London Court Sentences Men for Foiled Terror Plot to Blow Up Transatlantic Airplanes
Posted: January 5, 2010
On August 9, 2006, British police conducting a series of raids in London, Birmingham and High Wycombe, arrested 24 people for their alleged roles in the plot to blow up seven airplanes flying from Britain to the United States and Canada.
The men allegedly planned to assemble hydrogen peroxide-based explosives, injected into soda bottles, in airplane bathrooms. They then planned to detonate these explosive liquids in midair using battery-operated devices, such as MP3 players, digital cameras or cell phones.
The airliners – scheduled to take off within hours of each other from London's Heathrow airport – were headed to several different cities in North America, including New York, Washington, Chicago, San Francisco, Toronto and Montreal. The men had allegedly planned to simultaneously detonate bombs when the airplanes were over the Atlantic Ocean.
Prosecutors showed the jury a video of the men discussing their plan to recruit 19 bombers, presumably to emulate the 19 hijackers involved in the September 11 terrorist attacks. The suspects also reportedly planned to take their children with them on the flights to relieve suspicion.
Another video showed two of the suspects drilling a hole through the bottom of a bottle in order to replace the bottle's content with liquid explosives without breaking the seal on the cap. The men had also been conducting a series of experiments with chemicals in the apartment, dubbed by officials as the "bomb factory."
Government officials have alleged that the suspects were planning to stage a test run within days of their August 2006 arrests. They had scrapped their original idea of targeting Parliament because of heightened security there.