The reality of the terrorist printer cartridge bomb plot emerged on Thursday when Scotland Yard revealed that the device taken from a plane in Britain was timed to explode in mid-air over the eastern United States.
The bomb was found on board a cargo plane at East Midlands airport last month.
The alarm clock on a mobile phone attached to the printer bomb was set to go off at 9.30am GMT. Tests revealed that if the cargo plane's journey had gone to schedule, the device — in a package addressed to a synagogue in Chicago — would have gone off in midair over the eastern seaboard of the US.
The device found in the UK was one of two discovered after a Saudi tip-off, both capable of bringing down an aircraft.