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Mirror ^ | 1-3-04 | Edwards, Smith, Knight

Posted on 01/03/2004 12:02:22 PM PST by doug from upland

Edited on 01/03/2004 4:48:16 PM PST by Sidebar Moderator. [history]


Jan 3 2004

By Jeff Edwards, Justine Smith And Dawn Knight

A BA flight to Washington was cancelled at the last minute yesterday after an intelligence tip-off that a woman suicide bomber planned to blow up the plane over the US capital.

It was the third day running that a major security scare had hit the afternoon Flight 223 service from Heathrow to Washington.

US security services told Scotland Yard the woman - almost certainly linked to al-Qaeda - intended to hide eight to 12 ounces of plastic explosive in her vagina. She would then go to the toilet during the Boeing 747 flight, remove the material and detonate a blast that would down the aircraft.

A senior Yard source told the Daily Mirror: "Smuggling a bomb on to a plane by this method is one of our worst nightmares.

"If you do not have specific information about the suspect, it would be impossible to carry out an intimate body search of every female passenger."

The source said intelligence information indicated only that an attack was planned for "sometime over the holiday period".

Apparently, a particular BA flight number was at risk. The source added: "Because the intelligence did not identify a passenger by name, it was decided to disrupt the plot by cancelling the flights."

Defence analyst Paul Beaver said: "We have got intelligence, I am told, that there was a plan to take the aircraft and destroy it over Washington or fly it into something."

Yesterday's cancellation of the 3.05pm London-Washington service came less than two hours before take-off time.

BA had already checked in most of the 180 passengers for a plane that can take 490 when full. After advice and deliberation, the firm aborted flight 223 at 1.15pm.

The same flight had been grounded on Thursday after the US intelligence was passed to the Yard.

And on Wednesday, the afternoon service to Washington was escorted in to Dulles airport by F-16 fighter jets. The pilot was ordered to taxi to a spot far from the terminal, where the terrified 247 passengers were detained for three hours without being told why. Security officers questioned travellers, paying particular interest to a woman who appeared Arabic. Nobody was arrested.

Fears of another September 11 attack have heightened in recent weeks and prompted controversial British government plans to put armed air marshals on some flights.

Yesterday BA apologised to passengers who had checked in for the inconvenience, but did not tell them of the specific threat.

A statement said: "Following the latest advice from the UK Government received this afternoon, British Airways has cancelled today's flight BA223 from London Heathrow to Washington due to security reasons.

"It is expected that other flights across the British Airways network will operate as normal today."

Keith Holeman, 47, trying to get home to Alabama via Washington after a holiday in the UK with his wife and children, said: "We've been given no extra information, and we don't know what we're risking."

Defence expert Beaver spoke of a "real threat" as news emerged of the latest flight 223 scare. He said: "This is certainly unusual. The intelligence is very, very precise, which is why this one flight has been cancelled.

"Washington is the definite target. All I know is there is a real and definite threat."

Mr Beaver said al-Qaeda was known to have cells in America and one in Europe, either in London or Paris. The US revealed more details about the drama at Dulles early on New Year's Day as flight 223 passengers were kept on the runway following the fighter escort.

A security official said the decision was based on facts, not just suspicions over passenger names. He said: "We had concerns with individuals on the flight, but threat-reporting information led us to make the decision to have the flight escorted.

The official stressed it was "fact-related" and not just connected to the passenger list the US now receives from airlines flying in.

An Aeromexico flight from Mexico City to Los Angeles, believed numbered 223, had also been cancelled after US authorities refused to allow it to land.

Passengers from Thursday's aborted trip were transferred to alternative flights, but only after rigorous security screening.

Three Air France flights from Paris to Los Angeles were cancelled just before Christmas over fears of an al-Qaeda hijack plot. However one of the suspicious names on the passenger list which triggered alarm turned out to be a Welsh insurance agent.

Another, feared to be a Tunisian terror leader, was in fact a child.

A third was an elderly Chinese woman and the other three were French citizens.

BA was yesterday struggling to find alternative transport for the passengers left stranded in London. William Mallett, 38, his wife, Cathy Lewis and their son Jack, from Ashford, Middlesex, were making their way through passport control as the news came.

Mrs Lewis said: "The staff said they wouldn't be checking us in unless there was a very good chance the flight was going to go."

Mr Mallett, a transport consultant now living with his family in Arlington, Virginia, said: "I have been telling myself that if they are paying attention to this flight in particular, that is a good thing.

"But if there was a terrorist aboard would they shoot us down?"

Some stranded passengers were told BA could not accommodate them all.

A letter from the airline to travellers trying to check in at Heathrow on a later flight said: "Please accept sincere apologies for the disruption to your travel arrangements.

"We have prioritised passengers who were booked on the cancelled BA223 yesterday (Thursday)."

The British Airports Authority said there did not appear to be a problem with flight 223 passengers, but the flight itself.

