The Obama Administration has replaced the extra screening procedures at the airports. Instead of focusing on passengers from 14 specific countries, the new regulations are intended to engage all intelligence available to law-enforcement agencies to identify potential threats. This new set of regulation replaced the emergency order that was put in place after the unsuccessful terrorist attack on Christmas day. According to officials, the new system treats all passengers flying into the US in the same manner regardless of their countries of origin.
Counterterrorism officials believe an alleged al-Qaeda terror plot against the UK, designed to cause mass casualties, was due to be carried out over Easter. The police raided fifteen locations in the Northwest of England on Wednesday, April 8, arresting 12 suspects of whom 11 are Pakistani nationals. They are believed to be part of a Pakistan-based and trained al-Qaeda cell.
The arrests took place in the afternoon, being rushed forward after a security blunder. Senior police and top counterterrorist officer Bob Quick had exposed a secret document on the ‘Operation Pathway’ to photographers on his way to a 10 Downing street meeting. The operation was then carried out within hours in the daytime and Quick resigned from his post.
It is probable that the Pakistani nationals will now be deported to Pakistan, if the alleged accusations are proved. Their families back home expressed shock and anger and denied any connection of their sons to al-Qaeda. The incident reveals the tense situation in British home affairs. Most probably, a major terrorist plot has probably been foiled; at the same time, the daytime operation endangered other residents, and solid evidence for the alleged plot must now be made public.