British Prevent Catastrophic Attack
British authorities said Thursday they thwarted a terrorist plot to simultaneously blow up several aircraft heading to the U.S. using explosives smuggled in carry-on luggage. Police arrested 21 people, saying they were confident they captured the main suspects in what U.S. officials said was a plot in its final phases that had all the earmarks of an al-Qaida operation.
Two U.S. counterterrorism officials said the terrorists had targeted United, American and Continental airlines. A U.S. intelligence official said the plotters had hoped to target flights to major airports in New York, Washington and California.