Lautenberg: Pan Am bomber's release heightens danger of attack

A Scottish judge's order to release Pan Am Flight 103 bomber Abdel Basset al-Megrahi will only endanger the U.S., one of the lawmakers working to keep the convict in jail said Wednesday.

Al-Megrahri was convicted in the bombing the flight over Lockerbie, Scotland, and was ordered released on Wednesday on "compassionate" grounds; he is suffering from terminal cancer.

"Abdel Basset al-Megrahi was convicted of killing 270 innocent people after a fair trial and was given ample opportunities to appeal his case," Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.Y.) said in reaction. "The man who committed these awful crimes should not be allowed to walk free."

Lautenberg was one of seven senators to write the Scottish judge who released al-Megrahri demanding he be left to die in prison.

Lautenberg said that the former Libyan agent's release increases the risk of attacks on the U.S.

"Releasing Mr. al-Megrahi also sends the wrong message about the consequences of international terrorism and increases the threat of terror in the United States, the United Kingdom and around the world," he said.