A thwarted terrorist attack to destroy planes headed for the U.S. from the UK has led to increased airport restrictions in the U.S. and in other countries. The terrorist attempt brought new travel guidelines that sent airports into chaos. In the U.S. the restrictions ban all liquids and gels on planes with an exception for baby formula, drugs and insulin. Official restriction guidelines can be found here and here. A breaking news message on Technorati led everyone over to the Heathrow tag where they can find posts by bloggers. Here are some highlights from the blogosphere.
Clare Duffy at the Daily Nightly blog reports of women being forced to part with expensive cosmetics.
At the security line, the usual suspicious objects -- laptops, iPods, killer sneakers -- were all but forgotten as TSA workers shouted at people to throw away eyedrops, lotions, lip gloss, bottled water, anything at all.
One young woman chucked an entire Mario Badescu skincare kit into the trash, looking simultaneously bewildered, enraged and tearful. As a beauty product junkie myself, I felt her pain. I made a show out of jettisoning a small tube of Neosporin so they might not take the half-full tube of $50 sunscreen in my bag. All the while, bits and pieces of the story were bruited about in a strange game of "telephone": "I heard it was nuclear weapons!"
Epic screaming matches broke out over baby formula, with the dueling agendas of protective parents and those protecting us from terrorism locked in steely combat. The hapless woman who runs the day spa at the Jetblue terminal found herself and her stock the subject of intense scrutiny. Who knew what lurked within the colorful jars of pomegranate face cream?
On board the plane now, a member of the flight crew is relating how even they were forced to throw away their lunches. There's no water on board, and we weren't allowed to bring any on board. This should be a fun six hours.
ABC's The Blogger writes that the terrorists have a highly explosive gel: "According to a Department of Homeland Security briefing to the aviation sector, the terrorists appear to have planned to use multiple persons aboard each flight to assemble peroxide-based liquid or gel high explosives. The bomb-making materials could easily be concealed in small containers -- water bottles, tooth paste tubes, juice boxes and any of the other numerous person items passengers traditionally take into the passenger compartment of commercial flights."
iLounge has an article about iPod bombs. Apparently, iPods, cell phones and laptops are banned at Boston's Logan airport. "What does this mean for iPod-carrying travellers today? In the United Kingdom, the answer is unfortunate: because of a very wide-reaching, ultra-cautious ban, you'll need to put your music - and just about everything else you’d carry - in your checked luggage. Similarly, based on measures announced by Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, U.S.-based passengers departing from Boston’s Logan International Airport will not be able to carry iPods, cell phones, or notebook computers on board planes. Plan on checking them with your other luggage, and carry books instead. It remains to be seen whether this ban will spread to other U.S. airports as well."
Boing Boing, echo9er and Xopl want to know why potentially explosive liquids are being dumped into large receptacles near crowds.
Prime Time Chicken Take-out blogs that we will soon all be flying nude: "Soon air travel will require all clothes to be checked in, and you will not be allowed to take anything on board with you after submitting to the complimentary anal probing. Then someone will go and ruin it for everyone else by swallowing a brick of C4 and planting a contact switch in their teeth, and we’ll have to have our teeth pulled in the interests of security."
Seattlest blogs that air travel just got even more annoying.
CBS News' Public Eye blog recommends the memetracker Memeorandum, which does have a great deal of blog posts related to today's terrorism attempt here.
Donklephant notes there has concern over a possible terrorist attack occuring in August. "There had been a high degree of speculation, over the past few weeks especially, as to an imminent attack sometime during the month of August - appears as if the intel on this was right on."
Explosive t-shirts? Interesting post from The Disgruntled Chemist. "Chemically, of course, you can do a whole lot of interesting things with clear liquids and other unobtrusive things. For example, mixing the clear liquids ammonia and bleach leads to chlorine gas. The clear liquid nitroglycerin is obviously very explosive, but too unstable to be practically smuggled onboard an airplane. There are undoubtedly many more, not to mention explosives (like nitrocellulose) that you can make to look like anything made out of cotton. Of course, it would give off a big damn nitrate signature, so if they put it through the chemical analyzer it would be caught. But are security screeners in the habit of checking every white cotton t-shirt that comes through a checkpoint? It seems like there are so many ways that terrorists could beat airport security and get dangerous things onto an airplane, and the only real limit is the scientific creativity of whoever comes up with these schemes for al Qaeda."
The Lost Podcast blogs a Fox News blunder: "The smart anchor at Fox News just asked one of their "experts" if he thought that the US would have been prepared to shoot down the planes… Hello Did you listen to the news in the last few hours? This was not a highjacking. They were going to blow up the planes long after they had took off from Heathrow - in the middle of the Atlantic. God, Fox News sucks."
The Mojo Blog reports that women were told to sample baby milk and juice in order to be able to take it on board.
Center Blue writes that Al Qaeda is not dead. "Second, it suggests that Al-Qaida may be wounded but is not dead, if indeed Al-Qaeda is responsible for the plot. Despite five years of chasing down this terrorist organization it seems they still have the wherewithal to mount these kinds of attacks. Maybe that's because the US has been so distracted "fighting terrorism" where none was to be found in Iraq rather than focusing on the real war on terror."