Advertisement

Archive for Friday, August 11, 2006

Airports on high alert after foiled terror plot

It was sophisticated : it was international in scope’

August 11, 2006

Advertisement

Reader poll
What do you think of the new airport security procedures banning liquids from airline flights:

or See the results without voting

A traveler passes in front of police officers with automatic weapons at JFK International Airport in New York. U.S. passengers are facing heightened security at airports after authorities in London uncovered a terror plot aimed at airlines traveling from Britain to the U.S. Security screening lines grew long and slow-moving as passengers got special inspections, and drinks and most other liquids and gels were banned as carry-on items.

A traveler passes in front of police officers with automatic weapons at JFK International Airport in New York. U.S. passengers are facing heightened security at airports after authorities in London uncovered a terror plot aimed at airlines traveling from Britain to the U.S. Security screening lines grew long and slow-moving as passengers got special inspections, and drinks and most other liquids and gels were banned as carry-on items.

— U.S. airport security will be even stiffer today as British security forces continue to hunt for suspects in an alleged terrorist plot to blow up as many as 10 transatlantic jetliners in flight between Great Britain and the United States.

Airline passengers at all major U.S. airports will pass through double screening starting today, first at the security checkpoint and again at the boarding gate, to make sure they're not carrying liquids onto planes. U.S. authorities banned airline passengers from bringing liquids or gels onto airliners Thursday after British authorities arrested 24 men suspected of involvement in the terrorist plot.

The suspects were British citizens, mostly of Pakistani descent. Though British officials expressed confidence that the key players in the plot were in custody, they said more suspects could be at large.

British and U.S. officials said the suspects were aiming to smuggle liquid explosives, timers and detonators onto flights in carry-on luggage. They could assemble bombs from those parts in flight.

Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said the plotters had "accumulated and assembled the capabilities" to carry out a mission that was in "the final stages of planning before execution."

Chertoff described the plot as "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."

Chertoff said the plot had all the earmarks of al-Qaida: "It was sophisticated, it had a lot of members and it was international in scope. It was, in some respects, suggestive of an al-Qaida plot."

However, both Chertoff and FBI Director Robert Mueller declined to say with certainty whether the terrorist organization was involved.

Chertoff also warned that there was "sufficient uncertainty about whether : the British have scooped everybody up."

"It doesn't mean we know for a fact there are people out there who are still active, but as anybody who has been involved in these investigations knows, we're going to learn more things and the British are going to learn more things in the next hours and days," he said. "And given the amount of planning and effort that was put into this plot, I think it would be a little bit risky to assume that everything is shut down and the threat has gone away."

Airport workers Dwayne Smith, right, and Jack Tang dispose of containers filled with liquid items at San Francisco International Airport. Growing lines of irritated travelers snaked through U.S. airports Thursday as people waited hours to reach security checkpoints, where they were ordered to dump all liquids, including water bottles, suntan lotion and even toothpaste.

Airport workers Dwayne Smith, right, and Jack Tang dispose of containers filled with liquid items at San Francisco International Airport. Growing lines of irritated travelers snaked through U.S. airports Thursday as people waited hours to reach security checkpoints, where they were ordered to dump all liquids, including water bottles, suntan lotion and even toothpaste.

Attacks over Atlantic

British Home Secretary John Reid said the terror threat to the public was the biggest that Britain had ever faced. Police said the alleged plot had a global dimension and security services were cooperating with foreign counterparts.

U.S. and United Kingdom officials declined to reveal publicly the dates, times or destinations of the flights allegedly targeted, though officials privately identified the targets as United, Continental and American Airlines nonstop flights from England. British Airways also may have been targeted.

A senior U.S. official, however, speaking only on the condition of anonymity because the information is part of a law enforcement investigation, said the plotters were planning to blow up planes headed from London to Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Washington and possibly other cities. The official said the flights appeared to have been chosen because the destinations are popular, the flights were expected to be full and they were leaving within 60 to 90 minutes of one another, which would have allowed the terrorists to detonate their bombs over the Atlantic simultaneously.

Another U.S. official familiar with the plot, speaking on condition of anonymity because British authorities were handling the information, said it was conceivable that the suspects could have "launched something within a month."

That would be within range of the fifth anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, which killed nearly 3,000 people when terrorists hijacked domestic jetliners and crashed them into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and a field in Pennsylvania.

On the scale of 9-11

6News anchor Deanna Richards reports on the situation at KCI.

