View Full Version : Heathrow target of al Qaeda

13th Nov 2002, 19:42
London's Heathrow Airport has been targeted for attack by al Qaeda terrorists, an Islamic radical arrested in London last month told investigators, according to U.S. intelligence officials. Top Stories
U.S. says tape shows bin Laden alive
War plan calls for air strikes
Bush wins on homeland security bill
U.S., EU dismiss Iraqi objections to U.N. resolution
House GOP eyes woman for post
Post-menopausal births found safe
Ford 'adding votes' as battle with Pelosi winds down

The type of attack being planned was not disclosed but officials said, based on al Qaeda's past operations, that it could be mass-casualty bombing.
Disclosure of the London airport plan comes amid warnings issued yesterday in Europe that terrorists have targeted ferry boats throughout Europe for attack.
The information on Heathrow was provided by Palestinian militant Umar Muhammad Umar Uthman, the leader of al Qaeda in Europe who is known as Abu-Qatadah, the intelligence officials said.
Abu-Qatadah was arrested in London last month after a yearlong security investigation by Britain's MI5 intelligence service, the official said.
Abu-Qatadah's information bolstered earlier threat warnings obtained from interrogations of al Qaeda leader Abu Zubaydah, who was captured in Pakistan in March.
Abu-Qatadah, 40, is being held in a prison in southwest London. He is believed to be Osama bin Laden's key aide in Europe.
A week before his arrest, he gave an interview to an Arabic-language Internet site calling for jihad or holy war.
U.S. intelligence officials said Heathrow has been a major transit point for al Qaeda and other Muslim terrorists in the past year, in part because of the airport's practice of not looking under the veils of Muslim women.
At least 2,000 veiled travelers have passed through Heathrow in recent months without being checked by airport security personnel, offering a potential method of smuggling bombs onto planes, the officials said.
Regarding the threat to ferry terminals, British Home Office Secretary John Denham announced yesterday there was no specific intelligence that led to the security alert.
"The information that went out was part of reminding people of the need for heightened vigilance and heightened awareness," Mr. Denham said on BBC radio.
The warning was based on intelligence issued to shipping companies that a truck loaded with explosives would be placed on a ferry used to cross the English Channel.
The warning followed a speech by British Prime Minister Tony Blair on Monday, in which he said British intelligence was detecting terrorist threats against British targets on a daily basis.
Britain's London Telegraph newspaper reported yesterday that police officers in London were working undercover as vagrants in an attempt to thwart suicide bombers.
The police are also using dogs to sniff out explosives on bombers.
In France, ferries sailing from Calais stepped up security to high levels, according to the port's operational manager, Jean-Denis Ringot. "Vigilance had been stepped up since September 11. Now, we've moved it up a notch," he said.
The governments in the Baltic Sea states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania also increased port security last week after a warning from European law-enforcement officials.
In June, the Office of Naval Intelligence, quoting German police sources, stated in a warning notice that the suicide attacks were being planned against ferries and cruise ships in Northern Europe.

Aviation News (http://luchtvaart.pagina.nl)

14th Nov 2002, 08:42
Nothing to worry about here.We can all rest assured that the BAA security machine will take care of any terrorist threat...............................c'ant we?!

14th Nov 2002, 08:53
I hope LHR's finest can do better against Al-Qaeda than they seem to do against the local villains nicking cash off ramp security vans...

Few Cloudy
14th Nov 2002, 09:14
I find it rather unsporting of El Qaida, that while we publicise all our tactics and defensive efforts, they are so secretive about their movements.

Could it be that they have understood better than we, the first principle of war: "Surprise the enemy"?

And make no mistake, it is a war.

Hot Wings
14th Nov 2002, 09:32
Why worry about veiled passengers when most of ADI look like they were recruited from the Taliban? The same can be said about the aircraft cleaners who are entrusted to do the internal aircraft security checks!

14th Nov 2002, 10:13
Hear, Hear Hot Wings!!!!

14th Nov 2002, 10:57
It's called cheap labour.

14th Nov 2002, 14:04
Er... isn't Christianity about 6 centuries older than Islam? We certainly weren't painting caves when Mohammed was around.

Get an education, Big Brutha.

14th Nov 2002, 16:35
So does this mean that all security and cleaning staff at DUB CRK SNN BFS BHD etc are IRA because they are Irish...... or perhaps all the security and cleaning staff at BCN are Basque Separatists because they come from the Basque region.

Wise Up!

no sponsor
14th Nov 2002, 16:57
in part because of the airport's practice of not looking under the veils of Muslim women

Is the report correct?

