All pressurized cylinders have a burst disk to prevent them from exploding should the pressure rise too high in the tank. The propane would boil off and come blowing out the tank in a jet, which would ignite. But a fireball? Probably not. Propane makes a poor explosive. But it is heavier than air. Release it, then ignite it.
absolutely wonderful, glad to see that there are still folk who haven't been taken in by the supposed "terrorist threat" on every street corner.
As we all should know, the local Al-Quaeda branches can't fit under every bush on the street because of the hundreds of paedophiles already lurking there!
somewhat more seriously, this ludicrous incident is already being touted by the media-spinners as having "an international dimension" (R4 17:56 this evening) No doubt this will mean that one of the supposed "terrorists" had a holiday in Tunisia once or that he buys ready-made cous-cous from Al-Tescaw. Mind you my 10yr old still can't take a carton of Kia-Ora or his Crayola Jumbo crayons on our charter flight to Torremolinos because he might be part of a sinister terrorist plot to undermine our freedoms......
Terrorists take all the fun out of it
I can't even mess around with small home made explosives in my front yard any more because I'm afraid that my neighbors will call the police. They used to come over and watch me blow up an old toilet or something, but since a few enterprising individuals managed to run some aeroplanes into some buildings, they just take their children inside and look at me oddly.
And explosives are fun, especially if you know what you're doing. Unfortunately 'terrorists' use explosives, and the general population (as this article shows) has no understanding of explosives, so any activities involving them are seen as criminal.
People do tend to fear what they don't understand, and I suspect that terrorism and explosives both fall into that category for most people.
Seriously, no oxidizer though? Did someone not make it through highschool? Hell, even the Anarchist's Cookbook explains how damned hard it is to make a fuel air bomb, and from this article, I'd imagine thats just the sort of literature that this 'terrorist' would have referenced.
Impound my garage now and arrest me!
For it too contains petrol, gas cylinders and nails.
Actually unless the reporting about this 'bomb' has missed out the crucial element of charge to detonate the above, my garage is MORE dangerous than the London car 'bomb' since it does contain a modest quantity of nitrate explosive too in the shape of my clay-pigeon-shooting cartridges. Oh No! Perhaps Al-qaeda 0wn3 my garage!!! Hi ho, Hi ho, off to Gitmo I go ..........
there probably would not have been a fireball from burst cylinders. Commercial propane cylinders have pressure-relief valves which would have opened before the internal pressure was high enough to burst the cylinder(s). More likely there would have been a jet of burning propane and maybe a flying jet-propelled cylinder but, sorry, no booma-booma.
The whole affair reminds one of the non-existant liquid explosives, fear of which has resulted in the banning of hair pomade and baby formula from carry-on baggage in airliners.
Keep 'em on their toes
Sheesh, we had the IRA for most of my life (40+ years), car bombs, vcr timered; you name it, they did it... and now we have a bunch of wanna be pseudo-Muslims. Last time I looked (and I do own a copy of the Koran), other faiths were 'to be educated' .... one wonders how you educate the dead.
Still - I suppose it keeps our security (ha ha) forces in a job so makes the employment figures look better....
Maybe that surf shack in Tahiti is looking better... assuming the damned French don't let a nuclear bomb off nearby.
Ho hum - life goes on.
You know, I have a hard time getting behind our "War On Terror", despite living in the US. The media protrays anybody who isn't "normal" as a terrorist, pedophile, or socially deviant. We have long lines in airports to get our shoes X-rayed, you are photographed, fingerprinted, video'ed and your phone tapped.
Truly, the "car bomb" was laughable. Noisy, scary, and panic-inducing, yes. But certainly not as lethal as the media made it out to be.
After all, what with Paris Hilton now being a "respectable" citizen who no longer "acts" stupid, there *MUST* be something to feed the ravenous unwashed hordes in the name of "news and entertainment".
Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm sure there's an FBI agent next to my desk disguised as my trash can. He probably would like a cup of coffee.
Funny you should say that...
The Beeb collared an "explosives expert" to "simulate" what the "explosion" would have been like, to show us how afraid we should all be. Big fireball, small boom, no signs of a shockwave (didn't even wobble the camera much). Funny, that.
I was so hoping it was a name I wouldn't hear today but I did on the BBC news tonight. Al Qaeda. There, they had to go and say it, didn't they? But none of the hallmarks of them were present. Where was the synchronization, the rush-hour timing for best media exposure? And don't get me started about whether or not "Al Qaeda" actually exists...
