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Two young Church of God members come close to flying home with a suicide terrorist making a dry run
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Two young Church of God members come close to flying
home with a suicide terrorist making a dry run

MOUNDS, Okla.--Two young Church of God members were all set to come home from England on an Aug. 10 flight that would-be suicide bombers had secretly selected as a practice run for blowing up several jetliners over the Atlantic Ocean.

Before a terrorist or terrorists could board the plane, British authorities canceled hundreds of flights and arrested 21 "main players," all of whom were "Muslims and British citizens," in the plot to destroy jets of three U.S. airlines over the Atlantic.

British authorities announced that had the attack eventually succeeded a loss of life on an "unimaginable scale" would have resulted.

Brittney Kurr, 19, and her brother, Raymond Kurr, 18, from Mounds and members of the Church of God Tulsa Fellowship, had embarked on a three-week trip with friends Mike Ellams, 19, and Sue Karas, 18, both from Gloucester, England.

The Kurrs flew in to Heathrow Airport in London from Budapest on Aug. 9 and were set to leave on American Airlines Flight 67 Aug. 10, the same day British authorities say they foiled an attempt by "British Muslims" to "cause untold death and destruction and to commit, quite frankly, mass murder," in the words of Paul Stephenson, a British police official.

Authorities said the "principal characters" planned to smuggle explosives onto jets in hand luggage of three flights, on American, United and Continental planes, from England to New York, Washington and California.

To prepare for the bombings, the 21 people arrested had allegedly scheduled practice runs over the Atlantic for Aug. 10.

When Raymond and Brittney Kurr arrived at Heathrow they immediately began to sense that something was wrong.

"We made it to the airport," Miss Kurr said, "and there were so many people there, it was just so packed.

"And then a lady came up to us and asked us what flight we were on, and she said our flight had been canceled and we should leave the airport immediately.

"We had no idea what was going on. We didn't figure out what was going on until we got into the underground [subway] and a lady said several flights were canceled and she thought, like, 25 people were being arrested. That's the first we heard."

Because of the situation at Heathrow, Raymond and Brittney checked into a hotel and waited until they could catch another flight two days later.

"I wasn't too scared," Mr. Kurr said. "I was a little bit, you know, wondering, curious, about what was happening."

The Kurrs and their friends, Mr. Ellams and Miss Karas, who are members of the United Church of God, had visited several countries besides England, including Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Austria, Poland and Hungary.

"We had a really nice time," Miss Kurr said. "But on our trip, besides the delay at Heathrow, we ended up staying all night at three cold airports and a freezing train station."

The Kurrs' nine days in England included a stay at a leadership camp sponsored by Church of God members.

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