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View Full Version : Police in crisis after jury rejects Airliner Bomb Threat


hunterboy
9th Sep 2008, 07:54
Police in crisis after jury rejects £10m terror case - Times Online (http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/law/public_law/article4710879.ece)

Interesting bit of news. I haven't really been following the case, but does this mean that there wasn't actually a plot to target airliners or airports?
If so, does it follow that the whole liquid terror scenario was dreamt up by some over active imagination sat in an office in the Crown Prosecution Service?
One never knows, it may lead to the dropping of the whole LCG in bags waste of time.





edited for having sticky keys on keyboard

cwatters
9th Sep 2008, 07:58
Quote:

A CPS spokesman said: “The jury found there was a conspiracy to murder involving at least three men but failed to reach a verdict on whether the ambit of the conspiracy to murder included the allegation that they intended to detonate IEDs (improvised explosive devices) on transatlantic airliners in relation to seven of the men. It is therefore incorrect to say that the jury rejected the airline bomb plot.”

BarbiesBoyfriend
9th Sep 2008, 09:01
Given that these clots had practically zero chance of achieving the outcome that they were alleged to wish for........

In other words it had no practical credence........

I find their acquittal entirely unsurprising. Indeed I predicted it in a related thread ages ago.

I always thought the whole 'liquid bomb' premise to be a load of bollocks from the start.

Someone else will know that old quote about the best way to control the public being 'to invent a never ending series of hobgoblins whom only the government can protect you from'.:hmm:

anartificialhorizon
9th Sep 2008, 09:18
....or the other side of the coin is that these idiots succeeded perfectly in inconveniencing our live's for the foreseeble future.

I have said it before, after the shoe bomber (and the pain in the butt this now causes at many, although funnily enough not all airports) I await the underwear bomber to emerge.....

2 words, Nanny State.

hunterboy
9th Sep 2008, 09:34
CWatters It is therefore incorrect to say that the jury rejected the airline bomb plot.”

Surely, that is exactly what the jury said by acquitting them of it?

FCS Explorer
9th Sep 2008, 10:10
At the end of a £10 million investigation and trial lasting more than two years, jurors were unable to decide whether or not a group of British Muslims were part of a plot to blow transatlantic airliners out of the sky.

The outcome of the case - which featured al-Qaeda-style martyrdom videos made by six defendants - ...

this is all i need to know. they are guilty. airplane food is not so bad that one needs to make those videos. (yes, i'm simple minded. thats why i can tell the barking thing is a dog without calling)

stagger
9th Sep 2008, 10:10
CWatters

Surely, that is exactly what the jury said by acquitting them of it?

Most of the defendants (seven) were not acquitted of "conspiracy to detonate explosives on aircraft" - it was just that the jury was unable to reach a verdict so a retrial is possible.

Only one defendant was found not guilty on this charge.

cwatters
9th Sep 2008, 10:23
Exactly. If I've read it right...

Three men were convicted of conspiracy to murder.
Verdicts were not reached on four others.
One was acquitted.
One escaped.

There will probably be a retrial.
and in addition..
"Four further trials related to the alleged airline plot are pending."

Icare9
9th Sep 2008, 10:26
I await the underwear bomber to emerge.....

Surely that will count as a biological warfare threat????

Miserlou
9th Sep 2008, 11:33
A common sense verdict.

I don't support their views or their means and the best way to deal with them is by NOT changing your way of life (by any major degree). The powers that be, however, seem to think that the population wants to SEE action on their part and can maintain their power by keeping the threat present in our daily lives.

I say support your local suicide bomber and get 'em young. Their strategy is fatally flawed as it is a form of Darwinian group selection. Any successful bomber will carry his self-destructive genes with him to the grave and these genes will therefore be fewer and fewer in the population as generations go by.

Eventually, these groups become more and more unstable being unable to agree with each other and then begins the infighting. This also leads to their self destruction.

Flying_Frisbee
9th Sep 2008, 11:41
Most of the defendants (seven) were not acquitted of "conspiracy to detonate explosives on aircraft" - it was just that the jury was unable to each a verdict so a retrial is possible.
Only one defendant was found not guilty on this charge.
Surely the jury is being asked to decide beyond all reasonable doubt that the prosecution has proved its case? If the jury had found that it had, they'd have been found guilty.

