The initial speculation over the nature of the alleged terrorist plot has focused on the fact that almost all liquids have been banned from hand luggage. Not even baby milk will be allowed on board flights departing Britain today unless an accompanying passenger is prepared to taste it in front of security staff.

The Metropolitan police Deputy Commissioner, Paul Stephenson, told a news conference that police believed the aim of the plot was to smuggle explosives onto aeroplanes in hand luggage and to detonate them in flight.

Bottles of water, contact lens solution and liquid medicine are among the items now barred from hand luggage. The Home Office website added that duty-free liquids would also be removed from passengers boarding flights to the US.

Terrorism experts suggested that the concentration on hand luggage indicated the plot involved explosives detonated manually rather than through a remote controlled detonator or timer.

“You could carry an inert liquid that if you mix with another one could become explosive,” said David Hill, a former counter-terrorism expert at the National Crime Squad and a security consultant at Red24.

“You could get the materials to make a bomb from a garden centre. Or it could be something as simple as taking on board paraffin and attempting to start a fire.”

Sources told the BBC that the plot may have centred around smuggling explosives on board in fizzy drinks.

Full article here.