A spokeswoman said: "It's the scheduled flight, not the passengers, that is causing the security delays." Today's BA flight from Heathrow to Saudi capital Riyadh and the return trip have been scrapped for security reasons.

Home Secretary David Blunkett held talks with US Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge yesterday to discuss ways to minimise disruption on flights to America.

The Home Office said the talks had been "very useful", but no specific plans had emerged during the telephone conversation.

-A CHILEAN was removed from a Madrid-Luton flight on Thursday night after he started talking loudly about the "end of the world".

He was later found with two penknives which had escaped screening detection. The man was taken into custody for questioning. The flight took off at 10.30pm, an hour later than scheduled.

Voice of Mirror: Page 6

To: All

The tendency for Freepers to have a little fun with irreverent replies goes back a long way. The tradition of FR being a site that anyone can invite their friends or relatives to also goes back a long time.

Some of the replies on this thread crossed the line of what's acceptable. They were removed. In spite of that, some of you continued to push the envelope. That is why this thread was locked.

When it is unlocked, please remember where you are and post accordingly

Sidebar Moderator

TOPICS: Business/Economy; Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; Government; News/Current Events; US: District of Columbia; US: Maryland; US: Virginia; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: airlinesecurity; airplane; alqaeda; alqaida; areyoupacking; ba; ba223; bodycavitysearch; britishairways; britishterrorism; femalebombers; homocidebomber; iad; lhr; orangealert4; planecrashes; shebomber; suicidebomber; terror; terrorism; terrorist; terroristbombing; wot
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To: Johnny_Cipher; EGPWS; autoresponder; MeeknMing; mhking; Registered
"Oh, the humanity, now we have to fear the vagina!"

Muslime sympathiser somewhere in Detroit:

Hey! That's not just any vagina . . that's a JIHAD vagina!

141 posted on 01/03/2004 1:13:25 PM PST by Happy2BMe (2004 - Who WILL the TERRORISTS vote for? - - Not George W. Bush, THAT'S for sure!)
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To: Steel Wolf
"She could easily blow out a window and kill a few nearby passengers, unless she's an inpet fool like Richard Reid."

No comment. Too easy.


142 posted on 01/03/2004 1:13:41 PM PST by boris (The deadliest Weapon of Mass Destruction in History is a Leftist With a Word Processor)
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To: doug from upland
More bang for the buck.
Explosives ain't cheap.
Losing them to our security guys is a pretty bad thing.
If you're gonna sneak a bomb onboard, might as well make sure it reaches it's destination, and what better way then to have a woman sneak it in that way?
What are we gonna do in response?
Tell every woman who boards a plane, "I'm sorry, this search will only be mildly discomforting"?
143 posted on 01/03/2004 1:14:25 PM PST by Darksheare (I know all I need to know about you. That mysterious duck over there however...)
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To: Grampa Dave
Yer thinking inches on that question?
144 posted on 01/03/2004 1:14:29 PM PST by BOBTHENAILER (One by one, in groups or whole armies.....we don't care how we getcha, but we will)
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It will be nearly impossible to lick this threat.

Too right. These terrorists had better clean up their act or they're going to get wiped out.

145 posted on 01/03/2004 1:14:48 PM PST by Johnny_Cipher (Meddle not in the affairs of crocodiles, for you are crunchy and good with catsup.)
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To: BurbankKarl
Squat and cough?
146 posted on 01/03/2004 1:15:37 PM PST by jerseygirl
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To: breakem
I carry an M203 grenade launcher, which has a 40mm round roughly half the size of a coffee mug.

Tough commute to work?

Not anymore. ;-)

Anyway, I tried to think of the size of something to compare it to that everyone would have next to their computer. I figured coffee was the universal link.

147 posted on 01/03/2004 1:16:11 PM PST by Steel Wolf ("Ah, this is obviously some strange usage of the word 'safe' that I wasn't previously aware of.")
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To: doug from upland
If the plot was truly attempted it only had a slight chance of success. Exploding the plane would be horrible enough, but the plane would have been nowhere near the Capitol. Aircraft entering the US from the Atlantic do not approach Dulles from over Washington DC. They come from a direction that most would not expect - enough said...
148 posted on 01/03/2004 1:16:24 PM PST by IFly4Him
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To: Dog
The shoe bomb that Reid had .....was about 8 to 12 ozs.

Dog do you remember how Reid tried to initiate the explosive? I recall him trying to light something with a match or lighter.

If Reid was trying to burn the C4 that would not work. C4 will just burn and not detonate. However, if C4 is compressed while its burning, it may explode. Maybe he was going to stomp on the burning explosive in his shoe? That's not a very reliable way to initiate an explosive.

I wonder if he had a non-electric blasting cap with fuse wuth him too? I didn't hear much of the details...probably because the authorities didn't want to give out ideas to other would-be terrorists.

