A group of alleged terrorists arrested in London in August planned to blow up airliners over U.S. cities to maximize casualties, rather than over the Atlantic Ocean as many intelligence officials originally thought, according to recent remarks by a senior FBI official. The comments by Mark Mershon, head of the FBI’s New York field office, indicate that U.S. and British intelligence officials now think that the airliner plot was aimed at maximizing the potential loss of life and economic impact, reports the Washington Post.
“The plan was (to) bring them down over U.S. cities, not over the ocean,” Mershon said Oct. 24 at the Infosecurity 2006 conference in New York, according to Government Security News. British police arrested 25 people after uncovering the alleged plot. Mershon said representatives of MI5, the British intelligence service, briefed the FBI on the liquid explosives case in recent weeks. “It would make your hair stand up to be in the room to hear that presentation,” Mershon said, according to GSN.