Terrorists planned to use bombs and stun guns disguised as cameras and flash attachments to hijack a plane at Heathrow Airport and crash it into Canary Wharf three years ago, according to ABC News.

Quoting from a report by the US Department of Homeland Security, the American-based news network is reported as stating that al-Qaeda?s ?ingenuity was evident? in its attempts to convert camera equipment and other non-threatening items into weapons.

The foiled attack on London in the summer of 2003, is one of three thwarted hijack plots. Australia, the United States and Italy were also targets, according to ABC?s report.

Details of the planned Canary Wharf attack ? which was written in the form of encrypted messages – were uncovered in 2004 from computer files seized from a senior member of al-Qaeda, according to today’s Times newspaper.

? Last week AP revealed that an apparent security crackdown at Pescara airport in Italy – where police reportedly confiscated digital cameras from British tourists’ hand baggage – was at an end, according to airport managers. Police at the airport were understood to have been targeting passengers carrying electronic devices – including cameras – in their hand luggage on Ryanair flights to London (see AP?s website News 15 June). It is thought the crackdown may have resulted from the airport’s interpretation of guidelines laid down by the Italian Aviation Authority, relating to tighter security on flights to London, but this was not confirmed.