European Counterterror Chiefs Meet over Alleged Airline Terror Plot

Experts review long-term implications of liquid explosives threat


Senior international counterterrorism officials met in London to be briefed on investigations into the alleged plot to down trans-Atlantic airliners, intelligence officials said Friday.

Officials from European security and intelligence agencies were briefed on the investigation at a meeting on Thursday, Britain's MI5 domestic spy agency said in a statement.

The counterterrorism specialists examined the international background to the alleged plot to smuggle liquid explosives aboard as many as 10 aircraft and discussed proposals for greater sharing of intelligence.

Experts also reviewed "the longer-term implications of the threat posed by this particular modus operandi of attack," the MI5 statement said.

MI5 said the Counter Terrorist Group, chaired by the agency's director general, Dame Eliza Manningham-Buller, had previously held meetings following the 2004 Madrid train bombings and the bombings on London's transit network last July.

A spokeswoman for Britain's Home Office said officials had been updated on the airliner plot inquiry by investigators from London's Metropolitan police.

They had also discussed concerns about the potential use of liquid explosives and research into new methods of detecting and tracking the substances, she said.