Yes, the media would have us believe that we're all gonna die but what sickens me most is that then, when the population at large fail to fall for their fake terror and just get on with their merry lives (as London appears to be doing today), that they then have the barefaced cheek to call us brave.
I always thought that the news was meant to tell us what *has* happened not what *might* have happened. Obviously, I'm totally misguided.
You have to get the oxidiser JUST right
When I was at school, one of the most popular things I did that nearly got me expelled was filling draws in the Physics lab with gas from the bunsen burners, then lighting them.
A draw completely filled with gas was useless. If you got it to light, a medium-sized flame would add the smell of burning wood varnish to the already incriminating smell of the gas.
My speicality was being good at judging how much gas to put in, so that it mixed with the air in the best ratio. The best I managed blew the draw 4 feet across the lab, just reaching the next bench.
A car filled with patio gas isn't going to go off. You could sit in there flicking your lighter - it wouldn't light and neither would you (although you'd soon be unconscious from lack of oxygen.
If a detonating device actually blew out the windows, allowing the gas to mix with the outside air, AND it kept detonating (or producing some sort of ignition source) for long enough, then it might set off the gas. You'd get a big pop and a pretty fireball. You might get your hair singed within 20 feet or so. The flame might even blow itself out.
The only real danger I can see is the petrol gets lit and then burns for long enough to heat the gas cylinders to the point of exploding. How many people will be standing around watching by that point?
There wer some other horrifying aspects they forgot to mention in the reports. The "device" included dangerous poisons like dioxins (flammable car upholstery), materials intended to injure people at a distance (friable car safety glass) and deadly shrapnel (well a car is mostly made of metal). Never mind the complex data aquisition modules (we ICE is pretty good nowadays).
Everyone seems to be missing the real issue:
If they had instead used a mini cooper, could they have blown the doors off?
While I agree with your overall argument – it’s really nothing after all on what the IRA used to do - I suspect you don't live in Central London, nor pass through that area very often.
There are 2 big bus stops there, and tiger tiger is less than a few meters with huge windows. It's a really busy area right through until 4/5am. I've stood at the bus stop 15m down from there often.
The Terrorist links and Hysteria yes are bad. But it never affected us for the last 25 years so I don't see why it should now.
Are people right to fear getting blown up - even those "few fatalities" you just seem to brush under the carpet as not that important? Of course, I am concerned. But I know life does and will go on. And I'll look out for suspicious things while walking around.
Yes the finger pointing towards all those "nasty terrorist and insert political reasons" are bad. I hate it and agree that that is stupid. But equally there was a bomb, and it could have hurt me if I had been standing there like many times before.
Yup - stiff British upper lip - but it’s what has always been a good thing about the UK. Am I anymore afraid to go there today? No... but to mock the "few casualties" if it had gone off... that just undermines your point.
Something that I forgot...
A friend once told me about a fun thing that he and others would do in the middle of the desert while on RV trips.
When they had finished off a propane tank, they would set it in a bush, light the bush on fire, then run away and shoot the tank with a 22 rifle. The remaining gas inside the tank would ignite and rip the tank apart at its seam, which resulted in the top half shooting 40-50 feet in the air.
Besides sounding like a hell of a lot of fun, it does illustrate how to properly blow up a tank: with the gas inside at atmospheric pressure, so it doesn't require quite so much air to burn completely.
I thought they said bumblers.
I read that story on yahoo! I saw bumblers not bombers
oh well. Whoohoo! Thomas go babe you tell em especially
that part about them making things much nastier which they
have the thing is so transparent it was the theme of
every Orwellian paranoid fantasy of government as con artist
and we are supposed to not see, try again only this time hire
some real terrorists, this sort of thing is terribly insulting to our intelligence. Of course if they go too far we might start asking
why they haven't done something real about the problem we couldn't
have that could we. Poison food, horrible slow reactions to disasters
that kill hundreds of thousands, homeless families, really
non-existant health care in the US, soldiers sent back to war
over and over till they finally do get killed or lose a limb (seen
plenty of those) none of these things matter as much as the mad
bumblers.Get a rope.
Half the fricken country is under water, 1000s of homes are or have been underwater, people *did* die and the damage runs to millions and millions of pounds.
