing purchase before the indictment of the Libyans, as mentioned earlier.

After his arrest, Talb told investigators that between October and December 1988 he had retrieved and passed to another person a bomb that had been hidden in a building used by the PFLP-GC in Germany. Officials declined to identify the person to whom Talb said he had passed the bomb. A month later, however, he recanted his confession.

Talb was reported to possess a brown Samsonite suitcase and to have circled December 21 in a diary seized in his Swedish flat. After the raid upon his flat, his wife was heard to telephone Palestinian friends and say: “Get rid of the clothes.”

In December 1989, Scottish police, in papers filed with Swedish legal officials, made Talb the only publicly identified suspect “in the murder or participation in the murder of 270 people”; the Palestinian subsequently became another of the several individuals to be identified by the Maltese shopkeeper from a photo as the clothing purchaser. 35  Since that time, the world has scarcely heard of Abu Talb, who was sentenced to life in prison in Sweden, but never charged with anything to do with Lockerbie.

In Allan Francovich’s film, members of Khalid Jaafar’s family – which long had ties to the drug trade in Lebanon’s notorious Bekaa Valley – are interviewed. In either halting English or translated Arabic, or paraphrased by the film’s narrator, they drop many bits of information, but which are difficult to put together into a coherent whole. Amongst the bits … Khalid had told his parents that he’d met Talb in Sweden and had been given Maltese clothing … someone had given Khalid a tape recorder, or put one into his bag … he was told to go to Germany to friends of PFLP-GC leader Ahmed Jabril who would help him earn some money … he arrived in Germany with two kilos of heroin … “He didn’t know it was a bomb. They gave him the drugs to take to Germany. He didn’t know. Who wants to die?” …

It can not be stated with certainty what happened at Frankfurt airport on that fateful day, if, as seems most likely, that is the place where the bomb was placed into the system. Either Jaafar, the DEA courier, arrived with his suitcase of heroin and bomb and was escorted through security by the proper authorities, or this was a day he was a courier for Manzer al-Kassar, and the baggage handlers did their usual switch. Or perhaps we’ll never know for sure what happened.

On February 16, 1990, a group of British relatives of Lockerbie victims went to the American Embassy in London for a meeting with members of the President’s Commission on Aviation Security and Terrorism. After the meeting, Britisher Martin Cadman was chatting with two of the commission members. He later reported what one of them had said to him: “Your government and our government know exactly what happened at Lockerbie. But they are not going to tell you.” 36

Comments about the Hague Court verdict

“The judges nearly agreed with the defense. In their verdict, they tossed out much of the prosecution witnesses’ evidence as false or questionable and said the prosecution had failed to prove crucial elements, including the route that the bomb suitcase took.” – New York Times analysis 37

“It sure does look like they bent over backwards to find a way to convict, and you have to assume the political context of the case influenced them.” – Michael Scharf, professor, New England School of Law 9

“I thought this was a very, very weak circumstantial case. I am absolutely astounded, astonished. I was extremely reluctant to believe that any Scottish judge would convict anyone, even a Libyan, on the basis of such evidence.” – Robert Black, Scottish law professor who was the architect of the Hague trial 39

“A general pattern of the trial consisted in the fact that virtually all people presented by the prosecution as key witnesses were proven to lack credibility to a very high extent, in certain cases even having openly lied to the court.”

“While the first accused was found ‘guilty’, the second accused was found ‘not guilty’. … This is totally incomprehensible for any rational observer when one considers that the indictment in its very essence was based on the joint action of the two accused in Malta.”

“As to the undersigned’s knowledge, there is not a single piece of material evidence linking the two accused to the crime. In such a context, the guilty verdict in regard to the first accused appears to be arbitrary, even irrational. … This leads the undersigned to the suspicion that political considerations may have been overriding a strictly judicial evaluation of the case … Regrettably, through the conduct of the Court, disservice has been done to the important cause of international criminal justice.” – Hans Koechler, appointed as an international observer of the Lockerbie Trial by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan 40

So, let’s hope that Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al Megrahi is really guilty. It would be a terrible shame if he spends the rest of his life in prison because back in 1990 Washington’s hegemonic plans for the Middle East needed a convenient enemy, which just happened to be his country.

This essay is a chapter in the book, Everything You Know Is Wrong, a sequel to the book You Are Being Lied To. Both books are published by Disinformation Books.

