Little Progress Reported in Flight 103 Probe
Jun. 01, 1989
FRANKFURT, West Germany (AP) _ Authorities said today they have made little progress in their investigation of the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 and they have found no proof the bomb was planted in Frankfurt.
The British Broadcasting Corp. reported on Wednesday that Scottish police are convinced the bomb was smuggled aboard at Frankfurt Airport, where Pan Am Flight 103 originated. The New York-bound flight changed to a Boeing 747 in London and blew up over Lockerbie, Scotland, killing all 259 people on aboard and 11 on the ground.
Jochen Schroers, spokesman for the Frankfurt prosecutor's office, which is heading the West German investigation, said authorities had no evidence to back the BBC report or other similar claims. ''We cannot confirm this,'' he said.
Asked if West German authorities had made any progress in their probe of the Dec. 21 bombing, Schroers said: ''Unfortunately, that's not the case.''
Police in Lockerbie, meanwhile, said their investigation was moving ahead.
''I am hopeful and optimistic for a reasonable conclusion,'' said constable John Boyd. He did not elaborate.
The West German magazine Stern reported last week that a suspected bomb maker for the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command was released from West German custody because he was working for the country's intelligence service. The Syrian-supported group has been mentioned as a prime suspect in the Pan Am bombing.
West German authorities have denied that the man, identified by Stern as Marwan Khreesat, worked in intelligence.
Schroers said investigators ''haven't the slightest indication that he was linked to Lockerbie.''
Khreesat was among a group of 17 suspected Popular Front terrorists arrested in West Germany in October. Two remain in custody.
Khreesat and the others were released shortly after the arrests for lack of evidence, officials have said.