Libya Won't Pay IRA Bomb Victims

Gaddafi's son rebuffs Brown over compensation for terrorist attacks
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 7, 2009 8:33 AM CDT
Gordon Brown and Moammar Gaddafi at the G8 Summit in L'Aquilla. Italy last July. The Libyan leader's son rebuffed attempts by the British prime minister to secure compensation for terrorism victims.   (AP Photo/Stefan Rousseau/PA)
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(Newser) – More messiness in the aftermath of the Lockerbie bomber's release. Following the Scottish government's decision to free Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, victims of IRA attacks in the 1990s have pressed Gordon Brown to petition for compensation from Libya, which allegedly provided the explosive Semtex in at least 10 attacks. Brown first said it was inappropriate, then said his diplomats would try—but this morning, Col. Gaddafi's son told reporters Libya wouldn't pay up.

Successive British governments have tried and failed to get Libya to offer compensation to IRA victims. Libya did pay out to three American victims of IRA attacks after lobbying by George W. Bush, but British victims were excluded from that deal. The developments have infuriated victims, one of whom said, "Children in the UK have been murdered due to Libyan Semtex. And what is the government going to do about it? Secure an oil deal for BP."