Emergency Service News from the Emergency Response & Research Institute (ERRI)
with Chief Clark Staten
From ERRI: Very preliminary analysis of U.K. terror plot
By PAUL ANDERSON, Correspondent
CHICAGO, IL: ERRI CEO and Senior Analyst Clark Staten said today that as preliminary details begin to filter in, the situation involved in the terrorist plot in the United Kingdom increasingly sounds just like a 1995 Al-Qaeda terror operation called "Bojinka."
Operation Bojinka was a plot to destroy 11 airliners on January 21 and 22, 1995. It was developed by Al-Qaeda operatives Ramzi Yousef and Khalid Shaikh Mohammed while they were in Manila, Philippines in 1994 and early 1995.
Six years before the Sept. 11 attacks, Philippine police took down an al Qaeda cell in Manila that, among other things, had been plotting to fly liquid explosives-laden planes into the Pentagon -- and possibly some skyscrapers. The CIA knew about the plot, known as Operation Bojinka. So did the FBI. "We told the Americans about the plans to turn planes into flying bombs as far back as 1995," a Philippine inspector says.
The bombs - January 1995
The "Mark II" "microbombs" had Casio digital watches as the timers, stabilizers that looked like cotton wool balls, and an undetectable nitroglycerin as the explosive.
Other ingredients included 5 milliliters of glycerin, 15 ml of nitrate, 22.5 ml of sulfuric acid, and minute concentrations of nitrobenzene, silver azide (silver nitride), and liquid acetone. Two 9-Volt batteries in each bomb were used as a power source.
The batteries would be connected to light bulb filaments that would detonate the bomb. The batteries were taken from children's toys. The watch was a database watch that had no arms. Murad and Yousef wired a SCR as the switch to trigger the filaments to detonate the bomb. There was an external socket hidden when the wires were pushed under the watch base as the bomber would wear it. The alteration was so small that the watch could still be worn in a normal manner.
Yousef got batteries past airport security during his December 11 test bombing of Philippine Airlines Flight 434 by hiding them in hollowed-out heels of his shoes. Yousef smuggled the nitroglycerin on board by putting it inside a contact lens solution bottle.
Staten said that the exact type of devices to be used in this most recent plot in England have not been confirmed, but sources close to the investigation are telling EmergencyNet News that the explosives to be used were "liquid chemicals" that were to be carried on-board the planes in carry-on baggage.
EmergencyNet News continues to monitor events in England very closely and we will bring you updates as circumstances warrant...V