Thursday, August 10, 2006

British: Plot involved 10 airliners

More details are emerging about the thwarted terrorist plot in the U.K. At this writing, the number arrested in England has risen to 24. Earlier reports said that 21 had been arrested. Some sources were saying that at least five more suspects still were at large.

British authorities said that the focus of the plot was to blow up 10 airliners while they were airborne en route from the U.K. to the U.S.

An Associated Press article on says:
U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said the terrorists planned to use liquid explosives disguised as beverages and other common products and set them off with detonators disguised as electronic devices.

An American law enforcement official who was briefed on the investigation said it appeared the liquid to be used was a "peroxide- based solution" to be detonated by an electronic device that was not specified, but could be anything from a disposable camera to a portable digital music player. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because British authorities had asked that no information be released.

The extreme measures at a major international aviation hub sent ripples throughout the world. Heathrow was closed to most flights from Europe, and British Airways canceled all its flights between the airport and points in Britain, Europe and Libya. Numerous flights from U.S. cities to Britain were canceled.

Washington raised its threat alert to its highest level for commercial flights from Britain to the United States amid fears the plot had not been completely crushed. The alert for all flights coming or going from the United States was also raised slightly.

Two U.S. counterterrorism officials said the terrorists had targeted United, American and Continental airlines. They spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the case.

A U.S. intelligence official said the plotters had hoped to target flights to major airports in New York, Washington and California. A counterterrorism official said the plot involved 10 flights.
Source: British: Thwarted Plot Involved 10 Jets -

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