Release of Lockerbie Bomber Raises Controversy

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The man responsible for the 1988 terrorist bombing of a Pan Am flight over Scotland is now free.

Abdel Basset al-Megrahi, was convicted of 270 counts of murder and sentenced to life in prison, yet he was freed, Thursday, after only serving eight years of his sentence.

The 57-year-old was found guilty in 2001 of taking part in the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 on Dec. 21, 1988.  The plane went down in Lockerbie, Scotland killing all 270 on board.

Al-Megrahi is now suffering from prostate cancer and Scottish judges granted him a "compassionate release" from prison as a result.

The early release is leaving both the U.S. government and family members of the victims outraged.

"We thought it was a mistake and we are now in contact with the Libyan government to make sure, if in fact this transfer has taken place, that he is not welcomed back in some way, but instead under house arrest," President Obama said.

Bert Ammerman, the brother of one of the victims on that 1988 flight, was also outraged.

"There is no compassionate release for us...  we're talking about an individual that massacred 270," he said.  "So he can go home and have his family surround him? We didn't have that opportunity."

Al-Megrahi will now spend the rest of his life with his family in Libya.

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