Notes

  1. “Opinion of the Court”, Par. 39
  2. Mark Perry, Eclipse: The Last Days of the CIA (Wm. Morrow, New York, 1992), pp.342-7.
  3. “Opinion of the Court”, Par. 55
  4. “Opinion of the Court”, Par. 68
  5. See, e.g., Sunday Times (London), Nov. 12, 1989, p.3.
  6. For a detailed discussion of this issue see, “A Special Report from Private Eye: Lockerbie the Flight from Justice”, May/June 2001, pp.20-22; Private Eye is a magazine published in London.
  7. Sunday Times (London), December 17, 1989, p.14.  Malta is, in fact, a major manufacturer of clothing sold throughout the world.
  8. “Opinion of the Court”, Par. 89
  9. Ibid.
  10. The Guardian (London), June 19, 2001
  11. New York Times, Nov. 15, 1991
  12. Los Angeles Times, Nov. 15, 1991
  13. New York Times, April 13, 1989, p.9; David Johnston, Lockerbie: The Tragedy of Flight 103 (New York, 1989), pp.157, 161-2.
  14. Washington Post, May 11, 1989, p. 1
  15. New York Times, December 16, 1989, p.3.
  16. Department of the Air Force – Air Intelligence Agency intelligence summary report, March 4, 1991, released under a FOIA request made by lawyers for PanAm. Reports of the intercept appeared in the press long before the above document was released; see, e.g., New York Times, Sept. 27, 1989, p.11; October 31, 1989, p.8; Sunday Times, October 29, 1989, p.4. But it wasn’t until Jan. 1995 that the exact text became widely publicized and caused a storm in the UK, although ignored in the U.S.
  17. The Times (London), September 20, 1989, p.1
  18. New York Times, November 21, 1991, p.14.  It should be borne in mind, however, that Israel may have been influenced because of its hostility toward the PFLP-GC.
  19. The Guardian, Feb. 24, 1995, p.7
  20. Reuters dispatch, datelined Tunis, Feb. 26, 1992
  21. Margaret Thatcher, The Downing Street Years (New York, 1993), pp.448-9.
  22. National Law Journal, Sept. 25, 1995, p.A11, from papers filed in a New York court case.
  23. Barron’s (New York), December 17, 1990, pp.19,22.  A copy of the Interfor Report is in the author’s possession, but he has been unable to locate a complete copy of it on the Internet.
  24. Barron’s, op. cit., p.18.
  25. The Times (London), November 1, 1990, p.3; Washington Times, October 31, 1990, p.3
  26. Government Information, Justice, and Agriculture Subcommittee of the Committee on Government Operations, House of Representatives, December 18, 1990, passim.
  27. Ibid.
  28. The film, “The Maltese Double Cross” (see below).
  29. Sunday Times (London), April 16, 1989 (traces); Johnston, op. cit., p.79 (substantial).  ”The Maltese Double Cross” film mentions other reports of drugs found, by a Scottish policeman and a mountain rescue man.
  30. Financial Times (London), May 12, 1995, p.8 and article by John Ashton, leading 103 investigator, in The Mail on Sunday (London), June 9, 1996.
  31. Ashton, op. cit.; Wall Street Journal, December 18, 1995, p.1, and December 18, 1996, p.B2
  32. The Guardian (London), April 23, 1994, p.5
  33. Sunday Times (London), May 7, 1995.
  34. Francovich’s former wife told the author that he had not had any symptoms of a heart problem before.  However, the author also spoke to Dr. Cyril Wecht, of JFK “conspiracy” fame, who performed an autopsy on Francovich.  Wecht stated that he found no reason to suspect foul play.
  35. Re: Abu Talb, all 1989: New York Times, Oct. 31, p.1, Dec. 1, p.12, Dec. 24, p.1; Sunday Times (London), Nov. 12, p.3, December 5; The Times (London), Dec. 21, p.5.  Also The Associated Press, July 11, 2000
  36. Cadman in “The Maltese Double Cross”.  Also see The Guardian, July 29, 1995, p.27
  37. New York Times, Feb. 2, 2001
  38. Ibid.
  39. Electronic Telegraph UK News, February 4, 2001
  40. All quotations are from Koechler’s report of February 3, 2001, easily found on the Internet

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