What's more important to the nation right now, that or some Bin Laden wannabe's wet dream of an idea? Perspective acquired :)
The next logical implication
If this half-witted attempt was less dangerous than your average reckless driver, how long before the government decides that every kid who runs a stop sign is a potential terrorist
I'll Pray You Aren't hit by the next one
I'm always amazed at the depths of stupidity, ignorance and hatred that oozes from people like the writer of this bit of drivel. There are pimples on my ass with more integrity and intelligence.
I'll say a little prayer that you aren't hit by the next Islamist attack. And, mostly, I'll say a big prayer that I might be able to hate leftist dumbasses a little less.
Did anyone notice that the car was flying?
Quote: "The car containing it had been abandoned after its driver was observed piloting it erratically, crashing it, then running off, like a true professional." Unquote.
PILOTING the car? It must have been a flying car! If teh t3rr0r1zt5 have got Moller tech, we're all doomed! Doomed, I say!
flooding - Al Qaeda blamed for rain
I'm surprised the media haven't blamed terrorists for all the rain - no doubt they're flying over the country seeding the clouds to make sure we all get flooded.
well done Thomas for your "emperor's new clothes" story.
The old FIS bombs in France
The FIS (islamic salvation front) used to refill old 13kg gas cylinders (used a lot in France for powerng a stove when you live out in the country), emptying them, filling them with somthing other than propane or butane (plastic or black powser) and covering them in with nails. That sort of thing killed 8 and wounded 150 people in a Parisian underground station in july 1995.
It would seem also in Algeria, that if someone does not like you, they will use the same sort of gas bottles, drill a hole somwhere in your house, put the tube through it and empty 13kg of propane then toss a match through the hole and run...
But as for setting them on fire in a car, the pressure release valve would rupture, and a nice flaming torrent of gas would come out, ignited by the fuel... I would think that the London Fire Brigade would have that under control in a jiffy...
Now, if they were filled with nitroglycerine or black powder, then we could have some nice 1980's IRA style fireworks... (and No, I would not like to drive 30 litres of nitro in a car over England's roads :)
No, this does not look like any professional job... unless... A) we are not told all the truth or B) the second suspicious car that was found was a realler-deal and/or the first car was a nice graphic decoy...
At last, I've found intelligent people!!
Myself and yourselves are clever enough to make car bombs and destroy buildings and lives in the process - we choose not to because we have no intention of destroying buildings and lives. So how on this earth did 2 FAILED car bombs be found in London ...
I mean WTF.
You can guarantee that defence funding will get an added boost of a few billion to PROTECT our shores and when they need a few bil' more, then again we will have a pathetic series of minor disruptions and failed bombings.
I think we need a demonstration
And I think the writer of this article and most of the commenters above should be guinea pigs to stand as close as the people in Tiger Tiger and people waiting for buses nearby. You can help each other pick out the nails and broken glass from each other.
Nice of you to criticise the press for jumping to conclusions while at the same time assuming you know exactly what was in those cars, how they were set up and how they were going to be used.
Now apart from the road closures this city has got on with life as normal so could you slack jawed yokels kindly fuck the fuck off out of our business and go back to shooting squirrels or whatever it is you have to do on Friday night.
Thanks for the enlightenment !
That was the missing link for me:
When I read the first article about this on the BBC, I smelt something fishy in the state of Brown. But on the psychological and sociological terms: Driving around erratically, leaving a car behind; in some no-parking lot from where it would be towed sooner or later, to an unidentifiable location. The car had been towed. Later it was found smelling of petrol. Not even gas. Petrol. Any basic DIY chap can close a liquid tank nicely enough to prevent it from smelling. Just the petrol in the tank doesn't usually smell, does it !
Oh, how much I wished this was the level on which Osama et al operated ... ! We could all go back to our everyday life; quiet and in privacy. From time to time we'd experience some unexpected firework here or there, after which we'd use to broom to clean off the location; identical to how we do it after any other car accident. Of which we have hundreds per day.
So what if they're idiots?
I can sympathise with the general thrust of the article, but so what if they're too stupid to make a bomb? The point is people keep trying to do this, quite regularly if you believe the number of security operations going on around the country. The poing all of you have missed is that they are trying to kill people, and one of these days they'll manage it purely on the odds. The people behing the july bombings were competent enough and there are a lot more people out there, equally competent, who are simply waiting to make their move.
