Was the Heathrow terror “plot” a political concoction?

My following article appears in today’s Crikey newsletter:

Two months ago, the British government told the world it had thwarted plans to blow up US-bound aeroplanes departing from Heathrow Airport. “Put simply, this was intended to be mass murder on an unimaginable scale,” said Deputy Commissioner Paul Stephenson from the Metropolitan Police at the time.

British authorities alleged that liquid explosives were to be used, and the devices were to be assembled on the planes after departure. A number of suspects were arrested with connections to Pakistan and some Western governments used the potential catastrophe to justify their ongoing “war on terror”.

The only major Australian commentator to question the plot was Phillip Adams,… who suggested it was difficult not to express scepticism because it was too convenient a distraction from the debacles in Iraq and Afghanistan.

A senior journalist at one of Australia’s leading newspapers told me last week that 9/11 had given far too many reporters and editors excuses not to ask questions in the “war on terror” because of “national security”. These media players have become comfortably subservient to state power.

Such questions are being asked by one of Britain’s finest young thinkers, Nafeez Mosaddeq, a lecturer at the University of Sussex and author of many books that outline the role played by Western governments in supporting Islamic terror.

His latest expose – ignored by virtually all the world’s press – interviews major security sources in the UK, all of whom question the veracity of the Blair government’s claims over the Heathrow plot. Explosives experts doubt whether the suspects could have assembled their devices on the plane and detonate their deadly cargo.

A bomb defuser in Northern Ireland, Lt Col Wylde, became a senior officer in British Army Intelligence in 1977 and he tells Mosaddeq that the alleged conspiracy did not “involve manufacturing the explosives in the loo,” as this simply “could not have worked”.

Perhaps the most disturbing of the allegations is that British authorities are deliberately not arresting Islamic extremists in their country due, in part, to the security services’ desire to recruit some of them as intelligence sources. Political expediency is being used to justify heightened security measures while known terrorists with connections to al-Qaeda are being left on the street to preach and indoctrinate.

Mosaddeq concludes on his site that the security services are being manipulated by their political masters, but what about the media?

“The media has been subject to a government D-Notice”, he writes, “one of those ‘advisory’ instructions suggesting politely to editors that they avoid any information that might, purportedly, prejudice the trial of the alleged terrorists detained in August. This has fatally skewered all reporting on the terror plot in favour of the government’s line, a prejudicial situation that seems of little concern to the authorities.”