Friday, August 11, 2006


In January 1995, police in the Philippines capital, Manila, investigated a fire in a flat rented by three men. Initially they said it was "just some Pakistanis playing with firecrackers" but they had uncovered one of the most audacious terror plots to date: a bid to smuggle liquid explosives on to 12 American airliners and detonate them simultaneously in mid-flight.

The mastermind was Ramzi Yousef, now serving a life

sentence in the US for a bid to blow up the World Trade Centre in 1993.

With his fellow conspirators Abdul Hakim Murad and Wali Khan Amin Shah, Yousef had hatched a plan to smuggle liquid nitroglycerin, hidden in contact lens solution bottles, on to airliners. Nitroglycerin, Murad boasted after his arrest, was almost impossible to detect.

Using a modified Casio watch as a timer, two 9v batteries and a detonator hidden in their shoes, the idea was to assemble the bomb on the first leg of a flight, then disembark at the stopover. The explosives would detonate once the planes were back in the air.

No comments: