A major, and I do mean major, terrorist plot has been uncovered in Britian which they are telling the world could have dwarfed 9/11 :
Authorities in London thwarted a terrorist plot to blow up an aircraft in mid-flight between Britain and the U.S. using explosives smuggled in hand luggage, police said Thursday.
Police arrested a number of people overnight in London after a covert counter-terrorist operation lasting several months, police said in a statement.
Security at the country's airports was increased and additional measures were put in place for all flights.
British Airways advised all passengers that they would not be permitted to carry any hand baggage on board any aircraft departing from any airport in the country.
More as I get it, but so far it appears 20 aircraft were targetted…..20!
UPDATE 2310hrs PST
Passengers are being told they can take nothing aboard except the bare essentials:
Passengers will not be allowed to take any hand luggage on to any flights in the UK, the department said.
Only the barest essentials – including passports and wallets – will be allowed to be carried on board in transparent plastic bags.
"We hope that these measures, which are being kept under review by the government, will need to be in place for a limited period only," the statement said.
BBC journalist Joe Lynam encountered the increased security measures at Gatwick airport.
"I was handed a piece of paper saying that pretty much nothing could be taken on board the plane," he said.
"Everything had to be checked in and that includes mobile phones, ipods, wallets – even spectacle cases had to be checked in."
Scotland Yard is also stating that the plot was to detonate all the flights in mid-flight as they travelled to the US:
It is thought the plan was to detonate explosive devices smuggled on aircraft in hand luggage.
Police have arrested about 18 people in the London area after an anti-terrorist operation lasting several months.
UPDATE II 2315hrs PST
Interesting that the ABC blog, The Blotter, just blogged about this story:
Pakistani officials tell ABC News a new terrorist plan to attack the United States and Europe is being organized by a shadowy Pakistani, who is the keeper of the log of recruits who attended al Qaeda training camps in Afghanistan in the 1990s.
Pakistani police and military officials identify the man as Matiur Rehman, whose role as al Qaeda's planning director was first revealed by ABCNews.com earlier this year.
U.S. law enforcement sources tell ABC News Rehman is now the "leading suspect" in the attack earlier this year on the U.S. consulate in Karachi that killed a State Department Foreign Service officer, David Foy. Officials say the car bomb attack was planned by Rehman.
No idea if they are connected but interesting nonetheless.
Plus this report where the UK Times writes about all the foiled terrorist plots in the last five years:
THE police and MI5 have foiled at least thirteen suspected international terrorist plots in Britain in the past six years, security sources have told The Times.
To cope with the terrorist threat, Dame Eliza Manningham-Buller, the Director-General of MI5, has now switched another £16 million of her annual budget of £200 million towards fighting international terrorism. A record 87 per cent of the MI5 budget is now spent on counter-terrorism.
The thirteen foiled suspected international terrorist plots include one in November 2000, four in 2003, two in 2004, four in 2005 and two this year. The suspected plots this year do not include the police raid in Forest Gate, East London, conducted on June 2 after an intelligence tip-off raised fears that there was a chemical device in a house. Nothing was found.
But hey, according to the left all we need is to give these wayward Muslims a hug and the war on terror will go away. It's all our fault anyways.
UPDATE III 2325hrs PST
This report is stating the terrorists are British born asian men :
Police are have arrested 20 people in London – the culmination of a major covert counter-terrorist operation lasting several months.[…]Sky News' Crime Correspondent Martin Brunt said he understood the threat was imminent and those arrested were mainly young, British-born Asian men.
He said the alleged plan involved people boarding flights and detonating explosives on planes over UK and US cities.
Fox is saying they are of Pakistani descent which would jive with the earlier report done by ABC….
UPDATE IV 2327hrs PST
Here is a list of the items they are allowing on board:
The UK Government has advised that this instruction will apply to all airlines operating from UK airports.
Passengers may only take through the airport security search point, the following items:
Travel documents essential for the journey (eg passports, tickets and visas)
Pocket sized wallets and pocked sized purses plus contents (for example money, credit cards and identity cards). Handbags are not permitted.
Prescribed medicines essential for the duration of the flight, except in liquid form unless verified as authentic.
Spectacles and sunglasses, without cases.
Contact lenses, without bottles of solution
For those traveling with an infant: baby food, milk and sanitary items essential for the flight.
