At the news on Sunday that cancer had finally claimed the life of Abdel Baset al-Megrahi, better known as the Lockerbie bomber, relatives of his victims reportedly breathed a sigh of relief. Some are said to have remarked that they “never thought this day would come.”
I can imagine that al-Megrahi’s long-awaited death provides a measure of closure to those who lost loved ones in 1988 when a bomb he planted on Pan Am Flight 103 detonated over Lockerbie, Scotland, killing everyone on board and a dozen more on the ground. Still, I can’t shake the feeling that the Islamofascist terrorist cheated death, or at least the death he deserved.
Certainly he escaped the punishment his actions had earned. Al-Megrahi was released from captivity in 2009 on “compassionate grounds” when Scottish doctors reported he was suffering from advanced prostate cancer and had three only months to live. He was allowed to return to his homeland of Libya, where he received a hero’s welcome when he stepped off the plane.
The revulsion this scene caused was felt viscerally on both sides of the Atlantic. It was amplified by reports that the doctors had likely erred in their prognosis and that al-Megrahi wasn't as sick as they had claimed.
Then there was the occasional bitter reminder from the press that he had managed to cheat death for yet another year.
The fates finally caught up with him today at 5:55 a.m. ET. He took his last breath lying in a soft bed at home, surrounded by his own loved ones. Here's hoping that justice awaits him beyond the grave.
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