None

If the foiled plot had been successful, it could have rivaled 9-11 in scale. Typically, airlines use jumbo jets on international flights, such as the Boeing 747, which seats about 416 passengers, and the Airbus 310, which holds more than 370 passengers.

"If they managed to pull this off, it would have been spectacular," said Peter Lang, former head of the Middle East intelligence section at the Defense Intelligence Agency. "They would have killed several thousand people."

President Bush, traveling from his Texas ranch to Green Bay, Wis., said the foiled plot serves as a stark reminder that the United States "is at war with Islamic fascists who will use any means to destroy those of us who love freedom."

He said America was safer since the 9-11 attacks, but added, "Obviously, we're still not completely safe, because there are people that still plot and people who want to harm us for what we believe in."








Tips for travelers

If you're going through airport security, the new terror alert announced Thursday means tighter checks and probably longer delays. The Transportation Security Administration issued new guidelines for carry-on luggage: No liquids, gels, beverages or hand creams are allowed. Exceptions have been made for breast milk, baby formula or juice, prescription medicine with the owner's name attached, insulin and other essential medicines. TSA recommends that passengers show up at least two hours ahead of flight departure times, pack clutter free, work with the agents and be patient. Contrary to some reports, passengers can bring aboard laptop computers, cell phones and other electronic items. If you bring a prohibited item to a checkpoint, you'll be asked to discard it or you could be civilly or criminally prosecuted. For the complete list of what's allowed, go to: www.tsa.gov/assets/doc/Permitted_Prohibited_Facts.doc For a Q&A on the new guidelines: www.tsa.gov/press/where_we_stand/security_measures.shtm Source: Transportation Security Administration Web site (www.tsa.gov)

Comments

Richard Heckler 8 years, 4 months ago

I would say that British Intelligence have well proved that an all out war killing thousands upon thousands of innocent people in Iraq and Afghanistan is doing little to make the war on terror viable. Covert intelligence operations concentrated in the right places is the most effective although not as sensational and accompanied with wanton destruction of property and families.

Blair is going bye bye sooner than he had planned due to his blundering part in the Iraq slaughter. And Bush has more planned slaughter on his table in other countries. When the Bush admin speaks of regime change in Iran or Syria WE KNOW what that means. Iraq and Afghanistan are perfect examples.

Those trillions of tax dollars being spent in Iraq and Afghanistan could have been better spent on alternative energy, healthcare for all,bribing the USA auto industry to manufacture more hybrids as well as public and higher education. Think of the payback in terms of jobs for americans.

Jamesaust 8 years, 4 months ago

Ugh. What a day to pick to travel. I did see a grown man almost cry though as he tossed away a bottle of tequila.

monkeywrench1969 8 years, 4 months ago

The Bush adm has been putting money toward alternative energy and in many cases federal buildings using it in areas which offer the option. Anyone who has even play a simple game of stratego knows you surround the bad guys anyway possible. Look where Iraq and Afganistan are located in relation to Iran and Syria.

We are putting pressure on Iran in a variety of ways and if you think they don't have a hand in the terror plots around the world as does Syria and Saddam and Taliban you are mistaken. Guess who had Bin Laden's son and just released him to fight in Lebanon. IRan.

http://news.netscape.com/viewstory/2006/08/02/iran-frees-saad-bin-laden-to-organize-terror-cells-in-lebanon/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.alertnet.org%2Fthenews%2Fnewsdesk%2FL02166342.htm&frame=true http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20060802/wl_nm/iran_qaeda_germany_dc_1

http://www.worldthreats.com/al-qaeda_terrorism/OBLs%20Iran%20Alliance.htm

His early back ground:

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2002/08/05/attack/main517470.shtml

We are never going to fight the old time war of WWI or WWII and you folks who can not think outside of the box are right up there with the command in Viet Nam who wanted to continue a conventional war against the North Viets and VC. THey wern't playing by the diplomatic rules in the same manner the folks in Iraq Afganistan, Lebanon and else were are doing today. Bruce WIllis andhis team of ten Navy SEALS are not going to mop up Iraq in less than a couple days.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 8 years, 4 months ago

Well, monkeywrench1969, the fact is that BushCo did Iran a favor by removing their only serious rival, Saddam, for influence in that region. Iran now has more influence on the politics of Iraq than the US does.

And now that the US and Israel have invaded Lebanon, the whole region could completely blow up, which would create an energy crisis that could plunge the whole world into an economic depression.

Idiots.

Jamesaust 8 years, 4 months ago

"They [the U.S. military] are boxing in Iran."

