Lockerbie bomber: still alive, kicking , and being honored on the anniversary of his release

This Friday the Muslim nation of Libya will be reaching out to the west by thanking Allah for the great wisdom and compassion of Gordon Brown and Kenny MacAskill. To mark the first anniversary of Abdelbaset Al Megrahi's triumphant return to Libya, Colonal Gaddafi has called for a national day of prayer as part of a low-key celebration. The UK Daily Mail reports.

The Libyan leader is keen to avoid a repeat of the international condemnation sparked by the decision to give the convicted terrorist a hero's welcome when he returned to Libya on August 20, 2009, allegedly with just three months to live.

The families of the 270 people who died in the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 were furious at what they saw as scenes of triumphalism at Tripoli airport, with large crowds cheering and shouting.

A spokesman for Colonel Gaddafi said that the Libyan leader "does not wish to cause offence in other parts of the world, especially in Britain and America."

The man known in the west as the ‘Lockerbie Bomber' is incredibly popular in his native country and is considered by many young people to be a national hero. One of Al Megrahi's neighbors, Hamid Najiz said that "Young people love him, and many new babies have been named after him."

Muammar al-Gahhafi's second son Saif will join Al Megrahi, his family and select guests at their luxury villa to celebrate the anniversary with a dinner after a day of prayer and fasting as required during the holy month of Ramadan.

With the controversy surrounding Al Megrahi's release amidst backroom oil deals, government complicity and a seemingly intentional misdiagnosis, the mere fact that there will be an anniversary celebration (no matter how low-key) should be deeply offensive to us all.