A major terrorist alert is crippling airports…

So pretty clearly the biggest news of the day is that – according to Scotland Yard – a terrorist plot to blow up planes in mid-flight from the UK to the US has been uncovered. The UK’s threat level has been raised to ‘Critical’ (more about threat levels) and the BBC has reported that the US Department of Homeland security has increased the threat-level to US-bound flights from the UK. The most obvious effect to most people who are flying soon will be that there is now no hand luggage allowed on planes – you can take tickets, passports and wallets aboard in a transparent plastic bag. No laptops are allowed on the plane. No gaming devices. No iPods. The Guardian has more coverage. While obviously it’s just an inconvenience compared to the alternative, you can’t help thinking this is likely to affect US/UK business a fair amount. Simon, Paul and I are flying to the US in just over a week, so I wonder what it’ll be like then.

More troubling is that it’s reported that the principle people concerned in the plot were British-born, and arrested around High Wycombe, London and Birmingham. What an extraordinary world we’re living in at the moment where groups of people brought up in the UK want to commit these kinds of acts. It’s very troubling.

8 replies on “A major terrorist alert is crippling airports…”

No hand luggage?!?!?!?!??!?!!?!?!??!
I can’t survive a long flight without books, Wired mag, and a sketchbook. What about mothers with babies who need a whole bag full of diapers, wipes, bottles, formula, food, blankets, binkies, and change of baby clothes???
On the note of why are citizens are turning on their countries, I read an in print article recently on the effects of globilization and the internet are having on allowing immigrants to not assimilate into their new communities due to strong connections via the ‘net back to their old.
Also, how does this get treated in the UK law? Is it considered a plot to harm and murder or can these folks also be tried for treason?

I just read some other articles that stated that baby milk will be allowed on board if the security sceener or mother drinks a bit of it first to make sure it is not a liquid explosive.
I can only imagine the poor security screener having to taste a bottle with a large line watching…

It is very troubling – even more so when it appears that the terrorists are succeeding in spreading terror. As our governments slowly encroach on our rights, spying on their own citizens (Wiretapping), illegally holding prisoners (Guantanamo), torture, etc… while simultaneously providing terrorists with a way of justifying the acts they perform (Iraq, Israel / Palestine, Afghanistan, etc…), I doubt we’re going to be safe.
It’s unfortunate that we are willing to allow the terrorists to win – by spreading mass hysteria, and perpetuating a sense of fear in the media. It’s as if someone wants them to be effectual.
It feels like even though the terrorists in this case have been stopped, they still succeeded in bringing attention to their cause and spreading fear among our society.
War is Peace
Freedom in Slavery
Ignorance is Strength
(Strange how we don’t really hear much from the IRA since the war on terror started)

Yes, the news today was a bit trying. I am set to fly to Britain in a few weeks. But hopefully things will be a little more calm by then. Things should be a little more quiet by the time you fly, too.
My biggest concern with no luggage is putting my laptop through the rough treatment of baggage handlers in the U.S. Theft from “security” checks on checked baggage is also a problem in the U.S. too.

Yep, it’ll be interesting to see whether travel insurance companies treat the new baggage rules as ‘force majeure’, meaning that if you’re forced to check in a laptop and it gets pinched or smashed, you’re out of luck. Perhaps not the biggest concern, but still…

Yeah, I agree-not only rough handling of the laptops, but stealing ipods, cameras, etc by the luggage guys-I’ve seen one too many news shows exposing this kind of stuff. But, I guess it’s still better than not traveling at all or giving the terrorists any opportunities to hide anything. Any idea what they were hiding the liquid inside of?

I don’t understand the bit about having to taste the liquids before you’re allowed to take them on board.
If you’re a suicide bomber you’re hardly likely to worry about drinking something that’s not normally meant to be drunk.
(Admittedly if it’s something like bleach then they’ll have a tough time keeping a smile on their face, but still…)
And yes, isn’t it odd to hear that they’re people born and bred in the UK :o/

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