I believe its a fair statement that Iran is today less 'boxed in' than its been in 10-20 years. I'd say, all-in-all, Iran is sitting pretty, in large part due to failed Bush Administration policies (which - height of irony - appear to be almost word-for-word those expressed by the Democrat guy from Connecticut - at least based on a campaign interview I saw on cspan last week).

Devon Kissinger 8 years, 4 months ago

I just wish the jihadists would grow some balls and bring the fight in person. The radical muslims aren't really radical, just average, the radical muslim is the one who truly wants peace, the average muslim wants to bring the jihad to us "non-believers," after all, that is what their religion teaches them. If they really want to fight for their beliefs, I say bring it. If these pig-blooded, yellow bellied pieces of trash want to hide behind their attempts at martyrdom, they can have it. Let them fear the rifle behind every blade of grass, as the Japanese did in WW2. If they get caught bringing explosives or other forms of mass destruction into play, forget the fair trial, 2 rounds of 5.56mm ball to the base of the skull at close range is punishment enough. I'm tired of hearing the lamentations of the loud and obnoxious about how they've been misunderstood and mistreated. I'd like to see them rot with the scum they attempt to defend. Yes, I'm an angry American male.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 8 years, 4 months ago

"Yes, I'm an angry American male."

And you have a very scary resemblance to the angry Muslim male jihadists trying to commit terrorist acts.

Devon Kissinger 8 years, 4 months ago

I may bear a close resemblance to the jihadists in your mind however, I have yet to have the desire, or been subject to the teachings of the mass destruction of others simply because they do not believe the same things I do. That is what keeps good people separate from the animals.

Agnostick, I am trying to link what you think the logic is to what I said. Those folks that drank with Jim Jones were quite simply brainwashed. The folks that burnt with Koresh in Texas were victims of a madman. Your logic doesn't hunt, they bear a closer resemblance to the jihadists than I do with regard to the destruction of others.

I still stand by my statement that they should grow some balls and bring the fight in a direct manner so we can be done with it. Don't attack the defenseless, the women and children, and don't muck with our way of life. The muslim hold their women and children in such low regard that if they want to fight they should fight as men, not in the cowardly fashion they've been attacking us.

They want the assured destruction of all that either don't believe (meaning agnostic people as well) or believe something other than their teachings. I feel that if people choose to believe in something or not at all, that should be their choice, right or wrong. We shouldn't be forced into believing something just because someone said we should. We also shouldn't attempt to destroy all those that choose not to believe whatever you or I might or might not. At the same time, I believe that if you choose to muck with my family or my way of life prepare to be dealt with and be ready to meet your maker, whomever you may or may not believe that to be.

MyName 8 years, 4 months ago

I just wish the jihadists would grow some balls and bring the fight in person.

They never will because if they did that, they would lose. Since the war began, there are roughly 40,000 dead Iraqis and roughly 2600 dead american soldiers since the war began. That's 15:1. Granted not all of those were killed by Americans, but if you like, you can move it down to the more recent historical average of about 10 people killed for every one American soldier.

The point is that they may be religious zealot, but they aren't stupid (unlike some of the people who post on this site).

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 8 years, 4 months ago

"I may bear a close resemblance to the jihadists in your mind"

Yes, you do. And your entire last post would require very little editing to become an eloquent statement of philosophy and purpose from a member of Hezbolla, Hamas, or al Qaeda.

Until we stop acting like angry cats looking at ourselves in the mirror, the stupidity and violence will never stop.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 8 years, 4 months ago

"roughly 40,000 dead Iraqis"

There are easily 100,000 dead Iraqis dead by now. The above number has almost certainly been directly killed by American actions.

Devon Kissinger 8 years, 4 months ago

Really bozo, please explain.

"And your entire last post would require very little editing to become an eloquent statement of philosophy and purpose from a member of Hezbolla, Hamas, or al Qaeda."

I think your reading comprehension may need a little work. Nowhere in my last post, or any other did I say I subscribed to the line of reasoning that would lead you or anyone else to believe that I approve of what they do. I am stating that if they want to believe what they do, fine, don't try to force me to follow your beliefs through threats of bodily harm, or harm to my family and don't try to infringe on my way life. I will defend those things I hold dear. I didn't say I would attack those who believe anything other than what I do, that is the average muslim way, not mine.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 8 years, 4 months ago

"I may bear a close resemblance to the jihadists in your mind however, I have yet to have the desire, or been subject to the teachings of the mass destruction of others simply because they do not believe the same things I do. That is what keeps good people separate from the animals."

