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back to article Brit trio convicted for liquid bomb terror plot

Three of eight British men accused of plotting to blow up seven trans-Atlantic airliners using liquid explosives were convicted today of conspiracy to commit murder. The jury, however, didn't find any of the men guilty of the actual headline-grabbing charges that lead to a worldwide clamp-down on liquids in carry-on baggage. …

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ZOMFG!1!!

You can't make a Lucozade bomb?? ... ACK! WHAT A SLEDGEHAMMERTOTHEBACKOFMYACTUALHEAD SURPRISE!! Does that mean I can take liquids on a plane again? Thought not. Shower of arse.

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Anonymous Coward

Hey does anyone

know what the z in ZOMFG!!!1ONE stands for.

I notice different titles sort of say different things like BBC

says "Three guilty of bomb conspiracy" but then goes on to explain they weren't convicted targeting any planes. We know they did something godammit they look guilty.

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What about the 'public nuisance charges'

You forgot to say that four of them pled guilty to 'conspiracy to cause a public nuisance' for their videos. These are clearly the sort of hardened and effective terrorist threat that our governments have to protect us from by destroying all civil liberties and implementing a police state. We cannot continue if Islamic extremists are allowed to 'cause a public nuisance' by frightening people about the threat of terrorism, after all, that is the job of Nu Labour and the Department of Fatherland Security and let's face it, they are no use for anything else.

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Black Helicopters

The problem

In all these cases from Calor gas in the car, to ammonium nitrate and diesel oil and these liquid bombs. The problem is always the detonator, you neeed a good bang to start the process (although in the calor gas bottles they forgot about air being needed). This was one of the reasons the IRA failed in the Hammersmith Bridge attempt, they had over 28lbs of semtex (which is good stuff), but the detonator failed.

If I was the government I'd be looking to control the detonators as a priority, you can't get a really big bang without them. They use them in quarrying everywhere including Romania or other ex Soviet states, start checking on the base chemicals invovled which are fairly rare and creating a swab test or sniffer and cut down on the terrorists. Also tagging with smart water or other methods the items themselves. Somebody could do a paper on dna samples in explosive situations.

Laser Icon because they represent the latest detonation methods of foil and a bang.

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Go

Forgot to add

Why didn't the terrorists use methanol, pouring that around a cabin would give time for the fire to build, as seen in Formula One refuelling accidents, the flame is invisible to the naked eye and heat plus panic and constant circulation of air would be enough.

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Anonymous Coward

Jury not convinced

"The prosecution is considering a request for retrial in respect of the plot to blow up airliners against all seven men upon which the jury could not agree."

Such an important case - how could the police have fucked it up?

No doubt the prosecution will re-present their evidence which will consist of bottles with "BOM" written in black felt tip over the words Lucozade and Oasis...

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Anonymous Coward

Quirky

that a retrial for a case about Bottles has to be decided by Boxing day!

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Flame

Their bomb only existed in the movies.

There are no two stable fluids that instantly form powerful explosives when you mix them.

The suspects must have watched Die Hard with a Vengence one too many times.

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Yes you can and they did

So no you can't!

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The quote from the CPS

"The prosecution is considering a request for retrial in respect of the plot to blow up airliners against all seven men upon which the jury could not agree."

If at first you don't succeed... And even the Guardian runs this story under the headline "Liquid bomb plot: three guilty of murder conspiracy" and refers to Abdulla Ahmed Ali as "the ringleader." Curious.

I also like this bit: "Disposable cameras would have been used to help set off the devices which would also contain regular batteries, hollowed out to contain chemicals." Very crafty, though you have to wonder what they'd have done with the chemicals they hollowed out of the batteries to make room for the chemicals, and what use the cameras would have been as detonators without further batteries. And indeed why we're still allowed to carry batteries and disposable cameras onto planes.

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Anonymous Coward

Just bloody PROVE it

I would like to invite the security people around the world to demonstrate such a bomb in front of the world press a liquid bomb. They can get assurances that video footage will be blurred to preserve confidentiality of what they use, but it MUST be public.

