Thursday, August 10, 2006

9/11 Part II

The plot foiled by Britain to blow up U.S.-bound flights would been as horrific as the September 11 attacks that killed almost 3,000 people, U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said on Thursday.

The suspected plotters were "a couple days from a test, and a few days from doing it," according to a U.S. intelligence official. Chertoff said the plan would have involved coordinated multiple suicide bombings.

"If these plotters had succeeded in taking down multiple jets carrying hundreds of people, we would have seen a disaster on a scale comparable to 9/11 with hundreds and maybe thousands of people being killed," Chertoff said in an interview on PBS's "NewsHour With Jim Lehrer."

He said al Qaeda might have been involved, and that the United States was in a race against "terrorist ingenuity."

The U.S. government heightened security on passenger planes, barring air travelers from carrying any liquids after Britain said it had thwarted the plot to target about 10 transatlantic flights.