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U.S. Reopens Lockerbie Investigation After Claims Qaddafi Ordered Attack

The Obama administration may seek the prosecution of Muammar Qaddafi for the 1988 Pan Am bombing over Lockerbie, Scotland, following claims of some ex-Libyan officials that the embattled dictator personally ordered the airline attack that killed 270 people.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told Congress this week that she has asked the FBI and Justice Department to look into the matter in response to lawmakers' requests.

"I think justice must be served," she told a Senate legislative committee Wednesday.

The U.S. has considered the bombing a closed case since a former Libyan intelligence officer was convicted of the bombing and Libya had paid compensation to families of the victims.

But Clinton noted that some Libyan officials who have defected in recent weeks have said Qaddafi gave the instructions to blow up Pan Am Flight 103.

The U.K. Telegraph reported this week that a former Libyan official, Mustafa Abdel-Jalil, says Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset al-Megrahi blackmailed Qaddafi into engineering Megrahi’s release from a Scottish prison by threatening to reveal the dictator's role.

Megrahi allegedly threatened revenge on Qaddafi unless he was returned home to his family, forcing Qaddafi to spend about $80,000 a month on legal fees in a campaign to secure the terrorist's release, the Telegraph reports.

Megrahi is the only man ever to have been convicted in the bombing, which killed all on board the New York-bound Boeing 747 and 11 people in Lockerbie in December 1988.

Abdel-Jalil’s claims were echoed by Atef Abu Bakr, Libya’s former terror chief, who claimed this week in a separate interview that Megrahi was ordered by Qaddafi to help plan the attack.