Intelligence Reveals Dry Runs of New Threat to Blow Up Airliners

(Observer-UK) Jason Burke - Islamic militants have conducted dry runs of a devastating new style of bombing on aircraft flying to Europe, intelligence sources believe. The tactics, which aim to evade aviation security systems by placing only components of explosive devices on passenger jets, allowing militants to assemble them in the air, have been tried out on planes flying between the Middle East, North Africa, and Western Europe, security sources say. Concerns that militants might assemble a bomb or another weapon on board were a key factor in the series of recent cancellations of transatlantic flights. Officials in Saudi Arabia and elsewhere are believed to have warned that at least 12 dry runs may have been completed and that the terrorists are aiming to try out their plans on flights around the Mediterranean and the Middle East before attempting to bomb a transatlantic route.

2004-02-09 00:00:00

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