Saturday, June 30, 2007

Glasgow airport & London car bombs -Terrorists: 0

As The Register points out, and several kind people have just emailed me to say, this week's *terrorism incidents have displayed a staggering lack of competence.

'' 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''

( Beavis & Butthead in London jihad)

Which is encouraging, at least as a thought. Cottage-industry terrorism, by under-achievers who are too clueless to do the maths/science stuff about fuel bombs, and who can't drive without crashing into bins, - or who are so Darwinian-Award dim that they set themselves on fire before throwing the Molotov cocktail is clearly preferable to highly-trained steely-eyed holy warriors battling away in an epic global struggle. The 21/7 lot got the chemistry mix wrong too, it seems. The intention may well be the there, but the expertise...nah. Anxiety to amusement, up, down, up, down, it's an emotional rollercoaster today.

Meanwhile the effects of the rainy weather have now killed eight people, and thousands are unable to go home or work because of flood damage to homes and businesses.

*I'm classing Glasgow airport fire-jeep farrago as ''terrorism''. It doesn't appear to have been an accident, and the intention seems to have been to frighten people, so ''terrorism'' it is. Crap terrorism.



Blogger kelly said...

I don't understand HOW they can be so stupid... I mean it's all here on the Internet "How to make a really devastating bomb". I wonder if they'll claim it wasn't supposed to be a real terror attack and more a "protest" in court. :/

June 30, 2007 8:35 pm  
Blogger chris said...

This article is rather interesting and related, Portrait of the Modern Terrorist as an Idiot by Bruce Schneier

June 30, 2007 11:38 pm  
Blogger steve said...

Nobody has mentioned this yet, but a possible protest to US miltary missile cargo being illegally sent through Glasgow Prestwick en route to Israel last year?

Hope you're doing ok Rachel!! Crazy times.


July 01, 2007 12:42 am  
Blogger Zinnia Cyclamen said...

Rachel, I am so grateful for your blog. Through your posts and links (and the comments you receive and commenters' links, like the very useful one provided by Chris above) I learn such helpful things about current affairs that none of the mainstream media seem to be covering. I realise this is a difficult week for you, and I do hope it goes as well as possible.

July 01, 2007 7:35 am  
Blogger Kris said...

I don't underestimate our enemy. It is by the Grace of God and good luck that they did not pull off another syncronised spectacular.

Had the ambulance crew not been in the West end attending to a lady outside Tiger Tiger, had that ambualnce crew not called the police and had the police not attended so quickly and bravely, 100s would be dead now.

That's not stupidity.

July 01, 2007 9:44 am  
Blogger Sir Francis Walsingham said...

Er... no

You see, gas cylinders have burst discs. This means that when the pressure inside rises above a certain level, they vent. Rather forcefully, but not a bang. A major reason for this is that if stack of cylinders ends up in the middle of a fire... well, work it out.

The reason that the fire brigade treat gas-cylinders-in-a-fire as a pull back reason is that the venting may/may not cause a gas cylinder to launch itself - which could hurt anyone standing in the wrong place.

Unless the description of the devices in London is completely wrong, all that would have occurred is a very nasty vehicle fire. It would probably have been very nasty for someone standing next to it, but nothing indicates a device that could damage the structure of a building.

Thankfully, they didn't do research on murdering people in night clubs. I won't post more on that, but totally different method with the same materials would have had the potentially for the disaster you describe.

They don't seem to have been too bright... remember the scene from Falling Down and the drive-by?

July 01, 2007 12:28 pm  
Blogger Unknown said...

hi rachel,
ay caramba this is VERY scary. only a lot of luck and good graces prevented these incidents from causing a huge loss of life and injury. with 7/7 right around the corner,this really gives me the jitters.

anyway i am so thankful that it wasnt in your neighborhood and that you and j are safe.

talk to you soon.

seth :)

July 01, 2007 11:23 pm  

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