XXPLOD
9th Sep 2008, 12:23
I am slightly disappointed by some of the responses here. I speak as a (reasonably) senior police officer and licensed Counter Terrorist Search officer.

If anyone thinks that a liquid bomb was not viable as a means of causing a mid-air explosion, you are wrong. It is entirely viable. I have seen first hand what such a device could do, demonstrated by EOD officers.

I have not read the in depth detail of the case, however the fact that defendants were convicted of conspiracy to murder should speak volumes.

EGGP
9th Sep 2008, 12:45
From the reports on the R4 Today programme this morning, the issue seems to be that once UK authorities told the CIA they proceeded to pressurise the Pakistani Government to arrest a suspect there before we had the conclusive proof re the exact targets.

As a result we had to arrest the plotters in the UK to avoid them being alerted. Had the US authorities waited we would have arrested them as final preparations were being made.

I agree with ex plod that these are viable devices. The police case suffered because of different attitudes on each side of the pond. Will we tell the U.S. next time?

13thDuke
9th Sep 2008, 12:45
The implication here seems to be that the police/CPS cannot believe the jury did not convict based on the evidence put forward.

The idea that evidence in each trial is soberly and intelligently considered by 12 reasonable and rational individuals is not something that's backed up by the people I know who've had to endure jury service.

Less Twelve Angry Men, more Twelve Thick Shits.

Final 3 Greens
9th Sep 2008, 12:46
If anyone thinks that a liquid bomb was not viable as a means of causing a mid-air explosion, you are wrong. It is entirely viable. I have seen first hand what such a device could do, demonstrated by EOD officers.

I don't think anyone here is questioning that an EOD officer can produce such an explosion, but more whether

- terrorists can on a scheduled flight
- whether the probability of this event is high enough to justify the counter measures

Life is about risk-reward balances.

Personally there are aspects of air travel that I would regard as being higher priority risks.

You should not infer from this statement that I am anti security.

ATIS
9th Sep 2008, 12:53
Just on BBC news24

Government dept has just issued a statement stating that the restrictions will remain in place as the court case has proved beyond any doubt that explosive liquids could be carried onto the a/c by these nutters.

airship
9th Sep 2008, 12:54
This paragraph from the Times article above especially struck me: The Crown Prosecution Service indicated that it was likely to seek the retrial of seven men in an attempt to prove that there was a plan to attack aircraft and kill thousands of people. As opposed to what they actually accomplished apparently: which was to seek to prove that it was likely that there was a plan to attack aircraft and kill thousands... :rolleyes:

However disappointing the news might be to some, it's still worth bearing in mind that any plan/s were thwarted in time and the suspects have appeared before their peers in a 'normal' courtroom. I mean, it would have been so easy 'to call in our friends from across the pond' who would undoubtedy and obligingly removed them clandestinely to Guantanamo or other lesser heard-of detention / interrogation facility, which might have saved the CPS and UK authorities a bob or ten and any undue embarassment, on the face of things... :ok:

I'm just thinking out loud now. But did the jury find that these people were somehow connected to Al Qaeda? Because if they did, then that might just open the way for a civil case against them (and Al Qaeda) by anyone who's ever been inconvenienced by all the security checks (especially for liquids) when flying. As far as I'm aware, there must be $10s or even several $100s of millions that governments around the globe have already 'frozen' because they suspected those assets were being used by Al Qaeda etc. Sounds to me like the perfect opportunity for a 'class action' against these individuals and Al Qaeda, with lots of dosh available at the end of the rainbow...

tornadoken
9th Sep 2008, 13:32
13th. D: 12 Thickos. I have served as juror on 5 (minor) cases. All were poorly served by barristers who had manifestly not done their homework. We had to do it for them. Prosecutors presumed we could see guilt oozing from the dock; defence advocates relied on absence of eye-witness or forensics, blandly to assert "no evidence". Judges' directions now in England are that we have to "be sure" - it's no longer "beyond reasonable doubt". Presumably on the evidence, jurors saw the defendants as ineffectual loons, so concluded they had been over-charged.

We are allowed to apply common sense to circumstantial evidence. So, a fair question in an English trial of a Gitmo detainee would be: just what were these nice students/tourists/granny-respectors doing when they were lifted in a combat situation?

