Terror plot foiled

Official: Energy drink, MP3 player part of terrorists’ aresenal.

Thanks alot, Habib. Now I have to listen to shitty Delta radio.

The hell with that noise. They can have my ipod when they surgically remove it from my cold, dead hands.

Surprisingly, the guys with the M-16s didn’t even flinch when I told them you said this.

Okay…anyone have information on what you add to gatorade to get explosive? Because I’m having trouble thinking of what you add to “water, salt, glucose” to end up with “actual explosive compound”. You’d think the whole “If I mix hair-gel and gatorade, I can blow my house up” shit would have hit Mythbusters by now.

Shouldn’t foiling a plot make the threat level go down?

Shouldn’t foiling a plot make the threat level go down?

No. Nobody thinks the entire cell has been rolled up – any strays who are equipped and ready to go will try to get it done right now, before their identities become known and they get rolled up too.

If this plot proves to be like every other so-called Islamic plot uncovered by British intelligence it will turn out to be a bunch of guys found to be in possession of beards, funny names and a collection of ordinary household objects. They have a 100% failure rate with Islamic terrorist plots so far, the last one being a few months back when they ended up shooting a guy during a raid for “chemical bombs”. The bearded men were later released, although one was later charged with possible child pornography offences related to images discovered on his confiscated computer… he must have been a truly devout follower of Islam.

Of course, the real one they completely missed. But they made up for it a few days later by shooting a completely innocent Brazilian.

Also, it seems that some of these organizations like to counter-punch when they take a blow - witness Hezbollah in Lebanon. I can definitely see how the risk of a terrorist attack is quite elevated right now.

On the radio today, the host (Charlie Brennan) was saying he doesn’t see why he can’t bring an unopened Pepsi onto a plane, and generally whining about things.


Umm, assuming the terrorists have the ability to create liquid explosives, the ability to put those explosives into a soda bottle/can and either genuinely reseal it, or at least fake it enough to pass casual inspection, is trivial by comparison.

Obviously, we want reliable chemical sniffers and the like. But if liquids are a possible conveyence for explosives, then I can live with the soda they give me on the plane versus carrying on my own.

I’m stunned at what comparitively minor travel inconveniences 'cause radio hosts/bloggers etc to complain. (Though I also know that radio hosts have a lot of airtime to fill, and random complaining is an easy way to do it…)

Ya, minor travel inconveniences are one thing. When you pile minor onto minor is when it gets annoying.

I love how I have to take off my shoes every time I go through security. I love how I have to take my laptop out of its padded case and put it into a plastic bin (and occasionally have it sampled with some accelerant detector thing.)

The question is - does any of this actually work? Last time I read a security audit the auditors were still able to get whatever they wanted onto the planes in most cases. Either terrorists are just complete idiots, or they just bust anybody named Habib or who has a beard and tries to get on a plane.

What the fuck, we’re fighting legions of Islamic MacGyvers now?

There’s already a thread in EE about this. My take is that I still haven’t seen any evidence of explosives, just “plans to use liquid explosives.” Smells like Miami again.


I’m not sure I consider “Check everything that’s not prescription medicine or infant care (including electronics, and anything else you might have in carry on luggage), and it’ll still take you three hours to go through screening.” minor. Worth the price of not blowing up, probably.

I think what I (and probably a lot of other folks) object to is the complete slapped together methodology. We’ve been bringing fluids onto planes for quite a while. If they hadn’t somehow intercepted some intelligence (or decided they needed to draw attention away from Israel and/or sway opinion, depending on your Domestic Terror Cynicism Level today), we would have continued to do so indefinitely. Yet they’ve been just as dangerous.

I don’t know about you, but I’m not thrilled about being increasingly inconvenienced for the security sector to only be able to react to plots after they’ve ostensibly been possible this whole time. If they’re not going to think ahead of time about the possibility of making explosives/chemical bombs/funny smells from liquid precursors, then fuck it, don’t keep changing to ever more restrictive constraints. Simply hope to fuck that your intelligence is good enough to catch the suspects, since it’s pretty damned obvious you can’t think about methods before there’s a demonstrable threat involving them.

I think the plan was to mix Diet Pepsi and Mentos in really large quantities. =)

Seriously though, I don’t think it was about using household chemicals to blow up a plane as much as it was being able to smuggle real explosives on board disguised as common carry-on items. A little plastic explosive in your hair gel tube, a detonator wire and timer in an Ipod shell, stuff like that.

Let me be the first to say: Let the motherfuckers blow us up. I’m willing to take the risk, just quit making travel such an incredible burden. If one plane in 100,000 flights gets whacked, I can live with those odds. 1 in 10,000? Maybe then we can start curtailing some freedoms. As it stands, however, the odds are very good I’m going to make it to my destination and I’m willing to roll the dice.

Also supported in my worldview: how about some technological answers, rather than kneejerk carpet-banning? And I STILL haven’t seen any evidence these jackoffs actually had the ability to make/obtain the presumed explosives. Hey, here’s a terror plot you can foil: single sulpher match + lots of clothing. Let’s all be forced to fly naked.


Just get 10 people who are all wearing nylon to set themselves on fire at the same time?

mouselock - so we’ve had everything figured out since, oh, about Sept 12, 2001, and we shouldn’t react to new discoveries about terrorist groups and/or methodologies that we’ve now learned they had concrete plans to use?

And all this is maybe just hype to distract the public from Israel?

Umm, ok…

I considered this possibility, but as the Mythbusters showed last night it’s simply too iffy to get the top back onto the diet coke to build up enough pressure to explode. Now maybe if they had a thermos full of dry ice…

Seriously though, I don’t think it was about using household chemicals to blow up a plane as much as it was being able to smuggle real explosives on board disguised as common carry-on items. A little plastic explosive in your hair gel tube, a detonator wire and timer in an Ipod shell, stuff like that.

No, CNN is currently talking about some bizarre something involving mixing a gatorade like sports drink with some other produce to make explosives. Damn, but I smell a research project in the offing here! (Nobody minds if we start including trace amounts of possibly carcinogenic compounds in our sports drinks if they prevent them from being mixed into explosives, right? I mean… terrorism is such a huge threat, a small percentage of people developing esophogeal cancer is an acceptable cost, no?)

Can we pick who gets the esophogeal cancer or is it random?