As delays snarled Laguardia, JFK, and Newark with news that British authorities had stopped a terrorist plot to blow up airliners flying the U.S., New York City's security level remained at "elevated" - which is where it's been since September 11, 2001. Governor Pataki increased state police, Port Authority police, and National Guard presence at the airports, and said, "I want to assure all New Yorkers that we have and will continue to provide a heightened level of security, and I urge all of you to be vigilant, but to go about your normal routines. I encourage all citizens to remain alert with regard to the threat of terrorism. The eyes and ears of the public are one of the most important resources we have to help law enforcement officials deter and prevent acts of terrorism." Mayor Bloomberg noted that since the threat was focused on airports, subway security wouldn't have to be raised. And did you know that Senator Schumer is stuck at Heathrow?

The crazy thing is what the plot seems to be. ABC News reports:

According to sources, the suspected plotters arrested in London today planned to use liquid or gel explosives, triggered with the flash from a disposable camera.

The plotters planned to leave the top of each bottle sealed and filled with the original beverage, but add a false bottom filled with the explosive. The volatile mixture would have been dyed to match the color of the beverage.

Sources say the suspects believed this would guarantee them safe passage through security, even if they were ordered to sip the beverage to prove it was harmless, sources said.

The flash in a disposable camera, the plotters apparently believed, would have enough power to trigger the homemade explosive.

Experts say there are a number of homemade or easily modified commercial explosives that could have enough power to damage or destroy a jetliner.

Goodness... And so, no disposable cameras or lighters or matches or anything anywmore, huh? But Newsday has this great quote from a traveler who said about the liquid ban, "It's no big deal. At least I can take my computer."

More from BBC News and NY Times. And here's the Department of Homeland Security's list of what you can and cannot do with liquids on planes.


Top photograph by Bebeto Matthews/AP; bottom photograph by Henny Ray Abrams/AP