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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Mmhm

OK but for those saying 'no such thing as liquid explosives' or no explosion without a detonator I refer you to http://science.howstuffworks.com/liquid-explosives.htm which ironically was written based on the original story.

As for two compounds being made dangerous together, well we don't know what explosives the military has - Define octonitrocubane before continuing if you have an objection, and Russia has experimented with nerve gases which have to be combined from two primer solutions.

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@Forgot to add

Formula one doesn't use Methanol btw, they use ordinary petrol that you can buy at the pump for your own car, thats why you see the fire quite clearly as witnessed several times during the hungarian GP.

You must be confusing F1 with Indycar/Champcar or whatever the hell there calling the low tech american version these days :P

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Possible != Probable

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

So you were never frisked, never encountered a baggage scanner and never had a laptop swabbed? If you had wanted to carry on any prohibited item or substance then there would have been no way for security staff to detect, interrogate and subsequently stop you from getting on the plane?

Anyway, regardless of that, you missed my point. The threat (however unlikely it is ever to be seen through "successfully") has been identified, ergo some countermeasure must be implemented. Beyond the understandable immediate reflex action - ban all liquids of any quantity until the risk has been fully assessed - should the permanent countermeasures be:

A) Proportionate to that risk?

B) Disproportionate, yet politically expedient and involving a permanent restriction of liberty?

And just in case anyone is already firing up to start bleating the words 'liberal' and 'pansy': I know that not being able to take liquids on a plane isn't exactly much of a hardship, so focus less on the details and more on the principles.

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Stop

The truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth!

I can confirm, categorically, that these guys did indeed produce explosives. They had even conducted a series of test explosions in the woods until they became satisfied they had something viable and potent. We found a number of these spent devices to which several of them later freely admitted to producing in their clamour to drop each other in the shit; such was the solidarity and idealistic loyalty of these particular rotten scumbags.

After finding the suitcase containing several substantial devices minus their initiators (which we never expected to find together at that time), we spent nearly 5 more long months on our hands and knees combing every inch of those 916 acres. Together with the house searches, we retrieved enough additional ingredients to potentially kill many more people, not to mention enough incriminatory evidence to convince everyone involved that we had stopped something evil from happening. Thousands of innocent people were intended to die, why are so many losing sight of that fact? It was real, it was there and it was but days away from intended use regardless of what the final targets were; believe what you like but I know what I saw and would stake my life on my conclusions (which is something I am occasionally called upon to do).

The planned operation was potentially buggered the moment the arrest was made in Pakistan and our hands were forced. The surveillance operation was truly exceptional and we had a pretty good idea what they were planning and how they were likely to execute it; our problem was having to jump the gun before we had enough incontestable evidence and viable defence refutations. We did the best that we could under the circumstances which was clearly immeasurably better than letting the attacks go ahead.

From my personal perspective I happen to believe they were guilty as charged because I saw far too much to convince me otherwise. You might disagree, though I'm certain that even the most embittered Register cynic might think otherwise if you had stood in my shoes. Having said that, I should bare in mind that black is white and up is down in Registerland and so many armchair critics cannot see beyond their own blinkered cynicism, so I guess I'll probably be damned as yet more proof of an Establishment, Jewish, Masonic or Lizard conspiracy. So be it.

That the jury FAILED TO AGREE on a verdict is an altogether a different matter; In English law all you have to do is to produce a 'reasonable doubt' - not prove your innocence - to escape conviction. The doubt does not have to be substantiated or even true merely a 'reasonable possibility'. Which is why so few rapists ever get to court in the first place let alone become convicted. This is the system that we live by and, whilst its infinitely preferable to the alternatives, it can still be enormously frustrating when you (and in particular the guilty party) know when the Jury has got it very wrong. Miscarriages of justice can and indeed do run both ways - or is it only wrong when the genuinely innocent are found guilty? As has already been stated the law permits a retrial because no satisfactory verdict, either way, has yet been reached for the most significant allegation; this is surely right, proper and fair in a free society, regardless of the eventual finding?

Such evidential considerations are all the more ironic when discussed here, on The Register, where rapidly jumping to erroneous conclusions based on media reports, heresay, unsubstantiated allegations and preconceived ideas is such a distinctive Registerland trait. We all know it, its this sheer entertainment value that keeps many of us coming back for more.