I agree that a lot of the security precautions taken by this country are unnecessary, for example the liquids one (though, really, any explosion on board a plane, no matter how small or how incompetently produced, is going to be dangerous because of the dynamics involved) and other things that are really an attempt by the current government to tighten its grip over our lives, but I can remember the precautions taken during the IRA's tenure as well. For a while a lot of cities removed all their litter bins in order to prevent the IRA using them to hide bombs.
They started out as incompetents as well.
Whatever our government is doing, the truth remains that these people want us dead, and they want it because we aren't muslim, because we don't worship their version of god and don't venerate his prophet.
"Leftist dumbass" spotted in post. Film at 11.
> I'm always amazed at the depths of stupidity, ignorance and hatred that
> oozes from people like the writer of this bit of drivel. There are pimples on
> my ass with more integrity and intelligence.
> I'll say a little prayer that you aren't hit by the next Islamist attack. And,
> mostly, I'll say a big prayer that I might be able to hate leftist
> dumbasses a little less.
Let's see: One count of "hatred", one "I will pray for you" and one "islamist attack". One peremptory statement of being a "leftists dumbass". One "I'm always amazed that X". One accusation of "stupidity and ignorance" while posting a text that evidently fits said adjectives.
Yes! The probability of the writer belonging to "red-state fascist america" is _good_.
So many experts
Makes you wonder why the police every bother calling in bomb disposal or other authorities in cases like this. There are obviously so many instant experts on IEDs passing by that they could just ask anyone to confirm that its just 'a collection of propane cylinders and petrol'.
Why didn't they use chapatti flour like the last guys? it's cheaper and according to govt. experts "more explosive than TNT"
Also if this is true, why can we still take chapatti flour (and matches) through airport security, and yet no water or oil (which you need to make a real chapatti)
> I'll say a little prayer that you aren't hit by the next Islamist attack. And, mostly, I'll say a big prayer that I might be able to hate leftist dumbasses a little less.
And whilst you're doing that, pray that Gordon Brown isn't going to use this as an excuse to whittle away our basic Rights and Freedoms a little more.
"Following this attack, here is a list of changes I'm going to make that was prepared earlier by the Security Services who have just been waiting for another opportunity to get even more information on everyone and consider them suspects..."
Re: I'll Pray You Aren't hit by the next one
The language suggests a comment from the US...
First off, statistics make it clear that the chances of getting killed or injured - even by a *competent* terrorist attack - are insignificant compared to all sorts of daily risks. So it's unlikely I'd ever start to worry about the threat from 'Islamist' or indeed any other terrorists, especially as in the unlikely case that something happened I probably couldn't have done anything to avoid it.
Secondly, in the UK there are years of experience with living with the threat from the IRA, who actually *did* know what they were doing, unlike the current lot who obviously have some degree of intent, but no real clue of how to turn wild ideas into reality. (Though the IRA ASUs did have the advantage that they always planned to survive & escape, so could pass on knowledge of what actually worked!)
This seems to be a common thread between all the recent plots and attacks we've seen in the UK, even the successful ones - we have a load of separate groups (so no global conspiracy) sharing more or less the same motivations and with similar plans ('cos they saw them on the news!), who have a vague idea they want to do something but are completely lacking in even the basic knowledge and skills to actually carry it out - or if they do have some knowledge and skill are still not particularly competent. They're basically a group of fantasists.
Of course, it's convenient to take the fantasists, and their stupid ideas, and make them out to be rabid terrorists who were going to cause carnage: after all, it justifies the actions of the authorities. And we always need a bogeyman to fear.
But thinking & talking about something and actually being able to do it are two very different things; for example, just because I talk to some mates about building a rocket and flying to the moon doesn't mean I can actually ever do it!
Shame the degree of success shown in catching the various groups of 'terror plotters' hasn't been repeated against groups like the ALF and SHAC; there's more than one type of terrorism, and you'd think if you can catch the others than the not particularly subtle animal rights groups would be easy, and worth it just for the training value.
But the really worrying thing to me about the current situation is that all the incompetents being picked up means either there isn't a major threat (so loss of libery for no real benefit), or even worse that in chasing the fantasists the people who do know what they're doing, who understand OPSEC and could really cause damage are being overlooked in favour of an easy win.
The power of Prayer...