Note that this demo should reflect cabin circumstances: noise, vibration, bad ventilation and room temperature (and maybe someone occasionally trying the handle, because the "busy" light is obviously only there for show).

Then, and ONLY then I will believe this crap. Until then, what I think has really happened is that some moron at a high position dreamt this up without taking the circumstances into account, and got this out to make a name for him/herself. Well, I would like to know who this is. WHO CAME UP WITH THIS FIRST?

Proof has been long overdue. Put up or shut up. If it can be proven, fair enough. However, if not there has been some explaining to be done. And exactly that is why I think it will not be demonstrated. Not because the scary terrorists will use this, but because withdrawing this claim would seriously embarrass someone. So I want to know where this idea started, and who started it. I don't think it's unreasonable to ask.

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Bronze badge

British Justice!

We have had a large and expensive (they all are) trial and a British jury has listened to the evidence and come to a conclusion. So far so good this is a fine example of British justice at work but now, the CPS want a retrial? So really juries are no good! If they don't reach the desired conclusions after considering the evidence let's just do it again , and again, and again until we get a verdict we like. Big Brother was a rank amateur compared to the twats that are currently undermining all that once made Britain admired for it's justice and society.

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WHAT?!

What the fuck is happening to this country...? We find seven men non-guilty of trying to blow up aeroplanes, so the CPS considers having a second go?

What's going to happen, keep dragging these fuckwits back to court until someone finally convicts them?

Christ on a bike I'm sick of this country...

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Poor show

So one of the largest terror plots was foiled and hundreds of lives were saved, and yet the prosecution could not convince 12 people that this happened. So does that mean most of the air travel industry are equally unconvinced?

Surely we need a retrail with a jury chosen by Jaqui Smith?

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Nothing in the news?

Why is there nothing in the major news websites saying this is a damning verdict on the likelyhood of a viable liquid explosives attack? It seems to have gone from the ridiculous to the absurd with powdered Tang now equivalent to gelignite :-)

Maybe the BBC has picked up some of the answer - there are lots of new expensive X-Ray machines that can image liquids in 3D and tell you their density so no pesky TATP ingredients can get past them. Maybe a plot to sell UK XRays around the world!

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Stop

IT

Yes, I see the point, they were Admins. No, better IT managers. No, just a moment. There's nothing about it in the text... Thats a bloody IT site, please keep to it or at least make me smile somehow. Tell me they stuffed it in a robot-bobby and tried that way to position it... Something, but not plain news i get from timesonline, please!

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Dead Vulture

Explosives

In the original and very authoritative article, ElReg's correspondent held that a 'liquid bomb' was unfeasible. Does this still hold true in light of the concentrated Hydrogen Peroxide and Tang ingredients mooted in court?

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Anonymous Coward

@blackworx

You can put a bomb in a Lucozade bottle and colour it the colour of Lucozade though, which is both what they were doing and what the boffins demonstrated was possible.

(The boffins needed HTP and a fistful of tries though, so it doesn't sound a good plan.)

Clearly these guys where attempting to blow up something (no matter how unlikely to succeed it actually was), so where do you have to conceal your bomb as a soft drink?

Pub? Tube? Trains? Bus? Nah, can take any bag you want.

Nightclub? Couldn't get in with any bottle easily - you'd want a different disguise.

The most entertaining thing about the Muslim obsession with aircraft bombing is that it ends up making it harder and more expensive for Muslims to go on the Haj.

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Pirate

Keep trying until they are found guilty

If at first you dont succeed, try and try again until the buggers are found guilty. I mean, they must be guilty right, they are muslims and probably have a vivid imagination of creating super dooper liquid bombs. How about prosecuting that terrorist who has plenty of blood on his hands, whats his name again... err Mr A Blair I believe.....

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Heart

You *can* make a liquid bomb

...at least, according to all the reports on this story that I've heard in the "proper" news media today.

I, of course, remain unconvinced, thanks to the improper Register. Ta.

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Anonymous Coward

December 26th?

that will be great, everyone will be hungover.... chances are the answer will be "I wanna sleep, just shut the noisy bastards up!"