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Quit your moaning

I don't understand what everyone is moaning about? I thought that the register would have had a higher percentage of intelligent readers than a tabloid like the Sun?

The jury DID NOT REACH A VERDICT therefore the CPS has every right to retrial them until a verdict is reached.

No lets do it the liberal reg reader way. If in court (as often can happen) the Jury is split and fails to reach a collective decision, then we should go on about how the defendant(s) are automatically innocent and that this country is in a mess. Learn how the law works librotards.

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Anonymous Coward

@blackworx

>So you were never frisked,

Yes, no-one frisked my drink though.

>never encountered a baggage scanner

Yes, liquids in bottles look like liquids in bottles in a scanner.

>and never had a laptop swabbed?

No, never had anything swabbed.

Mostly though, I never had anyone ever open up a sealed drinks bottle and see what was in it, let alone chemically test it.

So, what do you do? Sniff every drink bottle, or ban all the bottles? Banning the bottles might actually be less of a hardship than the queues caused by examining each one.

Of course people still manage to wander around the planet with cocaine etc strapped to their bodies or stuffed in their orifices so I would have thought that would be a better way to get a bomb on board, bombs not requiring metal of course.

I'm not sure what you propose as a more proportionate countermeasure?

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re: The truth, the whole truth etc

In additional to my above titled post, and in anticipation of the usual likely critique.

With regard to a Police belief of guilt in advance of any trial - at 0230 this very morning I heard noise and shouting outside my house, I looked out in time to see 4 drunks smashing the windows of the kebab shop across the road from me. I phoned it in and ran outside. I managed to nick 2 and ensured that the others were picked up a short time later. I returned to the shop where the groggy staff showed me CCTV footage of the act taking place from both the internal and external POV.

I believe that I am now reasonably entitled to claim that I KNOW, irrefutably, that these particular morons are 100% GUILTY of causing criminal damage, even before they were actually charged; let alone before any eventual court appearance. Or does being a police officer require some deeper level of proof before you're allowed to make such assertions?

Incidentally, a number of very able bodied neighbours also witnessed last night's events but, typically, no-one else even bothered to come out or even call it in despite the fact that I was outnumbered 4 to 1 by very aggressive dick-heads at least half my age. Yet, this afternoon, at least two of these good neighbours were highly critical of my reaction time and methods; they apparently could have done it so much better. So why didn't they?

Ah, the Great British public, first to criticise, last to act! Is it any wonder that the inmates are now in charge of the asylum whilst vast herds of chemically confused, socially inadequate morons are left to range freely across the streets?

Rule Britannia eh?

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@blackworx

Ahh... so just because you were so amazingly wrong about the ability to use a binary explosive you're changing tack and saying it's all about the principles (and may I also add kinepak and binex to the list of binary explosives - which are comercial, very stable and reliable, your so wrongness).

Proportionate to that risk?

OK, you tell us what is propotionate and reasonable, oh and if it turns out your proposal is a bit slack, you'll have to take the responsibility.

>I know that not being able to take liquids on a plane isn't exactly much of a hardship

Not much of a hardship = reasonable? so maybe a principle of making it so inconvienient (and high risk of getting caught) for a potential bad guy (or gal) that they don't bother.

In summary.... shush

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Title

I'm sorry JonB, you misunderstand me. I really can't be bothered to spell it out any more clearly than I already have, other than to say that in the days-gone-by to which you refer, the threat we are discussing had not been identified. Figure it out from there. Please understand I'm not trying to be dismissive or anything; you're obviously not stupid, so my meaning should be pretty clear from what I've already said.

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Anonymous Coward

Terminal stupidity

Did this lot not notice that the plods were shooting brownish people just on suspicion? Did they think that popping off petards for a lark wouldn't get the plod's wind up? They've been more than lucky that they were not terminated with extreme prejudice on the high street in full daylight to the applause of the watching crowd.

Lads, Usama bin Laden is NOT a good role model.

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Anonymous Coward

@ phix8

Thanks for that liquids anwer, that's an answer I can work with.