Thanks for offering to pray for my safety against terrorist attack, but it's a million-to-one chance. Could you possibly pray for my safety against something that's actually likely to *happen*, like car crashes or getting cancer?
Meantime, I'll pray for you not to get hit by a meteorite. Seems about fair.
We should all return to our complacency before 9/11, 7/7 and other dates of note.
The successful propane-enhanced car bombs only work in Iraq and Afghanistan.
And come on, what are a few guys with box cutters going to do?
Relax people, how bad could a fireball be? So what if one or two nightclubs catch on fire.
Are you really so blind?
Kids lighting fireworks are meddlesome at best. People packing cars with what they thought to be lethal explosives and fragmentation-ammo, are not just meddlesome - they were actually trying to kill people.
It's a good thing that they "forgot the oxidiser," because of they didn't, you might be singing a different tune.
Just because their plans happened to be ineffective isn't enough incentive for me to forget that some people filled with hate just attempted to kill a lot of innocent people. Again, if that's not clear enough... if they hadn't "forgot the oxidiser," a lot of innocent people would now be dead.
Did you stop to consider how lucky we all are for the mistakes made by these wanna-be-killers before you stepped-up to your soapbox?
They'd have been more succesful if they'd started a fire rather than try and build a bomb. Find a building, lock fire escapes, pour petrol down stairs, and open gas cylinders then ignite (preferably not while stood to near). If the rest of the building catches then they've already put people in more danger than the bomb.
Whilst I might agree with Thomas's 'media hypes everything' bias, he seems to miss the point. Terrorism is as terrorism is, not as terrorism achieves. Whether the perpetrator(s) in this case know how to construct explosives is, surely, irrelevant. It is the purpose behind the act that allows us to label it.
Death occurs daily, live with it.
Well maybe you experts don't know EVERYTHING
I suppose as you smugly and cynically sit and pass judgement on the people who's responsibility it is to protect you and I from acts of terrorism you think that the the so called "facts" about this incident that you are reading about in the media are the entire story.
Have you ever been involved in an incident that was widely reported in the media and noticed the discrepancy about what you experienced and what the media reported?
How do you know there was no oxidant in the car..were you there to have a look.?
Just because the perps may have been incompetent, does this mean there is no threat?
If the public loses interest in terrorism because they are busy deciding whether to buy the blue Lexus or the Silver one, is it a bad thing to use these kinds of incidents to keep them aware that there is a threat, since the resources required to properly manage these threats are directly related to the perceived threat, not the real one?
Also as you contemptuously and and cynically cast the law enforcement officials as immature, paronoid, boobs running around like Keystone Cops, are YOU with your implied superior knowledge of how things REALLY work, prepared to take responsibility for the protection of the public...and bear the consequences for your failures along with the glory for your superior insight?
Your article reminds me of a 3rd rate university campus newspaper that editorializes harshly on everything based on the author's Poli-Science 301 course that has brought him the enlightenment he now feels the need to share with the dim-witted average Joe in order expose the stupidity of the established administration who only have 30 or 40 years of adult life experience to guide them.
RE: Well maybe you experts don't know EVERYTHING
Hey I'm not dim-witted, apparently a troll from the 1960's is terrorising the Internet boobs!
Campus cynicism is so
TimeTraveller, well said sir/madam. I wanted to write something very similar but just didn't have the energy to have to deal with mentality of many of those above.
As for the glib commenters who seem to delight in the statistical liklihood that it will be someone else and not them who gets cut apart by the next successful nail bomb, hiding behind odds is not moral, wise or brave. Will any of you have the courage to face the families of the inevitable dead and maimed and express your mocking cynicism to them, telling them how 'death happens, so get over it', or will you just wait 18 months for it all to simmer down and start anew the whole process of ridiculing and pouring scorn upon those whose jobs it is to remain vigilant? Hang on, I'll answer that for you, you'll all take the latter course of action.
This is so stupid
I have in my garage right now the means to make a _far_ bigger bomb than those morons.
1 four (empty, but that's easily fixed) 5 US gallon petrol containers. (I live in South Florida and have a generator which needs fuel.)
2 a substantial amount of soap powder and vegetable oil. (I just did the month's shopping for certain consumables at Sam's)
3 a substantial amount of sulphuric acid. (And not all in car batteries, either)
4 a substantial amount of potassium permanganate.
5 a substantial amount of ammonia.