Capt H Peacock
9th Sep 2008, 13:42
For the Government to admit that there never was a threat to aviation would entail admission to causing hundreds of millions of pounds of unnecessary costs, thousands of hours of unncecessary delays, making the UK a miserable place to visit, making the lives of crew unbearable, and making a laughing stock of security.

They would prefer to be thought of as stubborn and uncompromising than fools. The court has decided that the Government has failed to demonstrate a valid case for causing this debacle. Their vanity prevents them from accepting that fact.:ugh:

Re-Heat
9th Sep 2008, 14:15
Less Twelve Angry Men, more Twelve Thick Shits.
However true this may be, I don't think anyone would wish it to be any different that a jury of our peers. To wish otherwise would be to invite authoritarianism (to which the current government appears mildly attracted...)

Pity about the CIA's actions if true - certainly these men are dangerous, gullible, disaffected or thick, or a combination of all. We could have done with a more concrete conviction if so. Regardless the CPS must do their job properly and charge what is feasible, not what is politically acceptable in the Daily Hate Mail.

Flying_Frisbee
9th Sep 2008, 14:53
As far as I'm aware, there must be $10s or even several $100s of millions that governments around the globe have already 'frozen' because they suspected those assets were being used by Al Qaeda etc. Sounds to me like the perfect opportunity for a 'class action' against these individuals and Al Qaeda, with lots of dosh available at the end of the rainbow...
Great idea! We should start going after all those governments that have funded or supplied people like Bin Laden or the Taliban in the past.... :hmm:

Biggles225
9th Sep 2008, 15:16
XXPLOD,
IIRC the explosion generated by the EOD team involved some fairly volatile fluids which wouldn't have travelled very well, if at all, in a passengers cabin bag, and were incapable of being cobbled together in a bog at umpty thousand feet.
But, please correct me if I'm wrong (Im sure you will). A terrorist doesn't need to be able to do it to cause chaos, they only need to say they can!

airship
9th Sep 2008, 15:23
Pity about the CIA's actions if true - certainly these men are dangerous, gullible, disaffected or thick, or a combination of all. Just so that there's no confusion: were you talking about the CIA or the accused / convicted, or possibly both...?! :E

Beausoleil
9th Sep 2008, 15:35
I think it's interesting that there has been such a frenzy of briefing to imply that they were definitely guilty. Last night on the tv news we had the "open and shut", "cast iron" prosecution case rehashed at length, but nothing of what the defence said. That should make sure the next jury are more receptive.

The bottom like is that 12 people heard the evidence and on average were not convinced that these guys were planning to blow up aircraft. Perhaps part of it was that the forensic specialist managed to make the bomb work only on the 32nd attempt (iirc) - notably we got to see the attempt that succeeded and the effect of a similar blast on a pressurised aeroplane, but none of the preceding failures experienced by specialists in bomb construction.

So why the surprise? - the security people involved only really talk to other people who are already equally convinced of the massive terrorist threat. It is interesting that 12 ordinary folk presented with the evidence were nothing like as certain. Perhaps the question Whitehall should ask itself is whether they have become a bit obsessed - the jury has provided them with a more balanced perspective and they should welcome it.

I doubt that will happen, though. I'm waiting for the first suggestion from the government that terrorism trials should be held before judges sitting without juries. It's the logical next step in the "use a real threat of terrorism to justify removing civil liberties that were won over centuries" strategy.

Nov71
9th Sep 2008, 19:04
Panorama Special on the subject 7.30 tonight

snarly
9th Sep 2008, 19:54
Interesting perceptions, so why would a terrorist go to such lengths to disguise an IED unless it was to defeat specific security rather than simply access the airport into a public domain where such lengths are not necessary.
After all they could have used a 4x4 to do that........

Miserlou
9th Sep 2008, 19:55
Biggles 225 said,
"A terrorist doesn't need to be able to do it to cause chaos, they only need to say they can!"

A terrorist doesn't need to be able to do it to cause chaos, they only need the authorities to tell us they can!

tony draper
9th Sep 2008, 20:10
These treasonous scumbags should not be tried by a Jury, they should be in front of a military tribunal,then in front of a wall.
:suspect:

belfrybat
9th Sep 2008, 20:21
AIUI they were supposed to mix up a cocktail of hydrogen peroxide and acetone. Thing is, it needs to be chilled near freezing and let stand for eight hours. Then filter out and dry the *solid* precipitate. Hardly feasible in an airplane toilet.