I make no bones about the people themselves: they were observed doing serious dodgy things, there appears to have been stacks of evidence of bomb building and planning and it's not like someone forced them to work together - to me they should get what is coming to them (and it's nice to see good detective work on display - I rather missed that). I don't buy the "we wanted to scare people" - you don't need powerful explosives for that. In the right place even a paper bag will do. Actually, I have an idea. Let's just scare them with their own bombs.

As for airport checks, I hope someone gets a decent sniffer together that doesn't need swabs (might also stop those that missed their annual bath twice in a row). I'm not convinced it isn't possible to subvert airside personnel (that doesn't need to be willingly) so the risk still exists, but the current countermeasures at least reduce the risk.

However, overall I still think what the British government did during the Irish terrorism wave was best: clamp down on media coverage. These people depend on the media broadcasting their atrocities, so keeping them as 8 point articles just after the puzzles would at least sort that one out..

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The truth etc

Thank you for that, If you are genuine and you certainly sound it , it is nice to get a little info from the horses' mouth. I have to apologise for not reading the article correctly, although I remain disenamoured with the current British establishment your comment goes to show that not everyone working for the establishment is a twat and that there are some genuine white hats left.

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BBC has a liquid bomb demo video

They messed it up a bit to stop it from becoming a instruction video, but the article here [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7606892.stm] has video footage.

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Anonymous Coward

I

I still don't get terrorists, I don't see why they want to get past security, insead they should use the security bottleneck to cause an easy to get, easy to reach body count, just pack a suitcase with nails, ballbearings and explosives and blow up the check in queues, or a supermarket. I just don't understand this fascination with planes.

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Unhappy

Clamp down on media coverage...

... and you (may) remove the terrorists' benefits, but you also remove opressors' costs.

How do your police act when they're confident nobody's watching them? A bit like terrorists? Ironic, isn't that?

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@The truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth!

> these guys did indeed produce explosives. They had even conducted a series of test explosions in the woods until they became satisfied they had something viable and potent.

I don't doubt it. But, tell us, how many *failed* attempts did they have? When it took even experienced scientists multiple attempts to get it right? And would they *really* have been able to do it on a plane? Can anyone say? Or is there a reasonable doubt?

> several of them later freely admitted to producing in their clamour to drop each other in the shit

"Look, sunshine, you admit to this and we'll go easy on you. Keep schtum and we'll maybe hand you over to the Yanks who'll send you to Guantanamo Bay" (or some other such threat).

BTW, ever heard of The Prisoner's Dilemma?

> Together with the house searches, we retrieved enough additional ingredients to potentially kill many more people, not to mention enough incriminatory evidence to convince everyone involved that we had stopped something evil from happening.

Wasn't a similar justification used for the "Ricin Terror Plot" raids?

> Thousands of innocent people were intended to die, why are so many losing sight of that fact?

So many? Or just some of the "Twelve good persons and true" who were not convinced of this by the Prosecution's case?

> It was real, it was there and it was but days away from intended use

Not 45 minutes...?!

> From my personal perspective I happen to believe they were guilty as charged because I saw far too much to convince me otherwise. [...] In English law all you have to do is to produce a 'reasonable doubt' - not prove your innocence - to escape conviction.

Yet the Jury weren't convinced. And that's the point. It's the JURY who make the decision. If they don't then, yes, there can be a re-trial, but until they are *found* to be guilty they are *presumed* to be innocent, no matter what your personal perspective may be.

The defendants do not have to prove their innocence, the prosecution must prove their *guilt*, whether you like it or not.

As to your follow up post, just out of interest, had not you, a serving officer, called in the report, how long do you think it would have taken for your colleagues to react to the incident? Perhaps it's that which your neighbours were remarking on.

(A friend called the Police one night just after midnight when some idiots were smashing up a car in the road outside his place. An officer came around to take a statement at midday the next day...)

BTW I'm pleased to hear you did something about it, but, there again, that's your JOB, ie to keep the peace, not to determine guilt, nor exact punishment on offenders.

PS I hope that your post won't prejudice any future trial...

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@Mike

My tack was never about the explosive, nor have I changed it.

In summary: mehhh

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@ Graham Marsden Part 1

>I don't doubt it. But, tell us, how many *failed* attempts did they have?

