British authorities today announced terrorism and murder-conspiracy charges against 11 people in the alleged plot to blow up trans-Atlantic airliners, saying their searches since Aug. 10 have uncovered large caches of bomb-making components as well as "martyrdom" tapes of the type often prepared by Islamic suicide bombers before they attack.
Charges may also be brought against 11 others arrested on Aug. 10, officials said in a televised news conference, as they continue what Scotland Yard described as a globe-spanning probe, nowhere near complete, of an "immense," "deadly" and "enduring" conspiracy to kill air passengers between the United Kingdom and the United States . . .
Bomb-making equipment seized has included a variety of potentially explosive chemicals, such as hydrogen peroxide, electrical components necessary for detonators and 6,000 gigabytes of removable data-storage devices from more than 400 different computers and 200 mobile phones . . .
That would make it one of the largest criminal investigations in British history, likely to exceed the probe following the London subway bombings that claimed 52 lives last July. Most of those involved in the bombing were also killed by those explosions.
British authorities release of this much information during an investigation is unusual. British law severely restricts what police may disclose to the public before and during a criminal prosecution. The bloggers who were quick to doubt the original terrorist plot claim are saying little about today's news.
Meanwhile, ABC News is reporting that tomorrow, August 22, "marks an important historic event on the Islamic calendar." August 22 is the date when terrorist intended to carry out the attack on trans-Atlantic U.S. airplanes according to some terrorism experts. ABC News reports:
This year, August 22 marks the holy day on the Islamic calendar that is the day of reckoning for Shiites. Some Shiite sects believe that August 22 could correspond to the end of the world. And just today, after much hype, Iran has announced that it will continue to develop its nuclear program.
To followers of Iranian President Ahmadinejad, this is a well-timed affront to Israel, the United States and the world. The United Nations had given Iran until the end of the month to respond, but Ahmadinejad had made it clear to all Iranians and the world that he intended to respond on the eve of August 22.
Whether or not this announcement is the end of Ahmadinejad's plans for August 22, one expert says we will have to wait and watch.
Let's hope the arrests in London shut down any plan of attack planned for tomorrow.