Update: Ah THESE liquid explosives:
Reports suggested the plot revolved around liquid-based explosives, and all passengers from the UK and the US were being told they could not carry liquid or lotions onto flights. Heathrow officials said all milk for babies would have to be tasted by an "accompanying passenger".Weird.
Sources said those arrested were British-born; Mr Reid would not comment on the background of the detainees.
Most of the suspects detained overnight were arrested in London; two people were also arrested in Birmingham and Mr Stephenson said there had also been an operation in the Thames Valley. There were reports of anti-terror officers being deployed in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire. Mr Stephenson said a number of addresses were being searched and it is believed some explosive materials have been found, though this has not been confirmed.
Peter Clarke, the head of the Met's anti-terror branch, said the operation had involved an "unprecedented level of surveillance" and had reached a "critical point" last night when officers move to "protect the public".
The focus of the long investigation had been on the "meetings, movement, travel, pending and the aspirations of a large group of people" and the alleged plot had "global dimensions", he said.
US officials are taking the developments extremely seriously and passengers in the US have also been prohibited from carrying liquids or lotions on flights. Michael Chertoff, the US homeland security secretary, said: "We believe that these arrests have significantly disrupted the threat, but we cannot be sure that the threat has been entirely eliminated or the plot completely thwarted."
Update: Ah THESE liquid explosives:
Plot Echoes One Planned by 9/11 Mastermind in ‘94The question is: WHY are they recycling this old plot now???
By RAYMOND BONNER
JAKARTA, Aug. 10 — The plot to blow up several airliners over the Atlantic, uncovered by British authorities, bears a striking resemblance to a plot hatched by Al Qaeda operatives 12 years ago to simultaneously blow up airliners over the Pacific.
That plot was hatched in Manila by Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who was starting his climb to be a top lieutenant to Osama bin Laden, and by Ramzi Yousef, who was the mastermind of the first bomb attack on the World Trade Center in 1993. It was financed by bin Laden.
Mr. Mohammed gave the operation the codename “Bojinka,” which was widely reported to have been adopted from Serbo-Croatian, and to mean “big bang.” But Mr. Mohammed has told Central Intelligence Agency interrogators that it was just a “nonsense word” he chose after hearing it on the front lines in Afghanistan, where he was fighting with Muslim rebels against Russia, according to “The 9/11 Commission Report.” Mr. Mohammed was seized in Pakistan in 2003, and is now being held by the C.I.A. at an undisclosed location.
The Bojinka plot was anything but nonsense. At an apartment in Manila, Mr. Mohammed and Mr. Yousef began mixing chemicals, which they planned to put into containers that would be carried on board the airliners, as the London plotters are said to have been planning to do.
In those days, it would have been relatively easy to get liquid explosives past a checkpoint.
Mr. Mohammed and Mr. Yousef studied airline schedules and planned to sneak the liquid onto a dozen planes headed to Seoul and Hong Kong, and then on to the United States.
The plot was foiled in early 1995, when a fire broke out in the apartment where some of the plotters were working. Among the things found when the police investigated was Mr. Yousef’s laptop computer, containing a file called Bojinka. The police also found dolls wearing clothes containing nitrocellulose, according to the 9/11 report.
Mr. Yousef also was later captured in Pakistan, turned over to the United States, tried, convicted and sentenced to life in prison without parole.
Mr. Mohammed has told interrogators that after the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, which involved explosives in a truck and which failed to bring down the building, he “needed to graduate to a more novel form of attack,” according to the 9/11 report. That led to Bojinka, and the first thoughts about using planes to bomb the World Trade Center.