Surely the number of failed attempts is largely irrelevant? Well I guess it might perhaps demonstrate their degree of determination. But the salient point here is that, at some stage in the proceedings, they satisfied THEMSELVES that they'd finally got it right and became sufficiently confident to start putting their conspiracy into practise.

>When it took even experienced scientists multiple attempts to get it right?

Which proves what exactly? That it was a sod to get right?

>And would they *really* have been able to do it on a plane? Can anyone say? Or is there a reasonable doubt?

Well, I for one would prefer not to have been on one of those planes when they gave it a try, how about you? Would you risk your family or anyone else's on that supposition? Richard Reid was another moron but he had enough viable TATP in his shoes to cause a small explosion regardless of whether or not it would have actually detonated the PETN.

>"Look, sunshine, you admit to this and we'll go easy on you. Keep schtum and we'll maybe hand you over to the Yanks who'll send you to Guantanamo Bay" (or some other such threat).

Sorry but this really is a 'grow up' moment. You can't even imagine the paranoia everyone had about getting it absolutely right. We all know, only too well, the pitfalls and consequences to a trial of any potential accusations of coercion or duress - in the real world its also a very real career buster. Despite much opinion to the contrary, most of us regard this as morally repugnant.

This is why terrorist suspects are constantly filmed, their interviews recorded and their defence solicitors ever present. We even have to strive to ensure dietary requirements and appropriate prayer time is provided, anything to demonstrate that fairness and reasonable impartiality is maintained; even if this means suspending an interview.

>BTW, ever heard of The Prisoner's Dilemma?

Oh yes; I've even played it in the presence of a Circuit Judge during a particularly tedious interview techniques course.

>Wasn't a similar justification used for the "Ricin Terror Plot" raids?

Quite possibly, I can't really say. However, in this particular case we absolutely had them; it is quite hard to exaggerate the sheer depth, scope and professionalism of the surveillance operation, it was the most detailed any of us have ever encountered and the information it revealed was something else. I obviously can't talk about the extent of the physical evidence save to say that WE found it overwhelmingly conclusive. I can't say what would convince you or anyone else for that matter.

>So many? Or just some of the "Twelve good persons and true" who were not convinced of this by the Prosecution's case?

And this is, of course the rub; jury trials are a very inexact science and we have to take the rough with the smooth. I have been involved in scores of cases where the evidence of guilt has been absolutely overwhelming but still Jury's have acquitted for reasons known only to themselves.

I've seen Judges recoil in amazement at such decisions, their reactions matched only by that of the equally shocked accused. In one memorable case a newly acquitted "burglar" came up to me outside the Court still staggered by his unexpected good fortune, he then proceeded to volunteer the location of stolen property we knew nothing about and then shout abuse at the departing Jurers for being such mugs! Its events like this that prevent you taking things personally and engendering a healthy level of resigned stoicism.

>Not 45 minutes...?!

An irrelevant cheap shot my friend.

.......... continued on next post

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@ Graham Marsden Part 2

>Yet the Jury weren't convinced. And that's the point. It's the JURY who make the decision. If they don't then, yes, there can be a re-trial, but until they are *found* to be guilty they are *presumed* to be innocent, no matter what your personal perspective may be.

Yes of course, we all know this but that was not the point I was making. We all understand the legal Presumption of Innocence, but that is, in reality, a very different concept than your personal knowledge of events, or mine in this particular context.

If I were to punch you in the mouth without warning or provocation, you wouldn't need a Jury to convince you that I was guilty of assault; and if a jury subsequently acquitted me (perhaps I produced a bogus alibi or concocted a false but realistic sounding story), your opinion of my guilt would not change one iota because you had better knowledge of events than that Jury. How instead would you feel if I murdered your wife with the same outcome or even if you had witnessed me attempting to murder a bus full of people all with the same outcome? Any different do you think?

>The defendants do not have to prove their innocence, the prosecution must prove their *guilt*, whether you like it or not.

Don't you think I don't know and accept that? I understand the rules of the game (for that's what it is) only too well. As far as I am concerned, a criminal act can produce two very distinct and often only tenuously connected outcomes. The first is the act itself which, once completed, is largely over and done with. The second is that of the Court proceedings which, although born of the criminal act, is a very different animal and consists of a series of protracted, ritualised traumatic events which often has very little to do with the reality of the original act. Truth and reality often struggles to be heard above the cacophony of jurisprudence in full holler.

