Skip to comments.London Airline Bombing Plot News (updated 4:05 pm ET)
Posted on 08/10/2006 1:49:25 PM PDT by John Lenin
ABC News: Three alleged ringleaders have been identified; two recently traveled to Pakistan and later received money wired to them from Pakistan, reportedly to purchase tickets for the suicide bombers. Sources identify the three, now in custody, as Rashid Rauf, Mohammed al-Ghandra, and Ahmed al Khan. Fox News at 3 pm ET:"British authorities are 'urgently' seeking the arrests of up to 10 more suspects in the terrorist plot uncovered early Thursday morning to blow up U.S.-bound flights with liquid explosives carried onto planes via carry-on luggage." Twenty-four main suspects are now in custody. Fox News again: "(A)n Islamic militant arrested near the Afghan-Pakistan border several weeks ago provided a lead that played a role in "unearthing the plot," that helped authorities arrest suspects in Britain." AP reports that the were targeting as many as 10 flights, and "plotters hoped to stage a dry run within two days," and "the actual attack would have followed within days."
Michelle Malkin's and Brendan Loy's blogs included links to many stories overnight on this plot. See Walid Phares' post on this plot with his early analysis and incisive questions, and Evan Kohlmann's post today on Al Qaeda's use of liquid explosives for airliners. Here is the statement by the Homeland Security Department on the raised threat level to Severe, or Red, for commercial flights originating in the UK bound for the United States, with the threat raised to Orange for all flights within or bound for the US. MSNBC: "U.S. intelligence has been working closely with the British on the investigation, which has been ongoing for months," and "These officials described a threat aimed at United, American and Continental Air Lines, and flights to the major summer tourist destinations of New York, Washington and California." Fox News: "A U.S. intelligence official said the plotters had hoped to target flights to major airports in New York, Washington and California." All commentary points to the similarity to the failed Al Qaeda Bojinka plot in 1995 to blow up airliners. Fox News again: "A senior U.S. counterterrorism official said authorities believe dozens of people possibly as many as 50 were involved in the plot."
Press conference with DHS Secretary Chertoff, Att. Gen. Gonzales, & FBI Director Mueller at 8 am ET: Well-planned and well-advanced plot with significant number of operatives - very concrete steps underway and suspects had accumulated capabilities to carry out plot - british authorities pursued this for some time but in last two weeks, focus on US targets appeared and plan appeared to have accelerated - "quite close" to execution phase - no indication of US plotters who would have intersected with UK plotters - would not give a number of airliners but "multiple" - shortly before arrests, suspects focused on UK-US routes - can't say whether 9/11 anniversary a factor or whether they would have waited that long - explosives designed into beverages and other liquids, electronics, and other common objects, with possibility of bringing benign components onboard and then assembling them - "quite sophisticated" - will not discuss suspects' nationalities now, but this group was "very skilled and very capable" - suggestive of Al Qaeda plot but not certain and reminiscent of 1995 plot (Bojinka) - arrests have significantly disrupted the threat but investigation ongoing in UK and here - no liquids or gels allowed in carry-on baggage.
NBC News' Lisa Myers reported that one or more suspects had traveled to Pakistan, where they received some training. MSNBC's Bob Windrem reported that two persons were arrested in Pakistan in connection with this plot, most of the suspects are of Pakistani origin (but all suspects are British nationals), and Pakistani intel services assisted UK agencies in the investigation (also reported in the London Times and confirmed by Pakistani authorities). He also reports multiple plotters would have boarded each aircraft with components combined inflight. The plotters looked for flights online in the past few weeks, leading UK investigators to move towards the arrests. ABC News: They "planned to conceal their liquid or gel explosives inside a modified sports beverage drink container and trigger the device with the flash from a disposable camera."
"US News & World Reports" reports that "At least some of the suspects had ties to those involved in the July 7, 2005, coordinated bombings on the London subways" and "Terrorists plotting to blow up American planes headed from the United Kingdom to the United States were planning to smuggle hydrogen peroxide based improvised liquid/slurry explosives in modified sports drinks bottles."
President Bush at 11:50 am ET: "We are safer than we were prior to 9/11," but we're obviously not completely safe because people still plot against us. "It's a mistake to believe there is no threat aginst the United States."
Walid Phares on MSNBC this morning: Biggest attack network in history of Al Qaeda - number of jihadists has grown from 1 shoe bomber to 7 in London attacks to at least 21, with base in UK. This would have required a support network of over 100, perhaps 150. AQ leaders have been threatening attacks in their statements for months, indicating their involvement in planning and execution.
Evan Kohlmann on MSNBC: AQ training camps near Pak-Afghan border used for 7/7 bombers. This plot "smacks of Al Qaeda through and through," due to the number of people involved and the sophistication of the explosives. Two kinds of Al Qaeda splinter groups: "wannabes" and actual affiliates (official or unofficial) - one of the latter announced alliance with Al Qaeda last week (see my post on the Egyptian Islamic Group, aka Gamaa Islamiya).
Magnus Ranstorp is quoted by MSNBC that this could very well have been an attempt at the Big One.
