Malkin’s all over this major developing story.
Brendan Loy updated overnight and here’s the rundown of what’s happening:
â€¢ British authorities say they have disrupted a massive, imminent midair terror plot involving suicide bombers carrying liquid explosives in their carry-on baggage on U.K.-to-U.S. commercial flights. “Put simply, this was intended to be mass murder on an unimaginable scale” says Scotland Yard.
â€¢ According to Sky News, the plot involved six planes. Earlier reports had said “as many as 20 planes” were involved. Scotland Yard would not confirm the number of planes. The planes were to be blown up en route to America (or possibly “over UK and US cities” according to one early report).
â€¢ Fox News reports that a knowledgeable U.S. official says this plot had a “serious Al Qaeda connection.”
â€¢ Police know of specific flights on which the terrorists were booked, according to Sky. “They were not yet sitting on an airplane, but they were very close to travelling” says a U.S. intelligence official, according to Fox.
â€¢ 21 would-be terrorists were arrested overnight in London. At least 2 others are still at-large, possibly “many others” according to Fox. “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” says Michael Chertoff. The arrested individuals are British-born young male Muslims, possibly of Pakistani origin, according to Sky.
â€¢ The U.K. is at its highest terror alert level, indicating an “imminent” threat. The U.S. terror threat level has been raised to red for flights from Britain to the United States, and to orange for all U.S. domestic, U.S.-bound international, and U.S.-to-U.K. flights. It is the first time the U.S. terror level has ever reached “red” for any part of the country.
â€¢ Because the plot involved “liquid chemical devices” to be smuggled on board via carry-on bags, incredibly strict new security measures have been instituted in Britain. Virtually no carry-on baggage is being allowed on board flights in Britain. Electronic devices, e.g. iPods, are reportedly banned and must be checked as luggage. What few items are allowed, reportedly must be carried in transparent bags. Because of the unprecedented security measures, there are extremely long lines and massive, crippling delays at British airports. All in-bound flights to Heathrow have been cancelled if they are not currently in the air. Many airlines and airports elsewhere are cancelling all flights to the U.K., and British passengers are asked not to come to the airport “unless absolutely necessary.” Heathrow is a madhouse.
â€¢ Some of the new security measures are being instituted in the U.S. as well. Virtually all liquids are being banned from all planes. The only exception is for baby formula, and it is allowed only if the parent drinks some of it him/herself, in front of a security agent, to prove that it’s not a liquid explosive (!!)
Allah is also following the story closely.
Update: Fox is reporting not just US airlines were targeted, but British air carriers were as well.