6 two (full!) 5 gallon containers of diesel. (I have a diesel 4x4 which very often goes places where there are no fuel stations. I take fuel with me.)
7 about 10 pounds of styrofoam peanuts.
8 about a gallon of liquid iodine.
9 about two pounds of potassium nitrate.
10 one (full!) 5 gallon container of kerosine.
11 twenty pounds of charcoal.
12 two (full!) 25 pound propane cylinders, and one half-empty one.
13 a substantial amount of cotton, in the form of no-longer-usable-for-the-original-purpose ex-socks and ex-underwear and ex-shirts, now used as cleaning rags but suitable for conversion into wicks.
14 several cans of paint and paint thinner.
15 a carton of matches, grills-for-the-starting version.
16 twenty pounds of 'enriched' fertiliser.
Can anyone guess just how many _different_ types of explosive and incendiary devices I can make? Starting with, oh, napalm?
The public are more likely to "lose interest" due to the overhyping of stories like the bomb story than anything else. The media, with their penchant for hypebole, are, at the present time, far more dangerous than the so-called terrorist threat. They are like a kid yelling "Fire" in a crowded cinema every 5 minutes.
Thomas C Greene is demented
I can not believe the sheer grinding vapid stupidity of this article. Dripping with venom for the government without an iota, not a single shred, of proof is pathetic. As a work of pure demented fiction, the article says much about the author's mental state than anything else. Mr. Greene hates the government, fears the government, and sees himself as better, smarter, and more capable of understanding the 'truth' than the rest of us. Accordingly his drooling syncophants on this board dutifully kiss his virtual arse in a show of degenerate group stupidity that must be read to be believed. They actually vie to see who can be the most inane and clueless.
Mr. Greene, propane can be highly explosive. Google it you blithering idiot. I don't know - and neither do you - the actual configuration of the bombs in those cars. But it is easy to see that propane released inside a car where it would pool on the floor and vaporize into what is a closed compartment of air could generate a tremendous explosion and the attendant gas would ensure plenty of fire. Hundreds of people are killed and hurt every year in this nation by propane accidents, some of which are violent explosions. These terrorists - whether expert or novice - wanted to kill, mutilate, and burn your fellow countrymen and you are obviously ok with that as you spend what little writing ability you have bashing those fellow citizens especially the ones in government that are responsible for trying to prevent and if not prevent then deal with the consequences of terrorist acts.
You are beneath contempt.
Hiding behind odds etc...
"Will any of you have the courage to face the families of the inevitable dead and maimed and express your mocking cynicism to them, telling them how 'death happens, so get over it"
So we are all duty-bound to stand in shock at terrorist attacks lest the everlasting shame of having shown too little empathy with the victims of said attacks will fall upon us? I find this attitude distasteful. In german you have the word "Pflichtbetroffenheit" which can be translated as "the duty to be concerned" (the word has a sardonic undertone). Refusing "Pflichtbetroffenheit" and putting the situation into context is not "hiding behind odds". Think about it - the US could actually have better cards now by not having gone into panic spasm mode in 2001. What a concept. Oh wait, there's that oil..
"those whose jobs it is to remain vigilant"
There is no-one who matches that job description, except maybe members of Parliament (often asleep at the wheel). In an authoritarian fantasy world, though "they" would indeed take good care of "us"... Stop reading Perry Rhodan!
I think some London bombers got lost. Two people tried ramming the bollards outside the entrance to Glasgow Airport. Problem is, they had the petrol filled vehicle, but decided to set fire to it before ramming the bollards. Probably because by now they'd probably worked out that a mobile phone dosen't make a very good explosive detonator. They crashed into the bollards but as bollards are designed to stop cars going through them that's as far as the vehicle got. The two who had tried to pull off this rather comical attempt at "terrorism" only got as far the Strathclyde police officers who grabbed them nearby and extinguished the one who was on fire.
See, there are people who are as thick as George Bush
(I love saying "Bollards")
The responsibility to care
Anonymous coward wrote: "So we are all duty-bound to stand in shock at terrorist attacks lest the everlasting shame of having shown too little empathy with the victims of said attacks will fall upon us?"
No one said that. You are attempting to create a strawman and it won't work. The other commenter was referring to the clear lack of compassion shown by some commenters here towards those that have been hurt and killed as well as to those who - but for some luck - would have been killed, mutilated, and burned in these incidents.
