Anorak News | The Sky High Club

The Sky High Club

by | 15th, December 2006

THERE we were in the toilet onboard a plane from Heathrow to New York.

Forget the mile high club, this was the sky high club – terrorists were going to nip to the loo and produce bombs from baby milk, small cartons of orange juice and other liquid explosives.

"You could carry an inert liquid that if you mix with another one could become explosive," said David Hill, a former counter-terrorism expert at the National Crime Squad.

Planes were grounded. Mothers were forced to drink milk revolting formula, more victims in the war on terror. Queues formed. Fear stalked. Passengers wandered about clutching little plastic bags with bits of paper in.

And then nothing. Until now. The Mail reports on Rashid Rauf, the 25-year-old from Birmingham, the man whose arrest in Pakistan was said to have triggered raids by Scotland Yard’s anti-terror squad across Britain (24 arrested here; seven more arrested in Pakistan, including two Britons).

Terrorism chares have been dropped against him. No explanation has been given. The man the Mail says fled Britain four years ago after his uncle was murdered remains in jail.

Though not a terror suspect he is facing other charges for forging documents, possessing explosives and “impersonation”.

It’s a decent enough charge sheet. But Rauf has yet to be found charge let alone found guilty. He remains innocent until proven otherwise. And, as the Mirror reports, the explosive material allegedly found in his possession was hydrogen peroxide. Yes, that stuff teens put on their fringes to look cool. The paper says that it can be mixed with other chemical to make explosives. Or it can be put on cuts and grazes to keep germs at bay.

Let us not say that Rauf is a nice cheap, a champion of peace, a multi-culturalist partial to a bacon bagel, who celebrates Chanukahmass, Diwali and Eid with a rare gusto.

But we are not here to judge. That is for other. The Mirror tells us Rauf is married to a woman related to the leader of a banned Islamic militant group. The Mail says Rauf has established links with al-Qaeda figures. He also has a full and wiry beard.

But we are not here to judge. We only note that with 17 people awaiting trial in the UK over for the alleged plot to blow up so many airliners, Rauf is no longer seen as the ring leader.

And remember that, as the Mail says, it was his arrest that was the catalyst for their raids.

Meanwhile, the restrictions on liquids at airports at the height of the panic in August were only relaxed on 6 November.

Passengers boarding planes in the UK and other EU countries are allowed to carry liquids in containers no more than 100ml in capacity. These containers must be in a single, transparent, re-sealable plastic bag a litre in capacity.

Oh, and John Reid, the Home Secretary, says the chances of an attempted terror attack over Christmas are "highly likely".
Says he: “We know the number of conspiracies of a major type are in the tens – 30 or round about that."

We only wonder if any or all of them involve Rashid Rauf..?

Posted: 15th, December 2006 | In: Broadsheets Comment | TrackBack | Permalink