Monday, August 14, 2006

The Blotter

The Blotter: "British Penetrate Terror Cell

August 10, 2006 9:06 PM

Brian Ross and Richard Esposito Report:

"Overt, the British called it, though they cracked it using covert means.

They had an undercover operative deep inside the group of at least 30 terrorists who had developed a simple, effective and potentially devastating plan to close the world's busiest airport, Heathrow, by carrying on small but deadly bombs concealed in sports drink containers and detonated by the flash of a disposable camera, intelligence and law enforcement officials told ABC News.

Even with an undercover operative on the inside, the British may not have known the full scope of the plot until it grew close to fruition, and authorities learned that the terrorists intended to assemble their bombs onboard at least six and as many as nine or 10 passenger jets that would depart from that airport. The goal was to deal out mass death and destruction and a crippling blow to Heathrow, a top al Qaeda target since September 11th.

The airlines targeted included United, Continental and American, and the cities to which flights would have headed included New York, Washington, Los Angeles, and Miami -- all spots popular with British tourists as well as with Americans returning from trips abroad, sources said.

The planes were not to be blown up as they arrived at the cities, but in mid flight."

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