Keys (but no electrical key fobs).
Every other item must be carried in customerï¿½s hold luggage.
For clarity, passengers are advised that no electrical or battery powered items including laptops, mobile phones, ipods, remote controls etc can be carried in the cabin and must be checked in as hold baggage.
Customers are advised to check-in as normal but to expect delays at all UK airports.
British Airways regrets any inconvenience caused.
Any customers not complying with this Government instruction will not be accepted for travel by British Airways."
UPDATE V 2330hrs PST
Northeast Intelligence Network is reporting that some of the planners may be in the US:
*INTELLIGENCE SOURCES: "MAJOR TERRORIST OPERATION, SOME 'PLANNERS' MIGHT BE IN US"
UPDATE VI 2342hrs PST
Is this report by Michelle Malkin timely or what?
Two men were charged Wednesday with money laundering in support of terrorism after authorities said they found airplane passenger lists and information on airport security checkpoints in their car.
Deputies stopped Osama Sabhi Abulhassan, 20, and Ali Houssaiky, 20, both of Dearborn, Mich., on a traffic violation Tuesday and found the flight documents along with $11,000 cash and 12 phones in their car, Washington County Sheriff Larry Mincks said.
It wasn't clear what significance the airline information might have. Assistant County Prosecutor Susan Vessels declined to comment on whether the manifests were for upcoming flights or those that already flown. She also would not give the origin or destination of the flight or flights.
UPDATE VII 2347hrs PST
Check out some of the reaction from the left:
- Chances are this is bogus.Ah-ha! You see…???
- 8/8/06 : Lamont defeats Lieberman.
8/9/06: Terror attack successfully thwarted.
Who says that Lieberman's defeat helped the terrorists? For all we know, had Lieberman won his primary, that plot may have succeeded.
The message is clear: Vote Lamont if you want us to be able to protect ourselves against terrorist plots! A vote for Joe is a vote for Osama!
- Another Rove planted story? The stories will keep on coming till Nov. elections…Republicans need to keep pushing fear and posing as our protecting hero's…that's what they are running on, the American people's fear, and the republicans are creating all of it…
- These fake terra stories will start picking up steam as we move toward November.
The GOP knows scaring people is the only chance it has.
These people are about as dumb as dirt…..geez, straight retards.
UPDATE VIII 2355hrs PST
Recall that some of the planners may be in the US….Egyptian descent maybe?
UPDATE IX 08/10/06 0005hrs PST
Fox is reporting our security level has been raised, not the general level but on commercial flights it has been raised to level 4
UPDATE X 0010hrs PST
The U.S. government raised its threat level to the highest level for commercial flights from Britain to the United States early Thursday in response to a reported terror plot in London and also stepped up the general level for all flights within the U.S. or entering the country.
"We believe that these arrests (in London) have significantly disrupted the threat, but we cannot be sure that the threat has been entirely eliminated or the plot completely thwarted," said Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff in announcing that the threat level for flights from Britain to the United States has been raised to the highest "severe or red" level.
"To defend further against any remaining threat from this plot, we will also raise the threat level to High, or Orange, for all commercial aviation operating in or destined for the United States," Chertoff said.
UPDATE 0020hrs PST
Check out that list of stuff that is allowed on the planes:
Prescribed medicines essential for the duration of the flight, except in liquid form unless verified as authentic.
Was the explosives in liquid form?
As I was typing this SKY news is reporting ALL forms of liquids in bottles are banned….including hair gels, lotions, beverages.
And with that folks, Im off to bed. Work calls. I'm sure by morning there will be tons of new information, check out the below blogs for much more.
UPDATE XI 0940hrs PST
So after a good nights sleep and a cup of coffee I see that we have one more person in custody plus they have some locations targetted for searches:
Homes and businesses across England are being searched and 21 people questioned after a terror plot to blow up planes from the UK to US was disrupted.
Police are convinced they have the key players in custody, but a much wider investigation is only just beginning.
Peter Clarke, the head of Scotland Yard's anti-terrorist branch, said the network involved was large and global.
And US Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said the plot was "in some respects suggestive of al-Qaeda".
The department heads are saying they were real close to setting the plan in motion which to me indicates either Aug 22nd or Sept 11th as their target dates:
Security chiefs, who had had the group under surveillance for some time, said they were close to putting their plan – which police said would have caused "mass murder on an unimaginable scale" – into action.
