\"Liquids of some kind\"

Update: Looks like we finally have some specifics: sports drink plus peroxide. As someone with a lot of experience with peroxide, I can definitely say that if you mix high strength hydrogen peroxide intimately with a fuel, you can make a high explosive. And peroxide looks just like water and can be carried in (clean) polyethylene bottles without much trouble. No idea if they would have carried hydrogen peroxide onto the planes or something else made with hydrogen peroxide. These specifics give the story a lot more credibiity, so I may end up eating my words. Hat tip to my sister.

Update 2: Ben Forta agrees. Via digg.

Update 3: Schneier agrees too.

The terrorists have won again. The economic cost of this latest attack in terms of airport delays and cancelled flights may end up approaching at least the physical damage costs of 9/11. All without a single death, though there's plenty of terror. And no weapons or explosives were even needed; none have been found as far as I've been able to tell by reading the news.

If I worked for al Qaeda or even if I just wanted to cause a little chaos I'd find me some gullible, disenchanted locals and cook up a remotely plausible sounding plot and make the locals think they were involved in setting it up and carrying it out. Then all I'd have to do is wait for them to get arrested.

Anyone care to make a bet about whether these hypothetical liquid explosives will ever be found?

P.S. I'm completely open to being proven wrong. As Brian points out, this was not a sting. However, the home grown nature of the suspects and the vagueness of the descriptions of the supposed liquid explosives make me extremely skeptical that this supposed plot was any more viable than Jose Padilla's or that group in Miami's. Obviously locals would be very useful in pulling off a real plot, but also much more difficult for a group like al Qaeda to trust to actually carry out an attack, so the probability of success would be much higher (i.e. near 100%) if your actual plan was for them to get arrested, and the cost is much lower if you don't need to provide actual weapons.

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