Four would-be Islamic terrorists were convicted in England today in the 2006 plot to blow up seven airplanes over the Atlantic ocean using liquid explosives. The case was the origin of the ban on “liquids and gels” that we still experience today. The London Times has a good account of the plot as it was described in trial testimony:
Police said the plot was drawn up in Pakistan with detailed instructions passed to Ali during frequent trips to its lawless border with Afghanistan. They believe a mystery al-Qaeda bombmaker was responsible for the ingenious liquid bomb design, concealed within 500ml Oasis or Lucozade bottles.
Surveillance teams watched Ali on his return to Britain as he assembled his terror cell, gathered materials and identified targets.
Undercover officers looked on as the unemployed former shop worker used cash to purchase a £138,000 second-floor flat in Forest Road, Walthamstow. They planted a secret bug that revealed it was converted into a bomb factory where Ali met others to construct the bombs.
The flat was also used as a location for Ali and others to record suicide videos threatening further attacks against the West. In his video Ali warned the British public to expect “floods of martyr operations” that would leave body parts scattered in the streets.
Ali was watched as he used public phone boxes, mobile phones and anonymous e-mail accounts to keep in touch with mystery terrorist controllers in Pakistan.
On his arrest, he was found to be carrying an elaborate and damning blueprint for the plot scrawled in a battered pocket diary. Airport security arrangements and details of flights, including the seven highlighted services, were discovered on a computer memory stick in another pocket.