>As to your follow up post, just out of interest, had not you, a serving officer, called in the report, how long do you think it would have taken for your colleagues to react to the incident?

It took them 20 minutes as the only available car was in the next town.

>Perhaps it's that which your neighbours were remarking on.

No, their normal complaint is of seeing too many police (usually me) it tends to cramp their style.

>(A friend called the Police one night just after midnight when some idiots were smashing up a car in the road outside his place. An officer came around to take a statement at midday the next day...)

I recently called for assistance in similar circumstances to my above incident and did not get any because there was no-one available. I had to deal with it

>BTW I'm pleased to hear you did something about it, but, there again, that's your JOB, ie to keep the peace, not to determine guilt, nor exact punishment on offenders.

Yep, my 24 hour a day job - did I say I was in bed when this happened? I only wish my pay reflected my constantly being on duty.

Oh and If we weren't able to determine the guilty party, no-one would ever get charged with any offence. We have to first detect and determine guilt in order for the offender to have his trial and Presumption of Innocence, the system wouldn't work otherwise. Okay, potential guilt then, but in reality it means the same thing.

Phew!

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@The truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth!

> Surely the number of failed attempts is largely irrelevant?

No, it's entirely relevant because you neglect to factor in whether, once they'd "got it right", they could replicate those results sufficiently to make this a truly viable threat.

> Which proves what exactly? That it was a sod to get right?

Exactly! Yet, because it was *possible* (but not necessarily by any means probable), millions of passengers have had to suffer disruption and hassle.

> Well, I for one would prefer not to have been on one of those planes when they gave it a try, how about you? Would you risk your family or anyone else's on that supposition?

Why didn't you add "Think of the children!" whilst you were at it?

This is exactly the same sort of argument that is being used by your Chief Police Officers etc for ID cards, taking everyone's DNA and so on because "would you want to risk us *not* catching the terrorists/ criminals/ paedophiles/ bogeyman of the month?"

Yes, there's a potential risk, but I also take a risk every time I go out on Britain's roads where around 3,500 people die each year. Do you risk your family's lives on the supposition that it's not likely to be *you* in that number of deaths?

I don't deny there's a threat, but there's also such a thing as a sense of proportion and not getting caught up in the hype.

> I obviously can't talk about the extent of the physical evidence save to say that WE found it overwhelmingly conclusive. I can't say what would convince you or anyone else for that matter. [...] still Jury's have acquitted for reasons known only to themselves.

Again, exactly my point. With all due respect to you and your colleagues and your experience and your feelings, you are *not* impartial nor objective viewers of the evidence.

>>Not 45 minutes...?!

> An irrelevant cheap shot my friend.

A "cheap shot"? Definitely. "Irrelevant", however? Nope.

> We all understand the legal Presumption of Innocence, but that is, in reality, a very different concept than your personal knowledge of events, or mine in this particular context.

Yes, I don't deny that. The question is, however, what happens next which is why, of course, we have an independent judiciary and why we don't let the Police determine guilt or families of victims determine sentences.

> I only wish my pay reflected my constantly being on duty.

On that you will get no argument from me. Whatever else we may disagree on, the way successive Governments have treated the pay of Police, Hospital Staff, the Fire Service and other such groups is nothing short of shameful.

> Oh and If we weren't able to determine the guilty party [...] Okay, potential guilt then, but in reality it means the same thing.

No, it doesn't. Ask the Guildford Four, the Birmingham Six and many others who were victims of over-zealous Police Officers in the past.

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Anonymous Coward

Unconvinced juries & Misunderstanding.

@ Graham Marsden

The jury were unconvinced of the target, apparently (and bafflingly) there's a separate offence for attempting to blow up aircraft.

They were (4 at least) were convicted of plotting to murder, what they weren't convicted of, and where the evidence was lacking was that it was aircraft they were targeting. The bombers insisted the device was planned for the terminal building, and wasn't intended to kill.

An attempted murder charge should be enough to keep them locked up indefinitely really, success shouldn't make them more guilty.

@blackworx

>My tack was never about the explosive, nor have I changed it.