BushCo, your heros, practice the mass destruction of their "enemies" every day.

"Agnostick, I am trying to link what you think the logic is to what I said. Those folks that drank with Jim Jones were quite simply brainwashed. The folks that burnt with Koresh in Texas were victims of a madman. Your logic doesn't hunt, they bear a closer resemblance to the jihadists than I do with regard to the destruction of others."

And you are quite clearly the brainwash victim of some very mad and murderous people.

"I still stand by my statement that they should grow some balls and bring the fight in a direct manner so we can be done with it. Don't attack the defenseless, the women and children, and don't muck with our way of life. The muslim hold their women and children in such low regard that if they want to fight they should fight as men, not in the cowardly fashion they've been attacking us."

Israel is dropping massive bombs from supersonic aircraft and killing hundreds of defenseless, innocent people in the process, but you defend that.

"They want the assured destruction of all that either don't believe (meaning agnostic people as well) or believe something other than their teachings. I feel that if people choose to believe in something or not at all, that should be their choice, right or wrong. We shouldn't be forced into believing something just because someone said we should. We also shouldn't attempt to destroy all those that choose not to believe whatever you or I might or might not. At the same time, I believe that if you choose to muck with my family or my way of life prepare to be dealt with and be ready to meet your maker, whomever you may or may not believe that to be."

You're quite clearly cheering the destruction of people you think oppose you. You are what you protest, which makes you a bloodthirsty hypocrite.

Devon Kissinger 8 years, 4 months ago

AH, another of the loud and obnoxious speaks. Where did I say I supported the war in Iraq, Afghanistan, or the Israeli attacks? I must have missed that. I, to the best of my recollection, have stated no opinion on any of those situations.

I suppose that if I'm not in your camp with my beliefs that I can't have an opinion of my own? It's either left or right with you isn't it?

I have however, stated strongly my opinion of those that choose to attempt the destruction of my (our? I'm not sure you are here with the rest of us)) way of life, meaning the miscreants that choose to carry out or attempt to carry out the terrorist attacks on our homeland.

If they choose to battle each other on their ground, good for them, carry on. Keep your problems in your own yard, I don't, and I'm very sure many other people are with me here, want their trash in my yard.

jayhawks71 8 years, 4 months ago

no colt45 you just want them the heck out of your life; the same thing they want, only they take it up themselves and you rely on your government to do it.

what is this "our way of life" you don't know my way of life or the way of life of most people in this country. the battles fought at each election held in this country is evidence enough that there is no "our way of life."

Cut the collectivist, socialist crap colt45. Your trash is in their backyard. they are sending it back to you wrapped in explosives. big governments push themsleves all over the world.

It isn't about Left or Right, it is about the force of government both at home and abroad.

Devon Kissinger 8 years, 4 months ago

Just to be sure, I went back and reread my posts from earlier today. I was right, I did not post any opinion on any of the other matters that bozo referred to. Reading comprehension is terribly forgotten in this day and age and making assumptions of someone else's opinions or beliefs is just bad form. I guess it's all just a Bushco plot and I'm right in the thick of things. :)

Devon Kissinger 8 years, 4 months ago

Jayhawks71, I've never been called a socialist before, a lot of other things maybe, never a socialist.

You are correct on one count though, I know they want me and anyone else that is a "non-believer" out of their lives. That is what they are taught from a very young age. I just want to live my life in peace and enjoy the short time I have left on this earth. They want us to just die, a brutal death or conform to their way. I won't stand for that if I can help it.

You're right, I don't know your way of life, I know mine, I don't want it mucked with. I hope you want the same for yourself.

I still stand by what I said earlier, bring the fight, let's finish it and get on with things. I don't want someone telling me what to believe, I'll figure that out on my own. Telling me what to believe with threats of violence begets violence.

I don't "rely" on my government for much of anything besides taking too much of what I earn, thank you very much.

You go ahead, roll over and play dead, I'll take up the fight. I'm sure many others will too.

Devon Kissinger 8 years, 4 months ago

Agnostick, I may be ill informed, but I personally never understood we were going to Iraq to find Bin Laden. That was the purpose of our incursion into Afghanistan. I understood the invasion was to relieve Iraq of the oppression that was Saddam's regime and to find the WMD that he possessed. He has been relieved of his command and now our troops are finding some of the weapons, albeit some would say they are so degraded that they are no more dangerous than your average household chemical. I certainly wouldn't want that stuff under my kitchen sink. Do you want them in yours?

Commenting has been disabled for this item.