British authorities stumbled on to two cars in what appears to be a bombing plot. All the reporting is quite breathless, the headline writers all say the cars were packed with explosives, public officials talk about how terrible the carnage and destruction could have been.
The police defused both bombs, but had they exploded “there could have been significant injury or loss of life,” Peter Clarke, Britain’s senior counterterrorism police official, told reporters.
What a load of hooey. Yes, someone was bent on doing a lot of damage, but guess what? They were clearly incapable of doing anything more than giving the media and the authorities an excuse to whip up fear.
The first car was discovered because a passing ambulance noticed smoke. The second had been ticketed and towed to an impound lot for illegal parking. Does this sound like a well thought out plan? I don’t. It sounds to me like the first bomb probably fizzled, and the second never went off.
But it was kind of inevitable that the bombs would fizzle. The headline writers all mention explosives, but the actual reporting only mentions gasoline, propane, and nails. No explosives. The gas and propane might have made for quite a fireball but without explosives, the gas probably would have burned for a while, giving plenty of time for evacuation before firemen put it out. At worst they might have been some property damage, and maybe some firemen injured by the unexpected propane cannisters exploding. When I say some, I mean maybe, 5. Not the hundreds that died in the World Trade Center, not that 5 isn’t meaningful, but it’s more like a building fire gone from bad to worse than a huge terrorist incident.
The nails could have really done some damage too, but not without a real explosion to send them flying. The gas and propane could have contributed to that explosion if they were properly vaporized, confined, and mixed with air. Clearly they weren’t.
Fortunately, in this case, the bombers were boobs, and London isn’t easily terrified after all the bombing it’s put up with in the last 65 years.
I think it’s dangerous and misguided to inflate the accomplishments of these unaccomplished bozos.