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Jon
Flame

planes?

Maybe I havn't been paying enough attention as I am bored of "being in a contant state of "terror"" that .gov wants, but all the reports I heard say they have no proof that planes were the target, it could just have easily been the underground.

Perhaps they should ban drinks on the underground, (although Boris banning open alcohol is maybe the start to see how people would react). or maybe they should do the senisble thing and let me take water on planes again without having to pay £3 litre for fking water in the terminal

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Anonymous Coward

Locozade?

that's just crazy........

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Happy

RE: ZOMFG!1!!

I'm assuming that your head has taken several such blows as part of the successful prosecution was that it was confirmed in court that the devices were "viable devices" (which means they would have done more than just go bang), and that they could have been used to seriously damage and aircraft. What the prosecution failed to prove beyond doubt was that the toerags had a definite intention to use them against aircraft, despite it being bleeding obvious. So, no, you will still not be able to take liquids on the plane. Question is, would they let someone like you with a sledgehammer and several large head wounds onto a plane?

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Ray

Nice context-sensitive ad on the right ---->

Chemical Sales Executive......

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Boffin

critical mass

I like to to quote Baron Elton asked the simplest of questions (Emperor's New Clothes stylie) . . in a Lords debate (showing that intelligence really only resides in one of the houses)

"What damage can be done by 105 millilitres of liquid that cannot be done by 100 millilitres of liquid?"

the reply?

"My briefing does not extend to that . . . . I suspect that this is based on science."

God save us all from these idiots, but I suspect it is too late for the UK now - you know the place where Media Studies or History of Art is considered more critical to the future of the country than, say, something like a pure Science degree . . . .

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If at first...

.. try again

A jury hears the evidence. It reaches a verdict. But the verdict isn't the one the authorities expect.

So discard the verdict and order a retrial. And, presumably, another and another until the old bill and the spooks get the result they want.

But will future juries be fooled? After all, was this not the 'plot' that depended on manufacturing triacetone triperoxide while in flight? If so, maybe potential jurors should read the comprehensive debunking published in El Reg here:

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/08/17/flying_toilet_terror_labs/

But why bother with expensive trials? Summary execution of alleged terrorists - of all young British muslims, in fact - would fulfil all the securocrat's aims at minimum cost. All we'd need are a few trains of cattle trucks, some cheaply-built crematoria, a few Ukrainean guards and a nice quiet forest.

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Errr you can....

Have you seen the news footage. That's quite an effective Lucosade bomb. They just weren't found guilty of conspiring to use it ON A PLANE.

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Locozade?

Heh. Fixed.

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Ash
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The Z in ZOMG!!11eleventyone...

... stands for ZERIOOSLEE.

These aren't terrorists, because i'm not scared. I'm not scared in the least.

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Silver badge

Disposal of bomb making kits

Having recently been on holiday I have been through the stupid airport checks a few times. Seeing them remove a bottle of sun lotion from a friend into a big wheelie bin, I asked them how they disposed of the contents of the bin.

I got a blank look. I explained that the wheelie bin contained potential bomb making material, was it suitably disposed of ? Nah - it is just picked up by the local corporation dust cart.

The whole lot is rhubarb dreamed up by the security industry, keeps them all in jobs.

In terms of potential lives saved, the money would be better spent on the NHS or improving road safety.

The politicians are either ingnorant or afraid of being labelled the person who allowed the terrorists in.

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@ caffeine addict

"Christ on a bike I'm sick of this country..."

Well do something about it then!

Instead of complaining on a forum of like minded people you can -

Lobby your MP - tell him/her that you will be actively campaigning against them.

Join one of the many lobby groups that are active in this area e.g. Amnesty or Liberty.

OR

Stop moaning about 'this country' as if it is something that you are not part of. Society is a collection of individuals.

OR

F*ck off somewhere else so we don't have to listen to your whining. Trains, planes and boats leave every hour.

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Flame

FFS

To all those saying "the jury reached a verdict" - no they didn't. That's why there will be a retrial on the aspects the jury could not reach a decision on.

