Palestinian terrorists in the pay of the Iranian regime committed the Lockerbie atrocity, it has been claimed.
The daughter of a former terrorist has said her father admitted to relatives that his cell leader, Ahmed Jibril, led the 1988 plot to down Pam Am 103, which was blown up 30 years ago today by an explosive stored in a suitcase in the hold.
Her claim adds credence to the long-held theory that Tehran ordered the attack on the New York-bound flight, transporting mainly American civilians, as payback after a missile from a US Navy cruiser shot down Iran Air flight 655 five months earlier, killing 290 civilians.
The US has maintained its naval officers mistook the plane for a Iranian Air Force jet fighter, although the Iranian government says even if that is the case it would be criminally negligent.
In 2001 Libyan intelligence officer Abdelbaset al-Megrahi was found guilty of the murder of all 270 people who were killed on board and in the town of Lockerbie where it crashed.
Now Jordanian Saha Kheersat, 43, has claimed her father Marwan Khreesat left his wife a dossier of evidence showing that Ahmed Jibril – Marwan’s boss in a Palestinian terror group – was paid millions of pounds by Tehran to mastermind the attack.
Ahmed Jibril, former leader of the terror group the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command, has been blamed by the daughter of a former cell member for the Lockerbie attack
Jordanian Saha Kheersat, 43, claimed her father Marwan Khreesat left his wife a dossier of evidence showing that Jibril, pictured above in 2001, was paid by Iran for the mass-murder
She even said he gave the name of the bombmaker to her mother.
She said her father played no part in the Lockerbie atrocity, blaming Jibril who was leader of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command. (PFLP-GC)
Interviewed by The Mirror in her home in the Jordanian capital of Amman, she said: ‘I think he is responsible, and he has a deal with the Iran government.
‘I do have a proof that Ahmed Jibril is responsible for Lockerbie. It might be papers or recordings and it is not in our house now.’
Khreesat was identified as a possible Lockerbie suspect shortly after the 1988 attack. He had been arrested two months earlier in Frankfurt with another PFLP-GC member who had plastic explosives hidden in a Toshiba cassette player in his car. The device was very similar to the one used on Flight 103.
He also later admitted his role in the 1972 failed bombing of an Israeli El Al passenger jet from Rome to Tel Aviv.
And just months after the attack, the British and American governments were blaming the PFLP-GC and Iran. The former King Hussein of Jordan even said the group was behind the attack in a 1996 letter to then-Prime Minister John Major.
Asked whether her father knew the name of the bombmaker, Saha said: ‘For sure he knows but I don’t know. My dad left something written about this but it’s not in the house.
Marwan Khreesat, pictured, was identified as a possible Lockerbie suspect shortly after the 1988 attack
‘If my dad made the bomb he would have taken lots of money but now we don’t have anything because my dad didn’t have anything to do with it.
‘Ahmed Jibril took the first million and then he took the rest of the money and got very rich but my dad didn’t take anything.
‘The Lockerbie accident has so many hidden things and my dad gave his secret to my mum. He did not give it to me or to my siblings or anyone else. He did not hide anything from mum.’
Asked why her dad did not reveal this information while he was alive, she made reference to the US-led 1986 bombing of Libyan capital Tripoli, in revenge for terror explosions at a West Berlin nightclub.
She said: ‘Maybe he just wanted to protect Jordan. Maybe he’ll put Jordan in danger if he talked.
‘What happened to Libya will happen to Jordan. Lockerbie is an important topic since it is related to America and no one is supposed to mess with America.’
Saha said her father left the terror cell after being accused of treachery.
She said: ‘Jibril said Marwan Khreesat is a double agent for the Jordanian intelligence. He was not. My father was fedai [fighter]. Ahmed Jibril was his leader. They worked together in Syria and Lebanon. My dad quit.’
Khreesat died two years ago at 70. Jibril, 80, is believed to be in Syria fighting for Bashar al-Assad.
Saha insisted it was a coincidence her dad was with another PFLP-GC militant when held in Germany.
Libyan intelligence officer Abdelbaset al-Megrahi remains the only man to have been found guilty of the murder of all 270 people, but his guilt has been questioned by official sources
She said: ‘When they arrested him they arrested my dad too. Why did they let him go? Because there was no evidence against him.’
These claims also increase fears al-Megrahi may have been wrongfully convicted at his trial in the Netherlands in 2001.
The Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission is currently considering ordering a posthumous appeal on behalf of Megrahi’s family, having found in 2007 that no reasonable court could have concluded he was guilty on the evidence led at trial
He was released on compassionate grounds eight years later, suffering from prostate cancer, and died in 2012 aged 60.
Scottish MSP Christine Graham said: ‘These various discoveries that you have made builds further on the case that it was, as many of us believe, Iran that was responsible for the Lockerbie bombing and that al-Megrahi was the fall guy. Libya took the rap for various reasons.’
Dr Jim Swire, whose 23-year-old daughter Flora died in the attack, added: ‘This confirms what we have known for a long time and have never been able to say in public.’