Lorenzo Vidino reminded me of this story from London a few months ago: "Abu Hamza fanatics are urging fresh suicide attacks on passenger jets, using mini-bombs in pens and disposable cameras. The call is aired on an website run by supporters of the jailed hook-handed cleric. It recommends the use of a high-powered explosive dubbed Mother of Satan, which is of the same type used by the July 7 bombers.
"Abu Hamza fanatics are urging fresh suicide attacks on passenger jets, using mini-bombs in pens and disposable cameras. The call is aired on an website run by supporters of the jailed hook-handed cleric. It recommends the use of a high-powered explosive dubbed Mother of Satan, which is of the same type used by the July 7 bombers.
Isn't it time for ol' Cap'n Hook to have a convenient mass coronary?(hint hint)
If they can just nuke that entire region in Waristan or whatever it is called, most of his crap will go away.
My thanks John. I stayed up til 4am with this and been busy today and you have capsuled it up to date very well. Imagine the rest of the plotters are scurrying now like the cowardly rats they are.
It's a great site I stumbled onto in the last week.
Why are they called suicide bombers? Did they buy all the available seats on the planes? They are freakin' homicidal lunatics. Sure wish the MSM would call it like it is.
No media "bias" thread here, just the "facts".
Thought some might be interested in a good "one-stop shop" (even if it is multi-sourced).
Canadian Plane headed for Reagan diverted to Baltimore...Dogs are boarding now. Fox News
mark for later read
Who woulda thunk guys with names like Rashid Rauf, Mohammed al-Ghandra, and Ahmed al Khan would be involved in a plot like this. It sounds like profiling to me.
They would have needed to use 80-90% peroxide. And handling it is far from easy. More specifically, if the container with it were subjected to intense ultrasound, peroxide would start rapidly decomposing with the release of superheated steam. Thus sonicators could be added to the luggage screening machines lineup.
Thank God for the Brits!
Exactly - I've been trying all day to remember the name of that article. Thanks.
save for later tonight
I sure hope they didn't make him feel uncomfortable in any way.
Great bit of information. Thanks for posting it. BTTT
Well done. Thank you for all of this.
Lorenzo Vidino mentioned "Mother of Satan" - is that PETN?
Ah, yes, 'Mother of Satan', the stuff with which the kid blew himself up with outside the OU football game last fall.
Evan Kohlmann should give up the wig.
Ah - its TATP. I have too many things loose in my brain. I hope the American people remember this when time comes for hearings on Bush's "nefarious Zionist anti-civil rights plots" /half mocking DNC...
What? and wake the sleeping Mexicans?
Excellent work, sir.
Good roundup. What is the Democratic reaction to all this? The last I heard, there hasn't been much. There was minor DNC functionary who said that Democrats are opposed to the war in Iraq, but tough in the war on terror (This isn't going to fly with ANSWER and their ilk). Democratic mayors have confined themselves to talking about their specific responsibilities.
The RAT reaction is it's just a Karl Rove ploy to take Ned Lamont's victory out of the news. Some of them think it is a Bush/Blair ploy to help their poll numbers. Still others deny that there is even a terrorist threat ...
Good post and this site seems to wrap it all up.
Good site with some top names in terror study.
Do us a big favor and put any of their future articles on as threads if they have a lot meat and potatoes like this article and ping us.
Er, isn't that how Abu "Cap'n Hook" Hamza got that way?
Misery loves company.
"(A)n Islamic militant arrested near the Afghan-Pakistan border several weeks ago provided a lead that played a role in "unearthing the plot,"
"What is the Democratic reaction to all this?"
Well, that Dem kneepadder Norah O'Donnell was wringing her hands this morning on MSNBC, wondering if all this was perhaps caused by the fact that the Muslim unemployment rate in Britain is 14%!!!
I kid you not. This is what the lamebrain said.
See post 35...
My wife had Fox News on this morning for a few minutes. We have several friends who had planned to fly to London this week and into September.
Fox news this morning said the intel had come from Pakistan which enabled the Brits to prevent these massive mass murders.
But a senior government official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorized to comment on the matter, said "two or three local people" suspected in the plot were arrested a few days ago in Lahore and Karachi.
Don't have a ping list, the site is a good bookmark though.
Let's also thank God for the troops in Afghanistan that caught the guy that gave up important information. I suspect that a lot of intelligence is being gleaned from the Afghanistand and Iraq that is helping to foil these plots.
Ping me to any future threads you post I have a ping list I'll ping for you.
Thanks, I will monitor your threads.
Good find, Dog, and thanks for the ping. I had heard of the Pakistani government's assistance, but not this level of detail. Did they specify if U.S./Afghan forces got the cowardly punk, or Pakistani forces?
Bloodhound Dog on the job...:-)
Just found a BBC article seemed to give the credit to Pakistan.
We have all the justification we need to nuke Iran back to the 3rd century. Already had it IMHO. It's way past time to start cutting CO2 emissions in that part of the world. Suck that, algorejr, idiot.
Ah-hah! Just as I suspected! Obviously blonde Icelanders! Thank God we don't waste our time profiling.