Being grateful for these people not being hurt or killed is a sign of a civilized human being. The opposite is also true. It seems to me there is a particular madness infecting those who hate/fear the governments of the UK/US that they will acknowledge nothing that in any way would tend to even in the most remote way validate anything said governments do, even to the detriment of their basic humanity.
The question is surely not the competence of the terrorists
It really matters little if the attackers were professionals or bumblers if the intent was to kill. What is more an issue is how we let it effect our lives and how willing we should be to give up our liberty to politicians who are claiming that they can 'protect' us from such dangers. I suppose I am a little skeptical of requests from government to be 'vigilant' when it seems to mislay the whereabouts of known terrorism suspects on such a regular basis. My alarm bells also start ringing when the main stream media starts putting out misleading statements suggesting that the modus operandi of the attackers was the same as that deployed by Al Qaida in Iraq when there is really precious little evidence to suggest that is the case. I fear that the recent incidents will be used as yet another ploy to allow the current administration to push through its pet security projects such as ID Cards which in reality will do little to protect us from the current terror threat but will make us less free. No matter what we do in life we can not avoid the inevitability of death so maybe it is time we grew up and started to evaluate the risks of life like adults rather than hoping that 'nanny' will protect us from all misfortunes. Maybe then we might learn how to live as a free people.
> My alarm bells also start ringing when the main stream media starts putting out
> misleading statements suggesting that the modus operandi of the attackers was
> the same as that deployed by Al Qaida in Iraq when there is really precious little
> evidence to suggest that is the case.
Indeed. In Iraq, the car bombs actually go off.
Yawn , man this new centuries cartel mass media terrorist propaganda machine must be powered by the ghost of Dr Josef Goebbels on steroids , or were they filming an episode of "Spooks"?
Abe Lincoln neatly summed it as follows "You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time."
There is stupidity and serial stupidity.
The number of "thwarted" unworkable, unsuccessful or botched attacks IS rather remarkable.
Too cute for their own good, or some trivial but critical oversight seem to be a hallmark of "poster child" attacks on Western soil. One explanation is that away from the "front", "agents" become reluctant to carry through and subconsciously "screw up". Another is that they wish to make a "See what we COULD have done" statement. And a third is that at least some of the attacks have been manufactured domestically, either by infiltration and "encouraging" a bunch of mouthing off yahoos, or entirely out of whole cloth.
Making a working bomb is a non-trivial, but not too difficult task. The basics are easily within the grasp of anyone who halfway paid attention in high school physics and chemistry. So why so many failures?
It seems to me that those who are supporting liberty (ie. the restraint of law) in the face of terrorism are resorting to facts, whereas those who are supporting the state are exaggerating one-off incidents, or looking to arguments like "What are you going to tell the families of the victims?".
It all comes down to whether we should have a rational policy or one dictated by emotion as felt by authoritarians (the viceral dislike of government encroachment as felt by libertarians doesn't count).
Historically, government has always reassured people, emphasised the odds, and told people to continue going about their business in the face of terrorism. By steering from the responsible course, it is the government that is exposing authority to ridicule. But what other course is available to those who want a responsible policy reinstated? Argument doesn't appear to work.
Disasters (explosions, floods, chemical fires, road accidents) occur every day. Families are always distraught. They reasonably ask whether a factory could have had better saftey procedures, or whether cars could be made to go slower along a stretch of road. A billion pounds allocating to saving lives from such accidents would almost certainly lead to none being spend upon terrorism, except as a useful side-effect of other spending.
What makes terror different isn't the sufferring of relations, or the degree of commitment by professionals; it is one thing only: media coverage. The sufferring of those close to the victims is a smokescreen for our own feelings of empathy. But our empathy is uninformed, since so much sufferring isn't news.
The result is governernment by not reason but emotion. If you want oppression, this is where you start.
Why is this here?
I understand the occasional funny/weird/"glad it's him and not me" deviations from what is, after all, a technology/IT site, but what is this story doing here? Slow day at Vulture Central?
"Clowns have got to be passed off as terrorists"
The suggestion seems to be that we should ignore/excuse them because they're incompetent.
Just because they didn't get it right doesn't mean they aren't terrorists.
Eventually, they WILL get it right (such as the 7th July bombings) and I don't want to be there when they do. Perhaps you could take my place if you're so convinced that they're just clowns?