Charges Dropped in “Liquid Terror” Plane Plot

A Pakistani judge has dropped charges against the main suspect in a purported terror plot to blow up airlines with half a sports drink bottle full of dangerous liquids. This plot is the reason you now have to fly with a ziplock bag full of tiny toiletries, and the reason we have started to pay attention to the quality of hotel soaps. From BBC News: “Anti-terrorism court in Rawalpindi found no evidence that he had been involved in terrorist activities or that he belonged to a terrorist organization. As well as forgery charges, Mr Rauf has also been charged with carrying explosives. But his lawyer says police evidence amounts only to bottles of hydrogen peroxide found in his possession.”

No word on whether this news will loosen the current restrictions on carrying liquids, but we’re assuming that it won’t. —MEGHANN MARCO

UK ‘plot’ terror charge dropped [BBC News via BoingBoing]

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  1. ChazB says:

    This “terror plot” was debunked by actual, degree holding scientists and explosive experts not long after it hit the media. Of course, in the 2006 culture of scaring the people into conformity with the (current) government’s 1984 agenda, the fact that it would be near impossible to actually carry out a liquid explosive attack on an airline was largely ignored. Truthiness (in the Colbert sense) wins again.

  2. AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

    But his lawyer says police evidence amounts only to bottles of hydrogen peroxide found in his possession

    Perhaps he was afraid of getting cut, and having it become infected, on the plane…or he wanted to bleach his hair before arriving at the airport.

  3. Pelagius says:

    I’m just glad he didn’t have the bottles shoved up his nether regions. The TSA inspections are intrusive enough as it is.

  4. Funklord says:

    My bet–the TSA quietly drops the silly liquid restrictions shortly after the holiday season. To drop them now would make too much of a media impact, with all the crappy local news stories on airports and travel. Basically, they should be completely embarrassed by this whole debacle, and the idea would be to cancel the absurd restrictions on the down low.

  5. Wait a minute…first of all, it was not “debunked,” there are plenty of liquid composite explosives that can be combined in a lavatory on an airplane, astrolite comes first to mind. Secondly, this case was dismissed by the Pakistani judge (big surprise) but it was not dismissed by the UK courts… Did everyone miss this part, They say proceedings against suspects arrested in Britain will go ahead.???!

    I find it amusing that people are so willing to take a Pakistani judge at his word, but not our own government…Try using some of that healthy skepticism on the Pakistani justice system!

  6. pestie says:

    Astrolite? Are you kidding? Like someone’s going to be carting around hydrazine in a sports drink bottle. In any case, I’d be real surprised if the explosives detectors at the airports aren’t sensitive to hydrazine. I don’t know for sure, though.

    My guess is that the restrictions on liquids are never going away. The mentality behind that decision is a combination of “well, you can never be too careful!” and “but now we’ve given the ter’rists ideas, and they’re so crafty that they’ll find a way to do it if we don’t continue to ban liquids!”

    It may not be strictly impossible to mix an explosive from liquids in an aircraft lavatory, but it’s so profoundly unlikely that we really should get past this mindless, knee-jerk hysteria and just go back to the old rules. But it’s not in bureaucracy’s nature to admit a mistake, so that’ll never happen. They’ll continue to perpetuate the illusion that this threat was real and make you jump through more pointless hoops, all in the interest of “security theater.”

  7. ChazB says:

    Wait a minute…first of all, it was not “debunked,” there are plenty of liquid composite explosives that can be combined in a lavatory on an airplane, astrolite comes first to mind.

    I’m sure there are plenty of liquid explosives that COULD be used to down a plane, but the logistics of actually doing it in an airplane bathroom with TATP would be damn near impossible. For reference I give you the following:

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