October 30, 2010

Cargo Planes Bomb Plot: 'Seconds From Lockerbie II'

According to this article at ExpressUK, the plot was uncovered in *Afghanistan:

AL Qaeda bomb plotters hoped to stage a Lockerbie-style outrage over Britain. Explosives found inside a modified printer ink cartridge on board a cargo plane at East Midlands ­Airport were primed to detonate in mid-air. The device was active when counter-terror police swooped on the aircraft early on Friday.

Yemen-based terrorists had built the bomb to go off in British air space, just like the Lockerbie atrocity of 1988 which killed 270 people.

Home Secretary Theresa May yesterday said: “I can confirm that the device was viable and could have ­exploded. The target may have been an aircraft and had it it detonated, the aircraft could have been brought down.” Security chiefs initially believed the bomb, which was to be activated via a timer, was destined for a synagogue in the US[...]

*The alert was triggered by intelligence from a unit of GCHQ surveillance experts stationed in Afghanistan, the Sunday Express can reveal. Operating from a converted shipping container in Helmand, the team picked up the words “A wedding gift is being delivered”.

The phrase is an Al Qaeda code meaning a bomb is in transit.[Emphasis mine..ed]

With the help of Saudi agents, GCHQ alerted MI6, which raised the alarm in London and Washington. Counter-terror police intercepted the United Parcel Service plane bound from Yemen to ­Chicago when it stopped to refuel at East Midlands Airport at 3am on Friday. The suspect package was found with wires protruding from it and connected to mobile phone components. A similar device was found on board another plane in Dubai.

Certainly makes me wonder about the inbound flight from Dubai escorted by M-15's. I realize they didn't find anything after it was checked but still, rather unnerving.

Many thanks to all who aided in thwarting this plot, awesome job!!

Thanks to Intelwire

Update by Jane: The significance of this scenario if true is that it would pin the attack back to Afghanistan/ Pakistan border area. The most significant global terror event prior to the UPS plot was the al Qaeda summit in Wazeristan that brought together Saif al Adel, Saed bin Laden, a variety of characters including Brits and Germans and our Yemen representative, the potentially former Fahd al Quso.

And this would make sense to the extent that AQAP learned to handle PETN from a Pakistani bomb expert, and there was another Pakistani who trained them on poison gasses, according to the governor of Abyan in an interview last year.

In related news, investigators are taking a second look at the recent UPS cargo plane crash in Dubai on 9/3/10, to the relief of one of our commenters.

UK: Cargo Plane Bombs Designed to Explode in Mid-Air
Yemen Arrest 2 Women in Cargo Bomb Plot, Seize 26 Packages
Election Weekend Terrorist Bomb Threat
Police Investigate Bomb Threat At Phila. Airport (UPDATE: And Newark)[UPDATE: Intended for Synagogues in Chicago][10-20 Packages][Plane escorted by F-15s][2 PACKAGES FOUND WITH EXPLOSIVES?!?!?!]

By Stable Hand at 09:06 PM | Comments |