The World Travel Market

November 03, 2006 07:10 ET


LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(CCNMatthews - Nov. 03, 2006) - THE "liquid bomb" threat that disrupted this country's air traffic was a piece of Hollywood fantasy.

That is the verdict of renowned American terrorist expert Marvin Cetron, who arrives here this weekend to talk to travel and tourism leaders at World Travel Market, where 100 ministers and 202 nations will be present at ExCeL London.

AS Britain prepares to relax the emergency hand luggage regulations that disrupted and cost the airline industry a near 30 per cent drop in passenger traffic, Cetron says:

"It turns out that the liquid explosives central to the tale are largely a Hollywood fantasy.

"They require hours to prepare even after being smuggled on board, plus a lot of ice to keep them cool during the process", said Cetron, a security advisor to the Pentagon.

"To remain undetected, they also need passengers and a flight crew with a defective sense of smell. And they are likely to blow up in mid-preparation with just enough force to kill the would-be chemist, but no one else.

"British authorities, apparently prompted by Washington, trumpeted their arrest of some two-dozen plotters who, it is said, planned to blow up airliners flying from Britain to the United States in August.

"On closer examination, there probably was less to the scheme than met the eye.

"The plot was more farcical than fearsome. But it triggered a new round of airport security precautions, shrank airline profits for a few weeks, and brought the risk of terrorism back to public awareness.

"It was a grim reminder that they could face worse things than high oil prices.
"Notwithstanding the gang that couldn't bomb straight, terrorism does remain a serious risk."

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