Updated 05/21/2012 09:59 AM
Convicted Lockerbie Bomber Dies In His Homeland
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Abdel Baset al-Megrahi, the only person ever convicted of the 1988 explosion of a New York-bound plane over Lockerbie, Scotland, has died.
The former Libyan intelligence officer, who suffered from prostate cancer, died in Tripoli at age 60, according to his son.
The bombing of PanAm Flight 103 killed 270 people, including dozens of New Yorkers.
Many of the victims heading from London to New York were American college students flying home for Christmas.
"Him dying is just another page in the many chapters of this tragedy," said Bob Hunt, who lost his eldest daughter, Karen, in the attack.
Al-Megrahi was released from a Scottish prison in August 2009 on compassionate grounds, as doctors said at the time he would die within months.
At a Midtown press conference on Sunday, Senator Charles Schumer said he will meet with the White House, State Department and Justice Department this week to find out why al-Megrahi was released and allowed to receive a hero's welcome in Libya.
"It's particularly offensive that he was able to spend his final days with his family when he deprived so many others of that opportunity," said Schumer. "The al-Megrahi debacle goes down as one of the greatest miscarriages of justice in the last hundred years."
"I do hope that this news will bring comfort, that al-Megrahi is no longer living, and that he is no longer living free as a hero of these grave terrorist attacks," said Senator Kirsten Gillibrand.
"The fact the bomber is no longer here is some solace to the people who suffered and lost their loved ones. And it's also a reminder of how our number one priority is homeland security," said Manhattan-Queens Representative Carolyn Maloney.
Despite claims he had carried out the attack on behalf of Libyan intelligence, al-Megrahi insisted he had nothing to do with the bombing.