« All Shall Have Prizes | Main | I'm English, not a Euroregionalish »

Two views on that London Bomb

Home Secretary Smith says UK faces 'serious, sustained threat' UPDATE - Forbes.com

'We are currently facing the most serious and sustained threat to our security from international terrorism,' she said outside Downing Street.

Beavis and Butthead in London jihad | The Register

Police and securocrats know that there aren't enough real terrorists in the world, which is why they have to keep manufacturing them. This is because citizens tire of being watched by cameras, frisked and x-rayed, having their belongings searched, giving fingerprints to so-called friendly nations on entry, contemplating the myriad government databases where their details and activities are preserved, and wondering if some dour little bureaucrat is reading their email or listening to them on the phone.

Citizens tire also of reading the rolls of the war dead fraudulently sacrificed in the name of counterterrorist "victory", and of seeing hundreds of billions spent on surveillance and private security, ridiculous wars, and security-related gimmicks and gizmos....

To keep the billions rolling in, they've got to produce a terrorist every now and then. Only real terrorists are hard to come by, so clowns and stooges with harebrained schemes end up doing bin Laden's perp walk periodically.

Today we have news from London, where a "big [explosive] device" was discovered inside a parked car near Piccadilly Circus. The device consisted of petrol, propane gas cylinders, and nails. The car containing it had been abandoned after its driver was observed piloting it erratically, crashing it, then running off, like a true professional. Ambulance workers called to assist nearby noticed what they initially thought was smoke inside the car, but which likely was petrol vapour, and contacted police.

Bomb disposal specialists made it safe, and police officials and politicians began slyly invoking the terrorist bogeyman. Heaven forbid the public should be starved of their regular fear rations.

"As the police and security services have said on so many occasions, we face a serious and continuous threat to our country", day-old PM Gordon Brown said. "But this incident does recall the need for us to be vigilant at all times and the public to be alert at any potential incidents."

And what an incident. "It is obvious that if the device had detonated there could have been serious injury or loss of life", Deputy Assistant Commissioner Peter Clarke intoned gravely.

Ah, if it had detonated. Yes, it could have been a real horror. Only, the device could not have detonated. Not under any circumstances. You see, the terrorist wannabe clown who built it left out a crucial element: an oxidiser. The device was pure pre-teen boy fantasy.

"We'll heat up these propane cylinders with burning petrol, and they'll go off like bombs", boys the world over have remarked with glee. They don't realise that air is a poor oxidiser, and the only "explosion" they will get is when gas pressure inside the cylinders is great enough to burst them. Then the propane will ignite, and a nice fireball will blossom. A fireball, not an explosion.

Oh, the Piccadilly fireball would have blown the car's windows out, and popped its doors open, and sent various bits like mirrors and so forth into the air at velocities possibly fatal to people nearby. It would have looked really cool, that's for sure. But an explosive event...a detonation? Not in a million years. Sorry lads: you failed car bombing 101; you did not attend a single lecture; you did not even open the textbook.

Some stupid people did a stupid thing. Yes, they might have injured or killed one or two passers-by, but any body count would have come in spite of them, not as a product of their efforts. You and I are more likely to have been killed accidentally by the lousy driver than intentionally by his Beavis and Butthead car bomb.

This should have been dismissed for what it is: an event on the level of some teenagers getting a tremendously foolish notion, and being drunk enough for it to appeal to them. But we're hearing whispers of terrorism instead - much as we heard from the Americans when they foiled a "terrorist plot" to blow up fuel storage tanks at Kennedy International. It would have been devastating, prosecutors told us. Only that "plot" had the same hole in it: air makes a lousy oxidiser. If it had been carried out, it would certainly have made a bigger fireball than the one in London would have made. But that's about it.

So why is this such big news? Because clowns have got to be passed off as terrorists. Because a vast industry depends on terrorists, real and imagined, to justify its existence. We live now in the grip of the security-industrial complex, and that hungry beast demands to be fed. We feed it money hand over fist, and in return, it feeds us fear biscuits, which we are expected to accept with gratitude.

Roll over. Sit up and beg. See the bad man? Good citizen; here's your bickie. ®


Islamic Supremacists aren't the smartest people in the world-- they tried to destroy the north tower of World Trade Center in 1993 with explosives in a Ryder truck, but screwed it up, only killing six people and wounding over one thousand. That didn't prevent a group of students from trying the same thing in 2001 with airplanes. What they lack in brains they make up with resolve.

Islamic Supremacists absolutely need to be taken seriously. Why Europeans in particular want to turn their countries into primitive dark age Muslim theocracies completely baffles the mind of a foreign observer. Never blame yourself-- if anything, elect politicians that will deport these bloodthirsty zealots.

Mr(?) Bowden,

The real islamo-nutters may be howling-at-the-moon, biting-the-furniture crazy and display an appalling lack of knowledge when it comes to structural engineering. But where they do, usually, display a distressingly good deal of education is when it comes to making bombs.

Take it from someone who works (legally) with explosives, and understands something about the theory: it might be possible to make propane gas cylinders detonate and scatter nails like shrapnel (though I doubt that it would be a very effective weapon). But setting them off with petrol is hardly the way to go about it.

As the chap from the Register says: this is the kind of stunt school kids might try. If this is really the quality of the threat we are facing (which I doubt) then quite frankly we would have nothing to worry about. I would humbly suggest you reserve your horror for the manner and rapidity that the "authorities" use it as an excuse to destroy yet more of our increasingly fragile liberties.

No. I think this did have the potential to be a big deal. Comments like this:

Some stupid people did a stupid thing. Yes, they might have injured or killed one or two passers-by, but any body count would have come in spite of them, not as a product of their efforts. You and I are more likely to have been killed accidentally by the lousy driver than intentionally by his Beavis and Butthead car bomb.
.. are way off the mark.

We have to ask ourselves why is it that Western Governments flood islamic terrorists into our Nations,adhere to them,give them aid and

comfort and refuse to hold them to the same laws that the rest of us are subject to?

Zippo and Bungle are incompetent muppets. Their string-pullers will learn how to do it properly next time, but that should not stop us calling them muppets now and into the future.

Anyone who thinks they can stop Londoners going to the pub are complete and utter muppets and should be teased and ridiculed mercilessly for having the arrogance and audacity to attempt to change that state of affairs.

Post a comment