***Updated Scroll for updates***
The Times of London has published the names of 19 terror suspects being questioned in the liquid bomb plot:
Umir Hussain, 24, London E14
Muhammed Usman Saddique, 24, London E17
Waheed Zaman, 22, London E17
Assan Abdullah Khan, 22, London E17
Waseem Kayani, 28, High Wycombe
Waheed Arafat Khan, 24, London E17
Cossor Ali, 24, London E17
Tayib Rauf, 21, Birmingham
Ibrahim Savant, 26, London E17
Osman Adam Khatib, 20, London E17
Shamin Mohammed Uddin, 36, Stoke Newington
Amin Asmin Tariq, 23, London E17
Shazad Khuram Ali, 27, High Wycombe
Tanvir Hussain, 24, London E10
Umar Islam, 28, (born Brian Young) High Wycombe
Assad Sarwar, 25, High Wycombe
Abdullah Ali, 26, London E17
Abdul Muneem Patel, 17, London E5
Nabeel Hussain, 21, Waltham Forest
ABC News notes that one of the suspects not on this list has been identified as Don Stewart-Whyte, a 21 year old from High Wycombe. What makes him interesting is that he’s a white man who converted to Islam a few months ago:
Neighbors identified one of the suspects as Don Stewart-Whyte, 21, from High Wycombe, a convert who changed his name to Abdul Waheed.
“He converted to Islam about six months ago and grew a full beard,” said a neighbor, who refused to be identified. “He used to smoke weed and drink a lot but he is completely different now.”
Now he aspires to blowing up airliners with hundreds of innocent Americans on them. Yep, Islam really helped him clean up his act.
Michael Chertoff, the US Homeland Security Secretary, said that the British plot was “getting really quite close to the execution stage”. For British and American crisis planners, the date August 22 looms large. This year it corresponds in the Islamic calendar to the day in 1427 which Muslims commemorate as when Muhammad took flight on the winged horse Buraq to the “furthest mosque”, usually assumed to be Jerusalem. Bernard Lewis, an expert on the Middle East, writes: “This might well be deemed an appropriate date for the apocalyptic ending of Israel and if necessary of the world.”
President Ahmadinejad of Iran has cited August 22 as the date on which he will give his final answer on nuclear development. The suggestion that the foiled British plot involved blowing up aircraft over towns and cities corresponds with a longstanding ambition held by al-Qaeda.
Bernard Lewis discussed the significance of August 22 in his Opinion Journal piece on Tuesday:
What is the significance of Aug. 22? This year, Aug. 22 corresponds, in the Islamic calendar, to the 27th day of the month of Rajab of the year 1427. This, by tradition, is the night when many Muslims commemorate the night flight of the prophet Muhammad on the winged horse Buraq, first to “the farthest mosque,” usually identified with Jerusalem, and then to heaven and back (c.f., Koran XVII.1). This might well be deemed an appropriate date for the apocalyptic ending of Israel and if necessary of the world. It is far from certain that Mr. Ahmadinejad plans any such cataclysmic events precisely for Aug. 22. But it would be wise to bear the possibility in mind.
Update II: According to the Daily Mail, the terrorists were planning to implement their terrorist plot on August 16th.