Police in Britain say they have foiled a major terrorism plot to blow up aeroplanes mid-flight. It is thought the plan involved smuggling explosives onboard and that flights from the UK to the US were to be targeted. Police have now arrested 21 people. Scotland Yard Deputy Commissioner Paul Stephenson said: “We are generally looking to the public to remain calm, patient and vigilant. But we cannot stress too highly the severity this plot represented. Put simply, this was intended to be mass murder on an unimaginable scale.”
Britain’s security threat has now been raised to critical – its highest level – which means an attack could be imminent. The news has caused chaos at British airports. Flights in and out of the country have been cancelled. Interior Minister, John Reid has sought to reassure a now jittery public as he said: “We are doing everything possible to disrupt any further terrorist activity. This will mean major disruption at all UK airports from today.”
The police terrorism operation has lasted several months. There are unconfirmed reports the suspects are British Asians. It is thought the bomb plot involved liquid chemical devices which could have been missed during x-ray screening. All passengers leaving the UK are banned from bringing hand luggage on board. Flights from London, Manchester and Glasgow airports are said to have been on the terrorist hit list.