PRLiquid explosives a known problem for Chinese authorities

Published 16 August 2006

In two incidents, passengers doused airline cabins with gasoline; one died after the plane went up in flames, the other was subdued after demanding transit to Taiwan

One common error is to believe that modern terrorism requires great sophistication. In fact, there is no reason to believe that terrorists reject the KISS principle: keep it simple, stupid. The Wall Street Journal makes this clear in a report of two incidents in China in which passengers doused the cabin with gasoline and, in one case, succeeded in burning up the plane. In 2002, a 37-year old traveler on a China Northern Airlines purchased seven life insurance policies before igniting a fire that forced the plane to plunge into the Yellow Sea, killing all 122 aboard. A year later, another unhappy soul covered the cabin of an Air China flight with fuel he brought onboard in a soda can and demanded that the flight be diverted to Taiwan. He was quickly subdued, but Chinese authorities quickly banned passengers from carrying liquids onto planes. Enforcement and compliance, however, are said to be spotty.

-read more in James Areddy’s Wall Street Journal report