"You can't make a Lucozade bomb??" (Rhetorical)

You may be right that I misunderstand you (and maybe I am thick), but I thought you meant that you felt the restrictions were too harsh and that some other "countermeasures" should be used. I asked what that was, with the observation that examining every drink bottle may produce more hardship than banning them all.

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Pirate

pfffft instead of boom???

I would like to take this oppertunity to point out that with the simple bottle of a certain easy to optain liquid and the addition of HTH (pool clorine) powder makes a dandy clorine bomb which is in terms of lethality in a closed enviroment is nifty alternative to simply blowing up the whole sodding plane.....

Just my 5 cents worth

Reminds me of the planer crashes of sim city........now where is that disk

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Alert

All too easy

Now that the general public believe that liquid bombs of this nature are real it would be all too easy for a terror clown to spread panic on a flight. He could just pop into the loo, piss into an empty Oasis bottle and drop his iPod headphone into it. Then all he would need to do is run out shouting and hope that there isn’t a sky marshal or Wesley Snipes on board.

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Anonymous Coward

@pljwebb

I think you'll find you're not allowed empties on either..

@jelly : Chlorine

Given the rate that air is cycled in a plane, I'd expect that you'd have to produce shit loads of chlorine to even make anyone ill, that even if you managed that killing people would be one hell of a challenge and that the flight crew would be unaffected.

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Coat

Well thats got to be yet another example..

of government using over the top none factual headlines to take away our rights.

Remeber the ricin scare which was splashed all over the headlines a few years ago, in resulted in all 3 people being found innocent.

Whats worse is after 7/7 one of the guys who remain in the country was arrested again, for no reason other than he had been arrested before on terrorists charges (even though he was cleared) then tagged and told he couldnt leave his crappy little flat for most of the day. - Far as I know thats still on going.

*\. Mines the one with a pda in the pocket about to be used as an excuse for my free trip to gitmo'.

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@blackworx

>My tack was never about the explosive, nor have I changed it.

So your first post with "You can't make a Lucozade bomb??" in it wasn't written by you? and the whole post rant entitled "@ Credulous Twits" didn't happen?

nahhhh... you were shown up as the troll you are (perhaps in your eagerness to be the first to post?) and so decided to bang on about personal liberty in a third and whiny post "you missed my point" (which you didn't make), almost finally ending with a note to JonB basically saying "if you understand me you're clever, if you don't you're stupid", do you find this works for you? I bet you're a school teacher.

Please post again so I can taunt you some more, the dirt from your spade is hitting you on the head because the hole you have dug for yourself is so deep.

"Thou art weighed in the balances and art found wanting."

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Anonymous Coward

@JonB

I see your point but I wasn't referring to the use of a viable device (or whatever the securigoons are calling them these days). It would be along the lines of hoax bomb threats and even if you couldn’t bring an empty bottle on the plane I’m sure a flight attendant would give you a bottle of water. It would only need to look like a fizzy drink bomb to have a marked affect, like panic everyone on board the plane and cause it to divert. That alone would inconvenience hundreds or maybe thousands of people.

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Black Helicopters

Liquid Bomb De-bunked?

OK, I've only skimmed the thread, but I *do* remember the comprehensive debunking of liquid bombs by El Reg some time ago.

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

I was surprised then to cop a demo of one by a UK News programme.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MKgQegu7_2A

Could someone please explain the difference?

No longer knowing what to believe,

Confused ov Leeds

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Coat

One more time JonB

I very much doubt you _are_ thick, but then neither am I. In other words I don't need to be reminded of what I said. "You can't make a Lucozade bomb??" was sheer sarcasm but (since we're pointing these things out) I clarified the implication in my subsequent comment. There's no win to be had in comparing that initial intellectually vacuous flame bait with what I later went on to say, hence my "meh" response to Mike. I never changed tack as he claimed; from the beginning my argument has always been about what I believe is a disproportionate response that has done little more than feed our fears.

If carry-on baggage can be checked for conventional explosives, firearms, flammable substances, pressurised containers, offensive weapons, Transformers t-shirts, whatever, then it can also be checked for the makings of binary explosives. More precisely, if we can check bags, laptops etc. for chemical traces without the need to ban those items purely on the basis that they could conceivably harbour a terrorist device, then we can do it for any other potential nastiness-concealing container.

