In the late 1980s, al-Megrahi, the security chief for Libyan Arab Airlines, worked covertly for Libya’s Jamahiriya Security Organization, giving him knowledge of the weaknesses that many airliners have — which allowed him to know how to place a suitcase bomb on an airliner. That plane, Pan-Am flight 103, exploded, causing the deaths of 270 people over and around Lockerbie, Scotland — one of the worst terror attacks in history. While there is some question as to whether al-Megrahi was innocent (he was linked via forensic evidence after an international manhunt), he was convicted in the bombing, which also played a role in the eventual demise of Pan Am airlines. All that would be surprising on its own — but in 2009 came another surprise, when a Scottish court allowed al-Megrahi, suffering from terminal prostate cancer, to return home to Libya. He was expected to live three months. He lived almost three years — long enough to see the demise of the Gaddafi regime which he’ll forever be associated with.