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Dom

check you facts

To all those above, please re-read the story. They were found guilty of plotting to cause explosives. It doesn't matter whether it would or would not have worked, what the CPS had to prove is that they believed it would and were intending to do it.

Second point you completely missed, they were not found innocent of planning to blow up planes, the jury failed to agree on this point. Big difference. The CPS is entirely justified in seeking a retrial in these circumstances.

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Dead Vulture

You're Not Playing The Game Right

Brit trio? what sort of headline is that? Surely they are evil islamic terroists, as the rest of the media are calling them, carefully ensuring islamic & terroist are always printed together.

You obviously missed the memo (or more likey are using it to wipe up coffee).

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Bronze badge

Jury verdicts

People are forgetting that the jury couldn't agree on a verdict.

That is what left open the possibility of a retrial.

But that failure to reach a verdict does make me wonder about the competence of the Prosecution. It suggests that the evidence confused the jury.

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Paris Hilton

What can one say

Where is the entire colony of faeries living at the bottom of their garden then ?

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Boffin

@Maverick

I fully agree. But, playing devil's advocate (since nobody in Government seems willing to do so), I would ask what damage can be done by 52Kg of Uranium 239 that cannot be done by 51.9Kg of U239?

I truly do not believe that the situations are in any way similar AT ALL, but it would be nice to at least hear an answer to Baron Elton's question. Perhaps something sensible like "we have to put a limit somewhere" as it just irritates me even more that TPTB feel no need to even justify decisions like this!

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Heathrow

I was recently going through Heathrow when a foreign student made the unfortunate mistake of passing his rucksack through the X-ray machine. Unfortunate because he had a half empty bottle of coke in it. Suddenly some security idiot from one of the other lines vaults over the divider, screaming "LIQUID! LIQUID!"

Way to go with the over-reaction there Captain Cretin.

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About retrials

Just on a point of law here, for the people suggesting that the CPS are just throwing away the verdict they don't want.

The jury could not agree on a verdict for the aircraft charges, and four of the nuisance charges. They were neither acquitted nor convicted, therefore a retrial may be appropriate. had they been acquitted, a retrial would not be permissible under the double jeopardy rule, unless there was significant new evidence (ie, "well, we knew this before, yer'onner, but it came from our super secret spy, what we didn't want killed").

Personally, I think the fact that the jury couldn't agree demonstrates reasonable doubt: not-guilty, ergo no retrial should be requested. Unlikely though.

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Pirate

@You *can* make a liquid bomb

The BIG problem is not making it explode until you want it to (usually a significant period *AFTER* you start pouring it into a bottle).

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Coat

There goes you right to a fair trial...

And people wondered why Labour were so keen on abolishing trial by jury. They're lucky they're being tried in the UK. Seeing as US airlines and passengers might have been targeted, surely they should be getting a fair hearing in front of a military tribunal in the USA, obviously via small dark rooms in Egypt where they can discuss the confession they forgot to sign... [/sarcasm]

Can't help wondering how many of the confiscated items get disposed of carefully at home by highly trained security staff.

Never seen the jacket with the lucozade bottle in the pocket before in my life gov.

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Stop

@ Credulous Twits

Well is that a fact? Can you really? A real and practical, reliable, dependable, binary explosive comprising small quantities of nice, well-behaved and stable liquids, both of which can be so thoroughly and effectively disguised through being stored in a soft drink bottle as to render them completely undetectable to a thorough boarding search and swab test? An explosive combination so dependable, yet undetectable, that it requires nothing less than the almost total and permanent prohibition of carrying liquids on to planes and, most importantly of all, the spread of yet more ignorant fear and alarm? Well shit, sounds like I'd better start being scared.

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Anonymous Coward

They're doing it wrong,

They should run the trials like they do in the US do, a group of military officers and, a military defence assigned by the "court" who doesn't have access to any information.

That's the way to get results.

@Charlie

Yeah but it's a pain to get into most countries becouse they all think the English are fascist wankers. Or countries need you to have things like degrees and a good understanding of their language, things that don't just appear over night.

