The BBC is reporting, “Three men have been found guilty of plotting to kill thousands of people by blowing up planes flying from London to America with home-made liquid bombs.”
The convictions, announced late on Monday, stem from arrests made in 2006. Law enforcement authorities indicate the plot was close to execution at the time of the arrests.
According to the BBC, “The plot is believed by intelligence sources to have been directed by al-Qaeda. The BBC understands that the key contact for the plotters in Pakistan was a British man, Rashid Rauf. He was reported to have been killed in November 2008 by a US missile strike against militants in Pakistan.”
Uncovering the plot resulted in a sudden ban on passenger-carried liquids. Regulations have since been regularized to manage the risk while allowing small amounts of liquids in carry-ons.
The Transportation Security Administration allows, “3-1-1 for carry-ons = 3.4 ounce bottle or less (by volume); 1 quart-sized, clear, plastic, zip-top bag; 1 bag per passenger placed in screening bin. One-quart bag per person limits the total liquid volume each traveler can bring. 3.4 oz. container size is a security measure.” Other TSA carry-on guidance is available here.
According to the Guardian, the 2006 operation exposed substantive differences — and strained relations — between British and US counterterrorist organizations. There continues to be a US tendency to make arrests earlier, while the Brits extend surveillance as long as possible in order to flesh-out terrorists connections.