Stopped Terror plot and a practical concern
From the Washington Post
British authorities said today they had disrupted a "major terrorist plot" to blow up passenger flights between the United Kingdom and the United States, prompting a full-scale security clampdown at U.S. and British airports and a cascade of delays in trans-Atlantic flights.This should be a reminder to everyone this country is still in a state of war. However TFM guesses most of the general public and politicians will be forgetting this episode within 60 days. Complacency is dangerous more so today than ever with the threats of a WMD being used against our country or plots like today.
London's Deputy Police Commissioner, Paul Stephenson, said 21 people had been arrested in London and in Birmingham, England, after a months-long investigation into what he said was a plan for "mass murder on an unimaginable scale." Peter Clarke, chief of the London police department's anti-terrorism branch, said the investigation reached a "critical point" last night, requiring immediate disruption of the plot, the arrests and the imposition of heightened security measures.
"Had this plot been carried out, the loss of life to innocent civilians would have been on an unprecedented scale, British Home Secretary John Reid said.
U.S. officials raised the "threat level" for air transport to red , the highest alert. The terrorists had targeted flights operated by American Airlines, Continental Airlines and United Airlines, a U.S. official said.
Passengers at all airports in the United States were told to expect intensified searches, considerable delays and new restrictions on carry-on items. The Transportation Security Administration announced that passengers on all U.S. flights, domestic and international, would be banned from transporting any type of liquid or gel in their carry-on luggage . The ban applies to all types of beverages, shampoo, toothpaste, hair gels and other items of a similar consistency, the TSA announced.
While elevating the threat level, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said officials had no indication that the plot included attacks based in the U.S.
British authorities said the threat involved terrorists who aimed to smuggle explosive material aboard airplanes in hand baggage, including timers and detonators that could be assembled in flight. In July 2005, terrorists attacked London's subway and bus system with bombs made of acetone and peroxide mixed in plastic containers. Those attacks claimed 52 lives and injured hundreds of others.
Reid said the operation was aimed at bringing down "a number of aircraft" -- reportedly at least ten -- "through mid-flight explosions, causing a considerable loss of life." The plot, he said, "was a very significant one indeed."
I am glad not to be travelling anymore. The wife will be visiting the Philippines in October but I'm not going.(Someone has to stay behind and give out knucklehead awards) This new alert is going to cause havoc at the airports.
There is one issue that will need to be addressed. That's the restriction on liquids. Off the top of my head I can think of two substances needed for some airline travellers. No not Starbucks coffee(Cue the sarcastic laughter)
2 Baby Formula. Or even breast milk. Some moms pump and store. For obvious reasons most mothers prefer not to breast feed on board a flight.
What's airport security going to do about these passengers? We know from reading the news that TSA is inconsistent from airport to airport. I'm certain some travellers are going to run into problems about these substances and others I have yet to think of.
Update- There have been exceptions made for the above items I mentioned. There will be a TSA employee there to test that the substance is really milk. How does someone get trained in milk tasting?
Many people are blogging on the this latest terror plot. Among them are- Bullwinkle, James Joyner at OTB, Lorie at Wizbang, Protein Wisdom, Blogs of War, Flopping Aces, Iowa Voice, Captain's Quarters, Michelle Malkin, Sister Toldjah, Big Dog, Morning Coffee, Mr. Smash, Assorted Babble, Poliblog, Real Ugly American,
Linked to- Stop the ACLU,