Another new twist was the downgrading of the amount of planes involved…down from 20 to 10:
They planned to detonate liquid explosives on up to 10 planes.
Additionally it appears the Pakistani connection was correct:
Sources told the BBC the "principal characters" suspected of being involved in the plot were British-born. There are also understood to be linked to Pakistan.
Which as I pointed out last night jives with the ABC report that was released prior to this plot.
I'm sure the retards over at DummiesU have been posting up a storm over the night expanding on the Republican conspiracy they believe this to be.
UPDATE XII 1005hrs PST
The UK Times is reporting that the Pakistani government helped the British in foiling this plot:
Pakistani intelligence agencies helped the British authorities foil the terror plot to blow up aircraft travelling between Britain and America, highly placed sources in Pakistan said today.
The agencies have been working closely with British anti-terror police in monitoring the activities of the suspected terrorists for some time, many of whom have links with Pakistan-based Islamic militant groups, The Times has learnt.
Today Pakistani security forces put Hafiz Mohammed Saeed, leader of the outlawed Islamic militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba, (LeT) under house arrest. The largest of the separatist groups fighting the Indian forces in Kashmir, the LeT has also been blamed by Indian authorities for last month's train bombings in Bombay which killed more than 200 people.
Throughout the night and early morning police carried out a series of raids in London, Buckinghamshire and Birmingham, arresting 21 people.
Three of the properties were in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire and earlier this afternoon police extended their cordon around one of the homes, a three-bedroom semi-detached ex-council, and then evacuated people from nine homes in the street.
A spokeswoman from Scotland Yard said: "We have evacuated a small number of houses in High Wycombe as a precautionary measure."
Locals said that the family that had lived at the targeted home for the past 15-years included three sons and two daughters.
Neighbours said two of the brothers, who are both married, still live at the house with their wives, but a third brother no longer lives there.
Former friends said that the men used to be well known in the area but had not been seen very much in recent years.
Philip Redfern said: "They are very quiet, they keep themselves to themselves which is very strange because this is a very tight community.
UPDATE XIII 1020hrs PST
While sorting through on all this information I've come to a couple different conclusions. First would be the awesome job the intelligence community did in Britain. This tells us that the ability of Al-Qaeda to successfully launch attacks outside of their sphere of influence is seriously degraded. This definately does not mean we are out of the woods, in fact the opposite. These fanatics will not give up, shrug their shoulders and go home. They will keep on coming.
That is something the left will never understand. This is a REAL war, a world war, and the US & British governments are handling it well.
UPDATE XIV 1025hrs PST
Massachusetts Governor has put the National Guard into Logan Airport in Boston:
Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney activated the National Guard to assist with security at the Logan International Airport Thursday following the failed terrorist plot to blow up airplanes flying from England to the United States. This is the first time the National Guard has been called in to provide security at Logan since the terrorist attacks on September 11 of 2001.
Romney said he deployed the Guard due to Logan's involvement in the 9/11 attacks when al-Qaida hijacked two planes from the airport, although the flights involved in the recent attack were not scheduled to land at Logan.
He said, "I don't know what other governors are doing. Logan has a specific history with regards to the initiation of terrorist activity on airlines, and therefore we have a heightened degree of concern here."
The governor said the Guard would immediately begin to arrive at the the airport to help with patrols, surveillance and checkpoint assignments. He said the precise number of guardsmen has not yet been determined, but "it will certainly be in the hundreds.
UPDATE XV 1435hrs PST
ABC is reporting that the liquids were to be transported aboard by sports bottle drinks plus lots of new information:
ABC News has learned the details of an alleged terror plot to bring down nine commercial airliners, using liquids concealed in sports beverage drink bottles.
According to sources, the suspected plotters arrested in London today planned to use liquid or gel explosives, triggered with the flash from a disposable camera.
The plotters planned to leave the top of each bottle sealed and filled with the original beverage, but add a false bottom filled with the explosive. The volatile mixture would have been dyed to match the color of the beverage.
Sources say the suspects believed this would guarantee them safe passage through security, even if they were ordered to sip the beverage to prove it was harmless, sources said.
The flash in a disposable camera, the plotters apparently believed, would have enough power to trigger the homemade explosive.