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Unhappy

Yes keep going till you get the result you need.

I remember a while a go when a high profile court case jury found the defendant 'not guilty'.

When Gordon Brown was asked for his opinion on the case he said "I'm dissapointed, there ought to be laws against such outcomes!"

Nice!

And yes I'm not scared about terrorism either. Not bothered one bit. Inept and idiotic MPs and Police chiefs yes, very scared.

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Re: How could the police have fucked it up?

The Americans were impatient and forced the hand of the British by forcing the arrest of one of the gang in Pakistan.

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Anonymous Coward

@blackworx

>Well is that a fact? Can you really?

Yes, yes.

>A real and practical, reliable, dependable, binary explosive

Reliable and dependable, maybe not. But no-one said these guys would have succeeded, just that they were trying a credible plot. Using materials that people with extensive explosives knowledge managed to make go bang. That doesn't mean the bombers would have managed it, just that they had the right stuff.

>comprising small quantities of nice, well-behaved and stable liquids

Depends on your view of the stability of HTP in bottles that can take the pressure then why not, the fuel of the explosive was a sugary powder, so it's not two liquids.

Half a kilo is quite a lot BTW.

>as to render them completely undetectable to a thorough boarding

>search and swab test?

I must look unusually innocent, when we were allowed drinks on planes, I was never subjected to such testing.

>An explosive combination so dependable, yet undetectable, that it requires nothing

>less than the almost total and permanent prohibition of carrying liquids on to planes

Well, yes, you'd have thought sniffing the bottle would be sufficient although the queues might be worse with security staff taking a sniff of every bottle found in hand luggage.

Also, I guess peroxide could be perfumed, and alcohol at 98% pure smells like alcohol at 50% pure and they make an entertaining mix.

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@ Charlie

"Instead of complaining on a forum of like minded people you can -

"Lobby your MP - tell him/her that you will be actively campaigning against them."

Done.

"Join one of the many lobby groups that are active in this area e.g. Amnesty or Liberty."

Not done because I'm sick of small well meaning groups who get overtaken by politics.

"Stop moaning about 'this country' as if it is something that you are not part of. Society is a collection of individuals."

You think the majority of us have any control any more? Really?

"F*ck off somewhere else so we don't have to listen to your whining. Trains, planes and boats leave every hour."

Trust me, when I no longer have family members to look after, I'm off.

So, now you're done trying to pick holes in my comment, do you actually have anything worthwhile to add to the thread?

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@Errr you can....

Is that the same footage they showed cracking toughed glass yesterday? the stuff that it took 36 attempts in laboratory conditions and substituting some of the proposed chemicals for explosive chemicals?

hmmm, i've got a book on my desk if it was substituted for explosives would you be a bit scared of explosive books? and want to stay away from waterstones as well as newsagents

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Go

Glycerine, Nitric Acid and Sulphuric acid

Thats all you need.

None of the above are restricted substances. No need to worry about a detonator, because its so unstable that a temperature change of +/-1 degC can detonate it once its mixed (nitro glycerine). Shaking the bottle vigourously would do the trick.

It would be suicide for sure. but then agian, detonating a bomb on a plane thats flying IS already suicide.

My chemistry teacher is a good man who warned me not to try to make the stuff at home when I was a teen. He even tried to get permission to make thermite and demonstrate it to the class. He didn't get permission but he tried.

Anyway, there is an equally good point to be made about thermite. Rust and aluminium powder. That's all. Light up a magnesium strip and dunk into powder mix. POOF melt all the way through the fuselage.

I think they should ban all make up powders on flights too. Could be dangerous. Also, all synthetic fabrics and cotton fabrics, hell just ban clothes. Too many places to hide things.

If we want to get to the root of the problem just ban people from flights. They can be dangerous, even unarmed. Especially those martial arts types. Definitely need to ban ex-servicemen, all oriental peoples, ex-policemen, instructors, students.

I KNOW!! just let politicians fly. that'll keep us all safe.

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