Our very own Peaceluvbug was caught up in this mess on June 1 when all of the outgoing flight were canceled for the day. It turns out that the plot was both infeasible and hardly could be called a real plan of any sort.
The alleged plan, to blow up JFK’s fuel tanks and a small segment of the 40-mile petroleum pipeline that supplies the airport, was ridiculous. The fuel tanks are thick-walled, making them hard to damage. The airport tanks are separated from the pipelines by cutoff valves, so even if a fire broke out at the tanks, it would not back up into the pipelines. And the pipeline couldn’t blow up in any case, since there’s no oxygen to aid combustion. Not that the terrorists ever got to the stage — or demonstrated that they could get there — where they actually obtained explosives.
I agree with the article that it doesn’t even take a terrorist act anymore to induce terror. Simply the thought or intent of it can shut down an entire airport. How long were airports closed after 9/11?