While there was originally some controversy about the feasability of the “liquid explosive” concept, the case has been decided this week. Three of the eight men linked to the plot have been convicted of plotting to bomb airliners; a fourth was convicted of conspiracy to murder.
These men were detected using intercepted communications under a FISA warrant. They were kept in a normal jail until they went to normal court to be sentenced by a normal judge in the UK. They will soon be placed into a regular prison, where they will expect to spend many years with their fellow British prisoners, whom they plotted to kill. I don’t expect them to have a good time there.
Somehow, there are commentators who claim this is in some way a vindication of warrantless wiretaps, extraordinary rendition, secret prisons, or military tribunals. Um…no. Every single step of this case followed existing laws, and once the men were in custody the case was in the public view. It seems this proves that our (and British) law enforcement and intelligence professionals are quite capable of catching bad guys within the law as it stands today. Good for us, bad for bad guys.