The only man convicted in the 1988 Lockerbie bombing has returned home to Libya to die after Scotland released him from prison Thursday, a decision that outraged some relatives of the 270 people killed when the jetliner blew up over a Scottish town.
US President Barack Obama said the decision to free terminally ill Abdel Baset al-Megrahi on compassionate grounds was a mistake and warned Libya not to give him a hero's welcome.
But thousands were on hand to greet him warmly when his plane from Scotland touched down at a military airport in Tripoli. There was a festive atmosphere with some wearing t-shirts with Megrahi's picture. Others waved Libyan and Scottish flags while Libyan songs blared.
Many here see Megrahi as an innocent scapegoat of the West.