This article claims terrorists have the capability to make bombs during flight using components that can get passed security separately. The article also claims the reason some British Airways and Air France flights were recently cancelled was in fact due to this particular threat.
Terrorists building bombs in mid-flight?
Intelligence indicates dry runs in attempt to blow up airliners
Posted: February 8, 2004
1:00 a.m. Eastern
Â© 2004 WorldNetDaily.com
Islamic terrorists are trying to get past airport security screeners by placing only the components needed to assemble explosive devices onboard and then building the bombs in mid-flight.
Intelligence sources believe they've already conducted ''dry runs'' of the new terror tactic on planes flying between the Middle East, North Africa and Western Europe, reports the London Observer.
Middle Eastern intelligence services have warned Western agencies that scores of terrorists have been trained in the new tactic and at least 12 dry runs have been successfully completed in preparation for an attempt to bomb a transatlantic route.
According to the paper, the warning is based on interrogations of Islamic terrorists captured in the Arabian Gulf and is corroborated by intercepted communications between terror cells and interviews with prisoners held by the U.S. at Guantanamo Bay.
One of the masterminds of the suicide bombing in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia last May, Ali Abd Rahman al-Ghamdi, is among those who have reportedly revealed the bomb-making plans. His statements prompted the Transportation Security Administration to issue a memo warning terrorists in teams of five might try to hijack commercial airliners using common items like cameras modified as weapons, reports the Observer.
An FBI bulletin last November warned: ''Terrorists are considering the use of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) assembled on board to hijack an aircraft or, alternatively, destroy it over heavily populated areas in the event of passenger or crew resistance.
''Components of IEDs can be smuggled on to an aircraft, concealed in either clothing or personal carry-on items such as shampoo and medicine bottles, and assembled on board.
''In many cases of suspicious passenger activity, incidents have taken place in the aircraft's forward lavatory.''
Concerns terrorists might assemble a bomb or another weapon on board airliners were reportedly a factor in last weekend's decision to cancel several international flights from Europe to the United States.
U.S. officials warned specific flights on British Airways and Air France could be a terrorist target.
''We remain concerned about al-Qaida's desire to target aviation, especially international aviation,'' said Brian Roehrkasse, a spokesperson for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
"it's kind of like an Airbus, it's an engineering marvel, but there's no sense of passion" -- J. Clarkson re: Coxster