Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Their Eyes Were Bigger Than Their Bombs

The London police have released images of some of the sixteen bombs, such as this nail bomb, found in the terrorists' rental car, parked at the Luton railway station, from which the first wave of London bombers staged to make their attacks on July 7th. Some 56 passengers in the Tube and a bus were killed by their four bombs plus 700 wounded.

More and more, it looks like they killed themselves by accident. The bombs were detonated by timers rather than hand-activated, which infers they intended them to detonate after they had left the scene. They were in knapsacks rather than strapped to their bodies. They bought return train tickets, an unusual step for jihadis on a a one-way trip to paradise. They did not shout "Allah Akbar" before their bombs blew them to hell, as is customary among Muslim death cultists. They left no suicide notes nor martyr videos. They bought a seven day parking pass for their car at the Luton station, rather than the one day pass one would think they would prefer if they intended to depart Earth in a few hours. They did not sanitize themselves of identification papers but rather made the job of the police easy by carrying plenty of documentation confirming who they were. And they left sixteen spare bombs in their car, tucked away in identical knapsacks, unused.

The second wave of bombs, made identically to the first, had fusing problems. The fuses detonated but failed to ignite the main charges. The consistent characteristic of both waves of bombs is incompetent detonation of the bombs. Perhaps the police will tell us more about the malfunction of the fuses. It looks like whoever made the bombs did not know his business well enough, thank goodness. Maybe when the bombs detonated too early on the first wave, they were changed so that they inadvertently didn't detonate at all in the second wave.

The fourth bomber was seen fiddling with his bomb on the bus immediately before it went off. Just before it detonated, a witness heard a horrified yell that he could not identify as male or female. Maybe his bomb did not fuse properly and he was trying to fix it on the fly. Maybe he finally got his timer working and realized at the last moment he had no time to flee. Bummer.

Perhaps the plan was more ambitious than the first attack played out. Maybe the four bombers planned to leave their bombs on the train and return to the car four more times to plant all twenty of their bombs in a day-long bomb-a-thon. Perhaps we are lucky that they were so incompetent that they only killed dozens instead of hundreds.

*** UPDATE ***

This is what one of the bombs found in the trunk of the car at Luton looks like.


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