Surely you have to check under the veil to be sure that the women is eligible not to be checked, since before you look, you don't know what lurks beneath? Or is my logic incorrect?

Sounds like political correctness gone mad to me.

I presume they are subject to body searches and have to pass through the metal detectors. At Cairo, Doha and Dubai, women are checked, so why not LHR?

14th Nov 2002, 17:51
"Not all people with brown skin are terrorists" << Nobody said they are BB. If you have to resort to such wilful misinterpretation to make a point then perhaps you don't really have a point after all?

"you WASPs were painting caves" << Now who's being racist?

"its about not generalising religious groups. " << No it's not! Its about fighting terrorists who quite literally want to kill us all!
Unfortunately as long as there are people around who think that the most important thing is to avoid causing offence then we're left wide open. I fear that one day in the near future we'll get e very rude wake-up call.

14th Nov 2002, 18:09
Absolutely spot on, right on the mark, well said.

14th Nov 2002, 18:12
Big Brutha

I respect what you are saying and perhaps most of us WASPs have got some bigot in us, but correct me if I'm wrong.

To a man, every Al Quaida terrorist photograph so far published has shown people of a non-white (mainly Arabic) hue. This would tend to narrow down the field for me and most people. We can only go on the information provided by the media and law enforcement agencies in this matter.

I believe that the Muslim community has not quite got its own house in order on this one. We have seen local Muslim boys go to fight for the Taliban in Afganistan with very little condemnation from their elders back home. I think that despite what the Politicians and media might say, white western people are largely disliked by the worldwide muslim populace. If it's not true, I would like a Senior Muslim Politician/Cleric to tell me so without using the excuse of the situation in Israel.

14th Nov 2002, 19:59
I myself am not religious but I am broad minded enough to respect others beliefs.

I have attended a Sikh friends wedding and have a very good Muslim friend.

Unfortunately even I have started looking upon people of 'muslim'
description working on board an aircraft I'm on in a different way,
perhaps an over reaction however if I don't challenge the cleaner with no ID could it be my last mistake?.How about the 'muslim' lady cleaner (press) who gained a pass for Frankfurt,this just adds fuel to the fire.

Is it right that the British Department of Transport together with the BAA allow people of the Sikh faith to carry a REAL 3 inch ceremonial dagger airside,when the rest of us can't even take a bl**dy spoon in our bags.

There is always one bad apple and thats all it would take if that bad apple on this occasion 'a cleaner' on 4.50 per hour was offered say 10000 for 'use' of their religious dagger!!!.
Far fetched ,yes but the risk is there.

Safe flying,


''Depressed,no just give me another Bacardi and Coke''.

14th Nov 2002, 20:36
The remarks expressed by some in this thread lead me to think the first battle to be won in the war against terrorism is the battle to push political correctness off the map.

It is becoming more and more obvious that political correctness is being used as a weapon.

14th Nov 2002, 22:34
Let's get back to the original point of this thread shall we? "Heathrow targeted by Al-Qaeda." The bottom line is that LHR is an easy target. Take the spectators gallery for example. Anybody can access the rooftop on the Queens building and there isn't one single security check. At places like Frankfurt and Zurich, there's as much security as there would be if you were boarding a flight (metal detectors, bag searches etc), so why not at LHR? I flew into LHR the other day from JFK and spent an hour or so on the spectators gallery; I was the first person on the gallery that morning and if I'd been a terrorist, I could have carried a cannon up there and fired it at an aircraft before anybody knew anything about it. Secure???? NOT!:mad:

15th Nov 2002, 14:20
Here here bluskis! I also think intelligence has to be processed more intelligently; well, you know what I mean.

Max Angle
15th Nov 2002, 16:28
Quite agree about the viewing gallery, there should be a check before going up there. I suspect that BAA being the true avaition people they are would just close it down rather than supply security, perhaps they should open a shop up there!.

Seriously though, those of us who work there know that are huge gaps in the security, the biggest of which (and this applies to many airpiorts) is that fact that arriving and departing pax. can still mix airside. Checkout the countries of origin of some the aircraft that use T3 and it looks pretty scary if you ask me.

15th Nov 2002, 18:06
Agreed there should be secuirty checks to get on the viewing deck
but where does it stop?.

I have my own airline photo business and regulary join many others with cameras at non-restricted areas all around airports.
Those cameras could quite easily be something far more dangerous.

However if someone wanted to hit us hard all they would have to do is sit around the South coast on a clear day and wait for a Dover departure,a pair of bins and a shoulder held SAM and


'Barman one more Bacardi and Coke'