Crossing the line between compassion and coddling, Scotland has freed Lockerbie bomber Abdel Baset al-Megrahi. He served only eight years of a life sentence for the jihadi attack that took 270 innocent lives.
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Scotland freed the terminally ill Lockerbie bomber on compassionate grounds Thursday, letting the Libyan go home to die despite American pleas to show no mercy for the man responsible for the 1988 attack that killed 270 people.
The White House declared it “deeply” regretted the Scottish decision as Abdel Baset al-Megrahi left Greenock Prison and flew to Libya on an Airbus dispatched to Glasgow Airport, still insisting he was innocent.
Scotland’s justice secretary said freeing the bomber was an expression of the Scottish people’s humanity but U.S. family members of Lockerbie victims expressed outrage.
“I think it’s appalling, disgusting and so sickening I can hardly find words to describe it,” said Susan Cohen, of Cape May Court House, New Jersey, whose 20-year-old daughter, Theodora, died in the attack. “This isn’t about compassionate release. This is part of give-Gadhafi-what-he-wants-so-we-can-have-the-oil.”
Some men outside the prison made obscene gestures as al-Megrahi’s prison van drove by toward the airport. Al-Megrahi, who had served only eight years of his life sentence, was recently given only months to live after being diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer.
Scottish Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill said although al-Megrahi had not shown compassion to his victims — many of whom were American college students flying home to New York for Christmas — MacAskill was motivated by Scottish values to show mercy.
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