Oh, and of course a bottle of liquid in a scanner looks just like a bottle of liquid. What's the point in saying that unless you either really do think I'm thick or had a burning desire to show the world you can be disingenuous and faintly patronising? Actually I'm sorry, that was a cheap shot. An eye for an eye will make us all blind... but fuck it, it's good sport. Anyway, I can see the point you were trying to make. Obviously a laptop (for example) with a bomb in it is going to look different on a scan than one without but, forgetting for a moment that it's perfectly plausible some ne'er-do-well could create one that doesn't, the fact is that we have well-established and efficient ways of telling the difference and we use them; we do not simply implement a fearmongering blanket ban.

You are however right when you say that additional checking will cause more inconvenience than simply banning all liquids. How much more is a matter for debate. As you have surely gleaned I do not believe it to be significant enough to justify the current outright ban and all that it entails.

Finally, one thing I'm sure you'll agree with me on is that next time I get half-cut and feel like dropping a sarky comment on a Reg article at ten to midnight on a school night I should probably think twice.

Mine's the one hung up next to the gloves.

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@ Mike

That's honestly the first time I've ever been called a troll (\me makes a note of the date and time). It's also the first time I've ever been called a teacher, but what exactly do you mean by that? C'mon, let's see your true colours. Seems to me you're the one posting inflammatory messages so by anybody's definition you're the troll. And no, I don't consider my original comment to be inflammatory, just ill-advised.

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Anonymous Coward

The evolution of the terrorist

"Today we were unlucky, but remember we only have to be lucky once. You have to be lucky always"

PIRA statement to Thatcher government after the Brighton bomb, 1984.

Air travel is pretty safe up until the plane hits the ground too hard. If it crashes in a city the death toll is likely to be very high. That is why 'hitting' a plane is an attractive (spectacular) proposition for a terrorist.

Yes the above quote was from the Provisional IRA but the point is made that terrorists, particularly those who have no regard for their own life are very hard to counter. Someone with a device/mixture designed to explode which doesn't expolde is still a terrorist.

Intent is a difficult thing to determine. Yes we built bombs, we tested them. We were happy we could get them to go bang when we wanted them to. We thought about disguising them to get them onto planes but then we decided we'd just set them off in the terminals. That would teach the infidels because of the disruption we would cause. Mmmmm.

Who is going to decide that it is no longer a risk to have liquids/bottles on a plane? I think it will be after 'they' have worked out a new method to cause disruption/death etc. So far we've had exploding shoes? What a load of cobblers (deliberate punnage). Exploding liquids? I find that hard to swallow (!) Anything is possible in this day and age, just look at some of the previous comments here "oh my laptop battery and blah blah blah", "you should mix......".

Where will it all end?

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@blackworx

You are a Troll because of the coblers that you have spouted some of which you admit was "flame bait" and when you said "from the beginning my argument has always been about what I believe is a disproportionate response that has done little more than feed our fears." it must have been in your head alone, because you certainly didn't even hint as this until your trolling "flame bait" was responded to, the most telling post is when you refer to people as "Credulous Twits" (hmm.. they were right, you were wrong, ahem), unless you were still "half-cut" at 10:57 in the morning you're not allowed to use the "ill-advised" excuse (besides who ill advised you? do you have voices in your head?).

At the end of the day, your initial posts were just plain wrong, rather than admit it you'll pretend that you were trying to make a point about personal liberty, I personally believe that argument is weak (you have offered no better solutions, even when specifically asked), there may be a point to make but you have spewed so much chaff with the wheat nobody is listening, you're probably not thick, you just look that way because you're stubborn, oh and apologising for something you wrote in the same paragraph means either you don't mean it or you don't know how to use the delete key.

Am I a Troll for taunting you? maybe, but I did add the disclaimer "Please post again so I can taunt you some more" and you did......

You have two choices;

1. Shush, people will forget about you (I sugest you change your name)

2. Post something else, you'll only make yourself look stupider which will make people smile, go on I dare you to fall into my "taunting you more trap" bwahhahaha!

3. Admit that you were wrong, apologise to the "Credulous Twits" then maybe people will listen to you (but it's probably too late).

I know I said two choices, but I think we both know you won't let it lie (because you're stubborn).

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