In a post 9-11 world it is comforting to see that terrorism plots can be prevented. British authorities state that they have twarted a terrorist plot to blow up multiple planes in flight from England to the US.
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.
A plot to blow up planes in flight from the UK to the US and commit “mass murder on an unimaginable scale” has been disrupted, Scotland Yard has said.
It is thought the plan was to detonate explosive devices smuggled in hand luggage on to as many as 10 aircraft.
Police are searching premises after 21 people were arrested. Home Secretary John Reid said they believed the “main players” were accounted for.
British authorities said Thursday they thwarted a terrorist plot to simultaneously blow up several aircraft heading to the United States using explosives smuggled in carry-on luggage. U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said the terrorists planned to use liquid explosives disguised as beverages and other common products and detonators disguised as electronic devices.
Ã‚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.Ã‚
Britain Thwarts Airline Terror Plot
The plot was well planned, well financed and “well advanced,” U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff said at a news conference Thursday morning in Washington. It was “about as sophisticated as anything we’ve seen in recent years as far as terrorism is concerned. . . . This was not a situation with a handful of people sitting around dreaming about terrorist plots.”
London’s Deputy Police Commissioner, Paul Stephenson, said 21 people had been arrested in London and in Birmingham, England, after a months-long investigation into what he said was a plan for “mass murder on an unimaginable scale.” Peter Clarke, chief of the London police department’s anti-terrorism branch, said the investigation reached a “critical point” Wednesday night, requiring immediate disruption of the plot, the arrests and the imposition of heightened security measures.