Pan Am Flight 103 (1988)

The downing of Pan Am Flight 103 by a terrorist bomb over Lockerbie, Scotland, in December 1988 was the worst civil air disaster ever in the United Kingdom.

Hijackings of airliners by terrorists occurred throughout the 1970s and 1980s, prompting Pan American World Airways (Pan Am) in 1986 to hire an Israeli consulting firm to review its security system. Findings revealed the airline was highly vulnerable to a terrorist attack and it was imperative the airline restructure its entire security system. Pan Am responded by establishing its own security system, which did little to improve security. For financial reasons, Pan Am chose to keep security at a minimum at a time when terrorist groups were a major presence in Europe.

Ominous Bomb Threat

On December 5, 1988, the ...

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