Libyans Welcome Home Lockerbie Bomber

Obama called release 'a mistake'
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 20, 2009 4:03 PM CDT
Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahiibyan is hugged by Seif al-Islam el- Gadhafi, son of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, upon his arrival.   (AP Photo/ Amr Nabil)
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(Newser) – Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi arrived in Libya to a hero's welcome today after being released by Scottish authorities, the BBC reports. Hundreds greeted him at the Tripoli airport waving Libyan flags, and he was then escorted to a private meeting with Moammar Gadhafi. "We have been in contact with the Scottish government, indicating that we objected to this,” said President Obama. “We thought it was a mistake."

The reactions of victims’ families underscore the dissension that still surrounds the Lockerbie attack. Many reacted angrily: “I want him returned from Scotland the same way my wife Lorraine was and that would be in a box,” said Paul Halsch of New York. But the British relatives of one victim said they were glad, because they “don't believe for a moment that this man was involved in the way that he was found to have been involved."