British authorities have taken into custody more than twenty suspects alleged to be engaged in a plot to detonate explosives on board commercial U.S. aircraft flying from Britain to the U.S. Paul Stephenson, London's deputy police commissioner, told a reporter: "Put simply, this was intended to be mass murder on an unimaginable scale."
President George W. Bush also commented:
"The recent arrests. . . .are a stark reminder that this nation is at war with Islamic fascists who will use any means to destroy those of us who love freedom."
Michael Chertoff, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, says, "this plot appears to have been well planned and well advanced":
"We believe that the arrests in Britain have significantly disrupted this major threat. But we cannot assume that the threat has been completely thwarted or that we have fully identified or neutralized every member of this terrorist network."
The plot, says Mr. Chertoff, "appears to be quite a sophisticated concept of how to execute a terrorist bombing":
"Certainly one of the concerns we have is the possibility of bringing on board a number of different components of a bomb, each one of which would be benign. But when mixed together would create a bomb."
The U.S. is taking steps to increase security. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff says, "travelers should go about their plans confidently, while maintaining vigilance in their surroundings and exercising patience with screening and security officials."
The preceding was an editorial reflecting the views of the United States Government.