Congressional Republicans have sent a letter to Rep. Howard Berman, D-Calif., chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, requesting “an immediate investigation” into BP’s role in the release of Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi, the only person ever convicted in the 1998 Lockerbie bombing over Scotland that killed 287 people.
The State Department is also questioning the circumstances of the terrorist’s release.

Al-Megrahi was released last year after doctors told Scottish court that he had terminal prostate cancer. However, he returned to Libya to a hero’s welcome and has been spotted alive there 11 months later.

Information has since surfaced that BP lobbied the British government to include him in a prisoner transfer after serving just eight years of a life sentence in order to win approval of a $900 million oil-and-gas exploration deal off the Libyan coast.

On Tuesday during a visit to the White House, British Prime Minister David Cameron said there was no indication that BP had affected the controversial decision to release al-Megrahi. The Scottish government also denied being pressured by BP to release the convicted terrorist, which it said it did purely on “compassionate grounds.” But former British justice minister Jack Straw has admitted that the BP deal was “a consideration” in his review of the case, according to the letter.

“The House Foreign Affairs Committee owes it to the 189 Americans killed in this terrorist attack to immediately launch a full investigation into this matter,” said committee member Rep. Ted Poe, R-Tex. “The allegations that a company used their influence to secure the release of a mass murderer in exchange for financial gain are an affront to justice and should not go ignored.”

Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Tex., ranking member of the Homeland Security Intelligence Subcommittee, agreed. “It would be the equivalent of the United States releasing Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the mastermind of 9/11,” he said.