Experts say there are a number of homemade or easily modified commercial explosives that could have enough power to damage or destroy a jetliner.
A law enforcement source outside the United States provided ABC News with the names of three arrested suspects, believed to be major players in the plot: Rashid Rauf, Mohamed Al-Ghadra and Ahmed Al-Khan.
One of the suspects arrested is a woman, the source said, and not everyone authorities believe would have aided in the attack would have been aboard the planes.
The suspects were allegedly planning to try a dry run within two days to ensure that they would be able to get the chemicals onboard, and the actual attack would have followed just days later, U.S. intelligence sources told The Associated Press.
Sources tell ABC News that at least two and possibly more of the suspected terrorists had prepared martyrdom videotapes as they finalized their plans.
UPDATE XVI 1440hrs PST
The Clinton News Network is stating that the explosives were to be set off with a MP3 player of cellphone instead of a camera:
A senior congressional source said it is believed the plotters planned to mix a British sports drink with a gel-like substance to make an explosive that they would possibly trigger with an MP3 player or cell phone.
The sports drink could be combined with a peroxide-based paste to form a potent "explosive cocktail," if properly done, said a U.S. counterterrorism official.
"There are strong reasons to believe the materials in a beverage like that could have been part of the formula," the official said.
UPDATE XVII 1920hrs PST
Time is out with their report and they have a few more details, the main one being this:
U.S. picked up the suspects' chatter and shared it with British authorities; new federal alert warns that peroxide-based explosives could also be employed in future attacks in the U.S.
Do you mean to tell me this plot was uncovered by a WIRETAP? Those illegal, unconstitutional wiretaps? Say it ain't so:
We killed the Patriot Act!
A total of 24 individuals were arrested in Britain overnight and, says one senior U.S. official who was briefed on the plot, five still remain at large. Their plan was to smuggle the peroxide-based liquid explosive TATP and detonators onto nine different planes from four carriers – British Airways, Continental, United and American – that fly direct routes between the U.K and the U.S. and blow them up mid-air. Intelligence officials estimate that about 2,700 people would have perished, according to the official.
Britain's MI-5 intelligence service and Scotland Yard had been tracking the plot for several months, but only in the past two weeks had the plotters' planning begun to crystallize, senior U.S. officials tell TIME. In the two or three days before the arrests, the cell was going operational, and authorities were pressed into action. MI5 and Scotland Yard agents tracked the plotters from the ground, while a knowledgeable American official says U.S. intelligence provided London authorities with intercepts of the group's communications. Most of the suspects are second or third generation British citizens of Pakistani descent whose families hailed from war-torn Kashmir. U.S. officials believe the 29 members were divided into multiple cells and planned to break into small groups to board the nine planes.
During the past few months the plotters' attack plans had changed, > said Deputy Secretary for Homeland Security Michael Jackson. "There were different data sets about their interests over time that evolved," he said. It was only in recent days, said Jackson, that the plans began to focus on British-U.S. flights. The plot was "very near execution" but not imminent, Jackson said. "We didn't pull people off of airplanes."
So as not to derail the British round-up, Chertoff had to wait until the early hours of Thursday morning after all the London arrests were made before notifying U.S. airports of the threat, say senior DHS officals. When it became clear the arrests would be wrapped up around 1 a.m Washington time, Chertoff got on a conference call with his Homeland Security Advisory Committee to approve changing the threat level. Then calls when out to the airlines, airline security companies and labor unions affected by the changes, as well as to members of Congress.
They add a few more details on the type of explosives they were planning to use:
The FBI-DHS report next warns law enforcement agencies about the two peroxide-based liquid explosive that could be used in a future attack against the U.S.–triacetone triperoxide (TATP) or hexamethylene triperoxide diamine (HMTD). The report describes how a terrorist would assemble bombs with these chemicals. Peroxide-based liquid explosives "are sensitive to heat, shock, and friction, can be initiated simply with fire or electrical charge, and can also be used to produce improvised detonators," the report states. "For example, TATP or HMTD may be placed in a tube or syringe body in contact with a bare bulb filament, such as that obtained from inside a Christmas tree light bulb, to produce an explosion."
All I can say is it's a good thing they were planning this from British shores. Imagine our inept, corrupt, liberal CIA having to deal with this.
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