August 10, 2006 by lonbud
Terror Wins Again
Authorities in Great Britian arrested 21 people in and around London Thursday, claiming to have foiled a terrorist plot to blow up transatlantic jetliners bound from London to the United States. Security was raised to its highest level in Britain, and carry-on luggage was banned on all flights. Huge crowds backed up at London’s Heathrow airport as officials searching for explosives barred nearly every form of liquid outside of baby formula.
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.
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.
Thus, without spilling even one drop of blood, the terrorist mindset of Radical Islam has thrown a significant portion of the Western world into utter chaos, altered the security protocol for air travel “for the forseeable future” according to unnamed government sources, and dealt another financial blow to an airline industry that only in the last quarter saw the largest American carriers posting their first profits since 2001.
President Bush said during a visit to Green Bay, Wis., that the foiled plot was a “stark reminder that this nation is at war with Islamic fascists.” Despite increased security since Sept. 11, he warned, “It is a mistake to believe there is no threat to the United States of America.”
“We think this was an extraordinarily serious plot and we are confident that we’ve prevented an attempt to commit mass murder on an unimaginable scale,” London Deputy Police Commissioner Paul Stephenson said.
A senior U.S. counterterrorism official said authorities believe dozens of people — possibly as many as 50 — were involved in the plot. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation.
The plan involved airline passengers hiding masked explosives in carry-on luggage, the official said. “They were not yet sitting on an airplane,” but were very close to traveling, the official said, calling the plot “the real deal.”
White House spokesman Tony Snow, who said Mr. Bush had been briefed by aides while on vacation at his ranch in Crawford, TX, called the plot a serious threat but assured Americans, “it is safe to travel.”
Best look twice, however, at the bearded young man with the energy drink and an iPod sitting next to you.
Portions of this post were composed with information taken from articles filed by Associated Press writers Thursday, August 10, 2006.