149 posted on 01/03/2004 1:16:27 PM PST by demlosers (Light weight and flexible - radiation shielding is solved.)
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To: Steel Wolf
carry on...........
150 posted on 01/03/2004 1:17:43 PM PST by breakem
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To: JohnathanRGalt; piasa
LINKS OF INTEREST: - Special Dispatch Series - No. 587: "AL-QADDAFI: 'LIBYA SHOULD QUIT THE ARAB LEAGUE... WOMEN MUST BE TRAINED TO BOOBY-TRAP CARS, HOUSES, LUGGAGE, AND CHILDREN'S TOYS'" (October 10, 2003) - BRAVEMUSLIMS - Message No.96: "Mujaheed, WELCOME TO PARADISE!!" -Posted by Zahra Al Faruq with a yahoo address of "27january" on December 31, 2003 - "BRAVEMUSLIMS - Message No.76: "JIHAD VS REVOLUTIONS" - Posted by "Zahra Al Faruq" withh a yahoo e-mail address of "zahra4_islam" on November 12, 2003 - "BRAVEMUSLIMS - September: The mounth of victory" - Message No.67: "HOW CAN I TRAIN MYSELF FOR JIHAD?" - Posted by "Zaniq alfaruq" with a yahoo e-mail address of "zaniqabdullahazam" on October 8, 2003 "IBAADUL 0 RRAHMAN - Slaves Of The Most Merciful" - Message No. 278: "SISTERS IN THE PATH OF ALLAH" -Posted by "ibn adam" with a yahoo e-mail address of "faaris999" (December 28, 2003) "FEMALE SUICIDE BOMBERS FOR GOD" -Yoram Schweitzer Jafee Center for Strategic Studies (October 9, 2003) "ALMUSLIMA_JIHAD - al muslumas wage jihad too"




ISLAM - Fatwa Application - "ASK THE SCHOLAR" - Topic: "PALESTINIAN WOMEN CARRYING OUT MARTYR OPERATIONS" (May 22, 2003; October 5, 2003)

ISLAM - Fatwa Application - "ASK THE SCHOLAR" - Topic: "MARTYR OPERATIONS CARRIED OUT BY THE PALESTINIANS" (May 22, 2003; July 13, 2003)

"HAMAS" - General Chat: "HAMAS, general information needed" -Posted by "saajid" on November 16, 2003 - Discussion Forum - Poems, Songs and Stories: "FALASTEEN, A Poem for the mujahideen" (Posted May 11, 2003 - Discussion ongoing - December 5, 2003) "IslamicAwakening.Com Discussion Board: Jihaad: SUPPORT THE PALESTINIAN MOVEMENT (HAMAS)" -Posted by "Falasteen (e-mail: " (October 8, 2003) (Site Down) - "PALESTINIAN NATIONAL INFORMATION CENTRE Names of Al Aqsa Martyrs"

"ALAQSA" Martyrdom Posters


151 posted on 01/03/2004 1:18:01 PM PST by Cindy
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To: cyncooper
Oh, yea...Hmmmmmmm
152 posted on 01/03/2004 1:18:31 PM PST by Sacajaweau (God Bless Our Troops!!)
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To: doug from upland
You were in Oak Harbor? Glad I didn't go visit my folks over Christmas. Would've hated to miss you.
153 posted on 01/03/2004 1:18:58 PM PST by connectthedots
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To: jerseygirl

Please arrive early as we have added new check in procedures....

154 posted on 01/03/2004 1:19:08 PM PST by BurbankKarl
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To: boxerblues
for later reading
155 posted on 01/03/2004 1:20:10 PM PST by boxerblues (If you can read this.. Thank a Teacher..If you can read this in English ..Thank a US Soldier)
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To: Cindy
if the males get 72 virgins, what do the women get?
156 posted on 01/03/2004 1:20:35 PM PST by BurbankKarl
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To: doug from upland
intended to hide eight to 12 ounces of plastic explosive in her vagina.

You cannot be serious.
157 posted on 01/03/2004 1:21:34 PM PST by rs79bm (Insert Democratic principles and ideals here: .............this space intentionally left blank.....)
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To: Grampa Dave; SierraWasp
After advice and deliberation, the firm aborted flight 223 at 1.15pm.

I presume the flight was aborted rather than canceled due to the hiding place.

Defence expert Beaver spoke of a "real threat"

and his assistant, former Bond girl, Ms. P. Galore, stated that the threat had been sniffed out.

158 posted on 01/03/2004 1:21:45 PM PST by BOBTHENAILER (One by one, in groups or whole armies.....we don't care how we getcha, but we will)
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To: Happy2BMe
Muslime sympathiser somewhere in Detroit:

Hey! That's not just any vagina . . that's a JIHAD vagina!

Hey, (pant)(ruff, ruff) I'm game, let the fireworks begin..../sarcasm

159 posted on 01/03/2004 1:22:14 PM PST by EGPWS
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To: BurbankKarl

160 posted on 01/03/2004 1:22:32 PM PST by arasina (Tagline sponsorships! Think about it! Brought to you by MAYTAG)
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