Locker­bie ter­ror at­tack haunts city -jour­nal­ist

Campbeltown Courier - - NEWS -

Thirty years ago to­day, (Fri­day) a daily pa­per news ed­i­tor, who cut his teeth in Camp­bel­town, was set­tling down for an evening in when a TV news­flash re­ported a plane crash. At just after 7pm, Mal­colm Speed, aged 47, raced back to the Daily Record to or­gan­ise its re­port­ing team as the world learned that an air­liner had crashed at Locker­bie and the town was ablaze.

Re­mem­ber

On Tues­day, re­call­ing shifts last­ing 16 hours as the hor­ror un­folded, Mr Speed said: ‘I al­ways re­mem­ber Locker­bie, the deaths at Christ­mas and the 270 lives lost.’ The for­mer Camp­bel­town Gram­mar School pupil, who left and joined the Courier aged 15 after his fa­ther’s death, added: ‘I or­dered a top team of re­porters from all parts of Scot­land to Locker­bie. ‘The best men and women at the Daily Record, where I was the news ed­i­tor and had been since 1983. ‘Soon a ter­ror­ist bomb was men­tioned, the plane, a Pan Am 103, was late in Ger­many and soon Scot­land’s big­gest mass mur­der be­gan with 259 dead from the plane and 11 Locker­bie res­i­dents. Dum­fries and Gal­loway po­lice spear­headed the in­ves­ti­ga­tion sup­ported by other Scot­tish forces and the world’s se­cu­rity agen­cies. ‘The in­ves­ti­ga­tion was huge and ul­ti­mately led to Ab­dul Bas­set Ali Mo­hammed all-Me­grahi be­ing con­victed and jailed for 27 years. An­other man Lamin Khal­ifa Fhonah, was ac­quit­ted at a spe­cial Scot­tish court in Hol­land.’

Mal­colm Speed in 1988.

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