Lockerbie and Libya

A Study in International Relations

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About the Book

The bombing of Pan Am flight 103 in 1988 over Lockerbie, Scotland, and the politics that surround this early anti–U.S. terrorist act provide a fascinating case study in international relations. The event severely impacted Libya’s relationship with the United States, the United Kingdom and the United Nations.
This work examines all facets of the Lockerbie tragedy including the police investigation and indictment of two Libyan citizens, the imposition of international sanctions against Libya, that country’s response and the years of tension and conflict that followed, the role of political mediation (most notably by Prince Bandar bin Sultan and President Nelson Mandela), the trial in the Netherlands, Muammar Qaddafi and Libya’s increasing maturity in dealing with complex international situations, and the flight 103 bombing’s significance within the context of the events of September 11, 2001.

About the Author(s)

Khalil I. Matar is a journalist who has reported on the United Nations for 20 years and has been covering the Libyan case with the United States and the UN since the early 1980s.
Attorney Robert W. Thabit was appointed by Kofi Annan, Secretary General of the United Nations, as an International Observer to the Lockerbie Trial.

Bibliographic Details

Khalil I. Matar and Robert W. Thabit
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 336
Bibliographic Info: appendix, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2004
pISBN: 978-0-7864-1609-7
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      vii
Introduction     1

Part I. Early Theories Fail; Sanctions Are Imposed on Libya

1. Accusations and the United Nations      7
2. Sanctions and Early Mediations      19
3. A Legal or a Political Problem?      37

Part II. Libya’s Response

4. Strategy from a Libyan Perspective      45
5. A History of Confrontations      54

Part III. The International Response

6. Libyan Counteroffensive      69
7. Libyan Gains      84
8. Arab and African Regional Organizations and
Their Effectiveness in the Security Council      93
9. The Victims’ Families      105

Part IV. The Reactions of the United Kingdom and the United States

10. Conflicting Signs of Impending Solution      113
11. Western Attempts to Regain the Initiative      127
12. A Solution Nears: Leaks, Fears and Anxiety      137
13. The United Kingdom’s Announcement and a New Anxiety      146

Part V. The Role of Prominent Personalities, and the Handover

14. Isolation Starts to Crumble      159
15. A Solution Is Near      172
16. The Dénouement      190
17. The Handover      200

Part VI. The Scottish Court in the Netherlands

18. The Lockerbie Trial and Appeal      213
19. Conclusions      233

Appendix: Documents      247
Notes      313
Bibliography      319
Index      321

Book Reviews & Awards

“its major strength is that the authors refuse to accept the official American line…highly recommended”—Choice; “a fascinating case study in international relations”—Arab-American Affairs; “an excellent case study”—Catholic Library World; “the most detailed study published to date of the extensive talks leading to the Lockerbie settlement in 2003…refreshing…a welcome addition to the literature on comtemporary Libyan politics”—Middle East Journal.