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U.S. agent may have carried bomb on Pan Am Flight 103

Published Oct. 18, 2005

The Drug Enforcement Administration said Tuesday it was investigating a report that one of its undercover agents may have been used to smuggle aboard the bomb that blew up Pan Am Flight 103 two years ago. "Although no evidence has surfaced to substantiate such claims, we are conducting an inquiry into these allegations," DEA spokesman William Ruzzamenti said.

NBC News, quoting law enforcement and intelligence sources, said Pan Am flights from Frankfurt, including 103, had been used a number of times by the DEA in top-secret undercover operations to fly informants and suitcases of heroin into Detroit.

"Law enforcement sources say the fear now is that the terrorists who blew up Pan Am 103 somehow learned of what the DEA was doing, infiltrated the undercover operation and substituted a bomb for the heroin in one of the DEA shipments," the network reported.

Flight 103 crashed in Lockerbie, Scotland Dec. 21, 1988, killing a total of 270 people after a bomb exploded on board.

Khalid Jafaar, a Lebanese-American from Detroit, was on the flight. NBC said the drug agency was studying whether he had been enlisted in the drug operation and tricked into carrying the bomb.

NBC did not say how the operation worked, but said it was set up to infiltrate Lebanese heroin-smuggling groups and their connections in Detroit.