Al-Qaeda jihadists reportedly are planning to blow up five passenger planes around the Christmas period to create a festive “spectacular” during the busiest travel time of the year. A security insider says that a ban on all hand luggage is being seriously considered.
Express Mobile phones and electronic devices could still be banned from plane cabins, with the threat of a 9/11-style coordinated attack on London and other major cities feared imminent. The warning comes as Whitehall officials admit that a terror strike on the UK is now “almost inevitable” particularly with British jihadis returning from fighting alongside the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.
An airport security source told the Sunday Express: “We’ve been told that five planes are being targeted in a high profile hit before Christmas. They’ve been waiting for the big one. “We have many scares but this one nearly got hand baggage pulled from all airlines. The threat is still alive and real.”
The plot, which has been known about for the past two months, is thought to involve Muslim terrorists smuggling bombs on to planes bound for major European destinations before Christmas. The well-placed security insider said talks had been held about how to deal with it, with suggestions made to ban hand luggage.
The source said: “High level negotiations are continuing at Governmental level but at the moment there has been little done to respond. “There is paralysis because of the difficulty of banning hand luggage which is one of the strongest weapons we have against the new threats.
“All electronics may be banned from hand luggage and placed in the hold, that has been considered, and there has been behaviour analysis training at airports but while it’s effective, it’s difficult to roll out quickly and is not a sufficient safety net.
“The threat is aimed at Europe. The U.S has improved their security over the summer but we have not. “Everyone is expecting something catastrophic very soon”.
Dr. Leivesley, a former Home Office risk adviser, said that terrorists are now more likely to be “white, blond and blue eyed” who are radicalized in as little as five weeks. She also claimed that female terrorists were becoming a significant risk, adding: “Crime profiling shows that white, middle class women, who are better than averagely educated, are susceptible to the terrorist narrative.
“They see themselves at the forefront of attempts to change the world and are represent a very dangerous tool for the terrorists. “These sleepers will have been from ordinary and not very religious families and not only is the threat from them here but also when they return battle hardened from Syria and Iraq.”
Beware of blond-haired Western women in Muslim garb. It could be a terrorist.