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Chilling Details Emerge from Trans-Atlantic Terror Plot Hearing

April 8, 2008
TSA Reports
 _44540417_n_america466sat_2-762676.jpg (two other reports available, NEFA Report and Stratfor article)

"...the men planned to inflict heavy casualties, 'all in the name of Islam'. 'These men were, we say, indifferent to the carnage that was likely to ensue.
Some of the men you see in the dock are those who were prepared to sacrifice their own lives.'"Peter Wright, QC, Prosecutor of the eight UK plot suspects.
Click here to read DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff's Leadership Journal Posting regarding the trial

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On August 10, 2006, a plot to use liquid explosives to blow up transatlantic flights headed to the United States and Canada was foiled by UK authorities. In light of the threat, the US and UK immediately banned liquids from going through checkpoints and onto airplanes. US Federal Air Marshals were dispatched to cover all affected flights immediately following this plot.

In September 2006, after international and US explosives experts determined that acceptable amounts of liquids could safely be brought on planes, TSA implemented the 3-1-1 program.

In the UK, the trial began on April 3 for eight British men, many of Pakistani descent, suspected ofplot_men.jpg being involved in a British terror cell with plans to commit a massive transatlantic terrorist attack on August 10, 2006.

Here's A Recap
The eight men were arrested by British authorities in August 2006, allegedly close to the execution date of their plot. The plot included bringing liquid explosives disguised as commonly consumed UK beverages onto seven planes from London's Heathrow Airport to various cities in the United States and Canada. The liquid explosives would have detonated while flying over the Atlantic Ocean.

All seven targeted flights were scheduled to depart London within a time period of two hours and 35 minutes, offering little hope of saving the already airborne planes once the first explosive was detonated. Having the planes explode over the ocean would have made recovery and investigation very difficult. Had the plan been successful, it is estimated that as many as 1,500 passengers would have been killed.

New Information From The Trial
Since the trial began, the following information has been presented to the jury:

  • The group purchased a flat in north-east London in July 2006 for £138,000 ($275,558 US dollars at today's exchange rate.) in cash and transformed it into an alleged "bomb factory."
  • Searches of the property produced many components with the ability to create liquid improvised explosive devices that could be assembled and detonated on an aircraft.
  • The woods near one suspect's home contained a suitcase filled with syringes and chemicals.
  • The main ingredient of the explosives mixture was hydrogen peroxide mixed with other organic materials.
  • The terrorists would inject the liquid explosive into sealed 500 milliliter plastic bottles of soft drinks "Oasis" and "Lucozade" prior to boarding the plane.
  • Tang, a sugary drink, would be mixed with the hydrogen peroxide solution for a more powerful explosion.
  • The liquid explosives would be detonated using a substance called HMTD (hexamethylene triperoxide diamine) concealed in AA 1.5-volt batteries.
  • Pages from one of the suspect's (Mr. Ali) handwritten diary make apparent references to how the bomb materials would have been taken onto the aircraft.
  • The bombers would have used a syringe to insert the explosive material into the base of the bottles, without breaking the seal on the cap.
  • The detonator would have been ignited using a metal wire, a small bulb or the flash from a disposable camera.
  • Pornographic magazines were to be placed in carry-on luggage to distract security personnel and indicate that the men were not religious zealots.
  • Each man intended to carry two bottled explosives through security in case one of them was taken away.
  • The allegedly targeted flights included aircraft bound for Montreal, Toronto, San Francisco, Chicago, New York, and Washington, DC.

Video Clips of the Trial
BBC News: 7/7 'inspired airline plotters'
The Sun: 'Bombers' made martyr videos
CTV.ca: Canadian jets targeted in U.K. terror plot, trial hears


Targeted Flights
plot_flights.jpg

14:15 United Airlines Flight 931 to San Francisco
15:00 Air Canada Flight 849 to Toronto
15:15 Air Canada Flight 865 to Montreal
15:40 United Airlines Flight 959 to Chicago
16:20 United Airlines Flight 925 to Washington
16:35 American Airlines Flight 131 to New York
16:50 American Airlines Flight 91 to Chicago
SOURCE:
Transportation Security Administration | U.S. Department of Homeland Security

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