Terror plot to blow up transatlantic flights out of London

Times Online | Sean O’Neill | Apr. 4, 2008

A British terrorist cell planned to detonate suicide bombs on seven transatlantic flights over North America, causing catastrophic loss of life, a court was told yesterday. The flights chosen by the alleged terrorists – based in Walthamstow, East London – were scheduled to leave Heathrow Terminal 3 one afternoon carrying almost 2,000 passengers and crew.

Peter Wright, QC, opening the prosecution case against eight men accused of the plot, said that the attacks would have had “a truly global impact”.

The seven aircraft were destined for six American and Canadian cities: New York, Washington DC, Chicago, San Francisco, Toronto and Montreal.

Mr Wright said that the eight defendants shared a common interest in “inflicting heavy casualties upon an innocent civilian population, all in the name of Islam”.

He told Woolwich Crown Court that the key component of the bombs was a liquid hydrogen peroxide explosive carried in 500ml bottles of soft drinks.

The devices would have been carried in hand luggage, along with detonators made from batteries and disposable cameras.

No date had been finalised for the series of attacks but the alleged conspirators had conducted detailed research on flights leaving London between August and October 2006. The date range included the fifth anniversary of the September 11 attacks.

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