It took more than three decades and 270 deaths from a global terrorist attack before an arrest were made on Sunday.
Originally from Europe, Pan Am Flight 103 was a target of a terrorist bombing in 1988 as it approached JFK Airport. U.S. authorities have arrested the suspect who they say constructed the device.
There were about 200 Americans killed and many more from the tri-state area. Many of the family members who spoke to CBS2 said the news helped provide them closure.
The deaths of all 259 individuals aboard Airliner 103, a London-New York-bound flight on December 21, 1988, have devastated their loved ones for decades.
Over Lockerbie, Scotland, eleven individuals on the ground were killed in addition to the 190 Americans on board.
The tombstones of the 35 murdered students at Syracuse University were covered in snow on Sunday.
South Jersey native Rick Monetti, age 20, was one of them. His sibling reported that he was coming home from his semester in London.
In the words of one of his admirers: “He just had a way about him, whether it was a smile or joke or a good phrase.
Kara Weipz noted that after spending time with him, people generally felt more positive about themselves.
She learned through the Department of Justice that the guy accused of constructing the bomb on the plane was in U.S. custody and will face two criminal counts in Washington, D.C., nearly 34 years after his death.
Abu Agila Masud is the third Libyan intelligence official to be charged in the United States for involvement in the attack.
He would make history by being the first person to face criminal charges in an American courtroom.
The arrest of Masud, who had been wanted for over two years after being charged, was a significant step forward in the case.
Weipz reflected on the families’ efforts, saying, “This is a monument of the families who have been struggling, and I feel for those who aren’t here today to see this moment.”
“It was quite odd to hear that we have him in custody,” said Stephanie Bernstein, whose husband, Michael Bernstein of Jericho on Long Island, was aboard the aircraft.
I, too, am holding out hope that Masud may provide us with some supplementary data.
As far back as we can remember, we’ve had official assurances from our government that this probe was still active.
Michael Bernstein had just gotten back from a business trip to Germany, where he had helped make arrangements for the deportation of a Nazi who was in the country illegally.
My oldest grandchild is named after him, and now we’ll be able to tell him that a really evil person did something to kill your grandpa and a lot of other people, and our country brought him to justice, Stephanie Bernstein said.
According to the evidence presented in court, Masud was a skilled bombmaker who, beginning in the 1970s, served as a colonel in the intelligence branch of Libya’s external security agency.
Scotland and the United Kingdom have promised to keep working with the United States on the probe.
Nicole Boulanger’s mom has optimism. The daughter was attending Syracuse University to study musical theatre.
Jeannine Boulanger stated, “For me, it’s my first thought in the morning, and it’s my final thought at night.” Justice will not be served in this lifetime.
I believe my time will come in the next. The bombing in 1988 is still the worst terrorist act in British history.
Another guy was found guilty of bombing the plane and put to prison in Scotland in 2001. He succumbed to cancer and passed away.
A statement from Syracuse University reads, “Today’s news marks a crucial milestone in a decades-long process to bring those responsible for this horrific atrocity to justice.”
Source: CBS News