The only binary liquid explosives I've found scouring the net all turn out to be corrosive, poisonous and very hard for even pros to get their grubby little fingers on. Maybe XXPLOD could elucidate further, we'd really appreciate to know just what they were supposed to use.

doublesix
9th Sep 2008, 20:27
It's apparent that 9/11 and 7/7 are becoming distant memories for some posters on this thread, which is just what the terrorist would want. Some of you obviously think there is no real threat and just want to get back to 'how it was'. Well that ain't gonna happen thank god. Terrorism does exist and it's changed all our lives. Just because this jury acquitted these men doesn't mean the threat has disappeared. Try trusting the people who are working to combat terrorism on a day to day basis instead of having a go at every opportunity. After all they do know more than you I would suggest.

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaargh!
9th Sep 2008, 20:55
licensed Counter Terrorist Search officer.

"Have you found him yet?"

"No. He's not up here on the counter."

frostbite
9th Sep 2008, 21:02
"Panorama Special on the subject 7.30 tonight"

22:35 I think you'll find - and if you've set your recorder for Capt Corelli, it's not on now.

Nov71
9th Sep 2008, 22:15
Thank you for the correction Frostbite.

labrador pup
9th Sep 2008, 22:48
Doublesix - some of us do not doubt there is a threat from terrorists, just that it cannot be accomplished with a water based explosive device.

XXPLOD
9th Sep 2008, 22:55
Very good! :p

BlueWolf
10th Sep 2008, 00:27
Someone else will know that old quote about the best way to control the public being 'to invent a never ending series of hobgoblins whom only the government can protect you from'.

"The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary."
H.L. Mencken

haughtney1
10th Sep 2008, 00:39
Try trusting the people who are working to combat terrorism on a day to day basis instead of having a go at every opportunity. After all they do know more than you I would suggest.

The trouble with that comment is that the same people who are supposed to know more than "I" appear to think I am a threat to flight safety carrying my can of red bull, when as has been stated plenty of times before...all I need do is lock the door..and push...
The same people that tell me I will require an ID card when I already have a perfectly good airside ID..that has been security vetted...
The same people who put 7 rounds into the head of a Brazilian electrician...
The same people who still insist that Granny Smith is as great a threat as Yousef Jihad shoebomber..and as such will not use profiling tools to identify high risk passengers....
Yes, its the same people that know more than I :ugh:

Overdrive
10th Sep 2008, 01:06
Never mind the potential outcome of their plot, just how much blatant intent do people need to show to be prosecuted, without the obvious being diluted away to nothing in a sea of evidential complexity and definitions? It's plain to a blind man on a galloping horse; they are terrorists.

The populace will certainly be kept alarmed by propoganda, that's for sure. Also hugely inconvenienced too in the name of security. How many genuine perpetrators are stopped is a different matter.

Skipness One Echo
10th Sep 2008, 01:23
To convict a man in a court beyond reasonable doubt and to deprive him of his liberty, the bar is rightly set rather high. None of us has had the opportunity to read through the case notes first hand, but from what we know, these nutters were bugged for a long period of time and not once mentioned blowing up a plane. These guys do not appear to have counter espionage training and I don't think they are the brightest angry muslims in the world, so that is a red flag for me. There was also no trace of any tickets being bought, or any attempt made to purchase one. Having the timetables of some flights on a given day is a sin I have committed myself! The public perception whilst rightly being wary of letting down one's guard is getting weary of the whole war on terror fear factor. The men in charge as was pointed out can't tell the difference between an Algerian terrorist and a Brazilian electrician, well I mean he wasn't white so go figure, it is the Met after all.

LONDON is always on terror alert, how many times do I need to be reminded not to smoke or leave my baggage unattended at any time by a bored robot voice? It is sheer COMEDY that my granny can't take her wee nail file through security. The thing that ALWAYS winds me up as someone who has lived their whole life in this country, is the teenagers at Heathrow in their bright yellow uniforms who boss people about and wave little bags at people before you even get to security.

This is something they don't feel the need to do at Boston and that's one airport that is familiar with what happend when security goes wrong. It's become a self fulfilling industry. ( I really really hate those KIDs btw ) !! OK my bad....

