Terror Plot Uncovered in the UK
Woke up Thursday morning to the news of an alleged terrorist plot to "commit mass murder on an unimaginable scale." British law enforcement authorities had arrested 24 suspects who had planned to explode 10 to 12 aircraft in mid-flight between Britain and America using liquid explosives.
The twenty four suspects are said to be British citizens, many of Pakistani origin. This was three more than the 21 announced earlier in the day. British security sources felt that all the main targets had been arrested.
Here in the U.S., Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff raised the nation’s threat level to Severe, or Red, for commercial flights originating in the United Kingdom bound for the U.S. This adjustment reflects the Critical, or highest, alert level that has been implemented in the UK. He also raised the threat level to High, or Orange, for all commercial
aviation operating in or destined for the U.S. Chertoff called the plot "comparable to 9/11."
Also implemented was a new series of security measures, prohibiting any liquids, including beverages, hair gels, and lotions from being carried on airplanes. British authorities have implemented similar measure due the potential dangers that could be caused with many simple household liquids.
The UK threat level remains critical, according to UK Home Secretary John Reid, who noted that the main suspects were in custody but it was right to "err on the side of caution." The British government also released the names of the suspects. The oldest person is 35, and the youngest is only 17.
Now ponder these facts, and see how you feel:
- Last Tuesday the FBI had announced that they were looking for 11 Egyptian exchange students who arrived in the U.S. last month, but never showed up for class at Montana State University. Some are now in Federal custody.
- Oliver Stone's World Trade Center film is now playing in theaters (see the YouTube video trailer).
- The fifth anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks is just a month away.
- Homeland Security Chief Chertoff stated that "currently, there is no indication of plotting within the United States."
ABC News has just posted an audiotape provides one of the clearest and most accurate records of the United Flight 93 hijackers on September 11th.
I for one can remember exactly where I was and what I was doing when 9/11 happened, and all these facts are just a bit too coincidental to make one rest easy. At the time of this writing, the current HSAS level in Pennsylvania, where I live, remains at yellow, though Governor Ed Rendell urged resident to be observant and "vigilant at all times." It can make the observer somewhat uneasy watching these events roll by like a parade before our eyes.
In the film Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope (1977), there was a classic line, a quote that I'll share here:
I've got a bad feeling about this.
~ Hans Solo (played by Harrison Ford)
My sentiments exactly, and I truly hope that I'm wrong. I was very close to the 9/11 relief efforts and to some of the people involved in the recovery (see the archived UCanHelp.com Website at the Library of Congress).
World Trade Center Video from September 11, 2001
Homeland Security Advisory
Resources, should you (hopefully never) need them:
- Department of Homeland Security
- Terrorism Awareness and Prevention: A Self-Study Guide
from The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
- FBI Homepage & Local Offices
- FBI Tips & Public Leads
- U.S. Department of Justice
- Red Cross: Family Disaster Plan
Technorati Tags: 9/11, airline, al-Qaeda, bad feeling, WTC, terrorism, security, London, lexidiem, jargontalk, YouTube, video, Chertoff, Homeland Security, John Reid, liquid, Pakistani, September 11th, World Trade Center, Ed Rendell, United Flight 93, 2996,
August 11, 2006