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Is there any end in sight for the war on terrorism?

*The Economist, August 11, 2006

“HEATHROW, London’s main airport, is normally thronged with cross people in queues at this time of year. But on Thursday August 10th the lines became serpentine and the people in them more anxious than querulous as news spread that the police and security services had thwarted a plot to blow up several planes bound for America. Had the terrorists succeeded British police said it would have resulted in “mass murder on an unimaginable scale”.

Twenty four people, all apparently British citizens and mostly of Pakistani origin, were arrested by police in London, Birmingham and High Wycombe, a town close to Heathrow. The suspects seemed to have strong links to Pakistan. Security forces in that country said that they too had arrested several suspects in connection with the failed attack and had helped British intelligence uncover the plot.

American sources suggested that five more suspects could still be on the run. However, John Reid, Britain’s home secretary, claimed that British police had the “main players” in custody. On Friday, using laws introduced in the aftermath of the September 11th attacks on America in 2001, the British government ordered the Bank of England to freeze the accounts of 19 of the suspects. The bank released the names and some details of the people who were aged between 17 and 35.”

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