Britain Thwarts Terror Plot to Blow Up U.S.-Bound Aircraft

Police are confident they have disrupted the plot against aircraft, which was "intended to be mass murder on an unimaginable scale."


"We're safe, we're OK," he said at Heathrow. "Now my daughter is going to get a shopping trip in London."

The Department of Transport advised all passengers that they would not be permitted to carry any hand baggage, electrical items or battery powered items on board any aircraft departing from the country.

Prescription medicines were OK; so were eyeglasses but not their cases, the department said. Contact lenses could be taken aboard in their cases, but bottles of solution were banned.

"Eight hours without an iPod, that's the most inconvenient thing," said Hannah Pillinger, 24, who was waiting at the Manchester airport.

London's Heathrow airport was the departure point for a devastating terrorist attack on a Pan Am Boeing 747 on Dec. 21, 1988. The blast over Lockerbie, Scotland killed all 259 people aboard Pan Am Flight 103 and 11 people on the ground.

The explosive was hidden in a portable radio in checked baggage.

A Scottish court convicted Libyan intelligence agent Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi of the bombing in 2001 and sentenced him to life imprisonment. A second Libyan was acquitted.

In 2003, Libya officially accepted responsibility for the attack and agreed to pay relatives of each bombing victim at least US$5 million.

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Associated Press Writer Raphael Satter contributed to this report.

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