My sister was supposed to fly back to the states this morning from London. She's been in Ghana all summer, and we've been so excited that she would be back today. She flew into Heathrow, took the bus to her transfer at Gatwick, and stood in a four hour security line because terrorists had allegedly planned to blow up ten flights to the United States, possibly with liquid explosives. Mom called at 7:30 this morning to tell me what's going on.
My sister is okay. They have rebooked her on a flight for tonight. She had to check all her hand luggage, including her laptop and the bottle of water she always has with her. (I'd be willing to bet she's more angry about the water bottle than anything else.) She has a plastic bag with her passport and money for a nine-hour flight to Houston. And if she gets stuck in London, she can call my friend Camilla. She'll be okay. The rest of us will, too, but we would sure appreciate your prayers today. I don't feel okay. I'm worried about my mom.
This is the second time mom has waked me up with news of a terrorist attack. In August of 1998, I was sleeping in when she woke me up to tell me about the embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania, the two places I was headed to in less than a month. It was all-too-remote and all-too-close then, too.
Given the low-level of security and inattentive security I witnessed at Heathrow last winter, clearly these people knew what they were doing. I was shocked that I got all the way through security without having to show anyone my passport. I was even more shocked that the people manning the x-ray machine weren't paying attention.
The question on the news is "why did they stop this plot last night?" So I don't think the plan was supposed to be carried out today. But, oh, I feel absolutely sick.