Roger Sofarover
10th Sep 2008, 04:23
Great! Today the BBC have shown the general public how to make a liquid bomb! Well done! (You F*****g Morons) Please remember the destruction they show is with a liquid with a normal detonator attached. A detonator like that would not get through security. Liquids do nothing,. simple!

Flying_Frisbee
10th Sep 2008, 09:11
Great! Today the BBC have shown the general public how to make a liquid bomb! Well done! (You F*****g Morons)
Did they? They mentioned that hydrogen peroxide is used and that it was boiled down to concentrate it to a specific level. From the Panorama programme, I wouldn't know what this level was, how critical it was or if anything else is required or was used.

ukdean
10th Sep 2008, 16:32
Some good news coming on this. It looks as if the severn are going to face a re-trial on a plot to blow up airliners. The Criminal Prosecution Service has lodged its appeal....good luck..

fitliker
10th Sep 2008, 17:17
Do they still have certificates for exemption from prosecution available in the UK ?
Why not just wait until they attempt to carry out they evil plot and the give them the quick horrible death that they seek for themselves and other innocent travellers .Save all that fuss and cost of a trial.
If these guys had of been Irish they would have killed just like those Irish bombers were shot dead in Gibraltar by men in soft shoes:E
The modern security wallies have way to much cloak and not enough dagger :E

'Chuffer' Dandridge
10th Sep 2008, 17:25
A bit off topic, but it seems the old fart judiciary are on a roll and totally out of touch......

BBC NEWS | England | Kent | Power station protesters cleared (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/kent/7608054.stm)

Lawyers getting rich, Greenpeace lunatics getting off and Joe public getting pi$$ed off with a country that has gone to the dogs.......:ugh:

Jwscud
10th Sep 2008, 21:35
There's an excellent article discussing the viability or otherwise of their bomb method here:

The Register (http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/09/10/liquid_bomb_verdicts/)

mr fish
10th Sep 2008, 21:45
given the media hysteria+ blanket news coverage, where will the 12 unbiased citizens who make up the next jury be coming from???

heli-cal
11th Sep 2008, 06:13
The police and cps are finding things a tad more difficult from their long established practice of framing innocent Irish people and jailing them.

Miserlou
11th Sep 2008, 06:56
I think you are referring to adding a bit of evidence to some who were guilty as hell.

I understood the case was good enough without the 'extra' evidence.

It's the Americans who lock up the innocent and people who might think about doing something naughty.

Flying_Frisbee
11th Sep 2008, 07:51
given the media hysteria+ blanket news coverage, where will the 12 unbiased citizens who make up the next jury be coming from???
Exactly what I thought as I was watching the Panorama "documentary". If I was a defence lawyer I'd have a copy of that tucked away in my safe to be used for any retrial.

Effluent Man
11th Sep 2008, 09:11
It would be interesting to know what the make up of the jury was.It only needs a minority of sympathisers or fellow-travellers to hold out on a verdict that is obvious to bring this about.I have a certain amount of agreement with Drape's view.Why do Islamic terrorists get better treatment than IRA ones? Well I think we all know the answer to that.

Freefall38
16th Sep 2008, 06:26
Due to my travels, I missed the BBC program, but caught a US prog while in NYC this evening called Dateline NBC. It discussed with detail, the viability of the plot. It was convincing with film footage of tests conducted by both UK and US specialists.

Anyone see it and have input? I know NBC media is liberal in political perspective, but don't know if they'd be so convincing to prove the plot correct if it made the current gov'ts right in their security measures. (to include the UK as well)

CityofFlight
16th Sep 2008, 07:00
I recorded this!! It makes it hard to understand how the UK court system couldn't convict. :confused:

Effluent Man
16th Sep 2008, 09:50
As far as I understand it,(Im not a lawyer) conviction can be obtained only by a majority of 10-2.So the aim of the defence is to convince three members of the innocence of the accused,or alternatively of course in the case of the Greenpeace power station accused,that the offence doesn't warrant conviction for other reasons.

Prosecutors have to proceed carefully so as not to over the egg the pudding.A typical scenario being a murder charge where you cannot prove that the INTENT was to kill.An example might be if a person deliberately drove a car at someone but expected them to jump out of the way before they hit them.Then it would have to be Manslaughter.(Surprised Harriet hasn't renamed the offence Personslaughter)