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Major security alert at UK airports

10.08.06

Heightened security has been imposed at UK airports after a plot to blow up flights to the US was foiled by anti-terrorist police. It is thought the plan was to detonate explosive devices smuggled on aircraft in hand luggage, with flights from the UK to the US being targeted.

Home secretary John Reid said a major terrorist plot to bring down a number of aircraft mid-flight had been detected. He said there would be 'major disruption' at airports across the country.

Plan was to smuggle explosives onto as many as 20 flights, Sky News sources said. About 20 arrests are reported to have been made overnight in London and the Thames Valley after a counter-terrorist operation they said had lasted several months. .

Passengers have been banned from taking any hand luggage on flights as a precautionary measure, creating long queues at check in at all UK airports. Only the barest essentials - including passports and wallets - will be allowed to be carried on board in transparent plastic bags.

Passengers travelling via Heathrow have been advised to fly today only is it is necessary. More news to follow.

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