back to article 'al-Qaeda' puts on big shoes, red nose, takes custard pie

The "car bomber" hysteria gripping much of the British and international media over the weekend has had a bucket of cold water from the Reg already, but just one bucket doesn't seem enough for this kind of outbreak. To recap: an exceptionally incompetent group of troublemakers, unknown to the plods or spooks, decided to bring …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. Paul F

    Sing it, Brother!

    Now if only the mainstream, or even the blogosphere would take up notice.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The Press....

    I agree that the media have really lost a sense of realism in this scenario. I remember reading in an evening paper (I think it was the standard) that the car bomb had the potential to kill 1700, which seemed like an odd number to pluck out of the air until you realise that's the capacity of Tiger Tiger nightclub. Now with the worst car bombings in baghdad having killed up to 250 people, with hundreds more wounded when detonated in crowded markets it seems slightly sensationalist to rate this bomb as having the potential to flatten the entire nightclub and kill everyone in it down to the last clubber or even claim to do so. I feel in many ways the press do the terrorists work for them... giving them front page headlines for paltry efforts, no planning and 0 body count.

  3. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge

    They have watched Hollywood too much

    These "terrorists" watched Hollywood movies too much. Every car in the movies hit by a bullet explodes violently (unless the hero is driving, then it can be riddled with AK-47 or even .50 machine gun bullets with only damage to the windscreen). Had they watched Mythbusters, or ANY program on Hollywood special effects, and been much the wiser. Unfortunatey, many of our leaders appear to suffer from the same belief in Hollywood-movie style physics and chemistry (and hence impossible plots).

    Having said that, it IS fortunate that these particular "terrorists" who hate others sufficiently to want to blow them up or burn them alive were this incompetent. Had they been as competent as, say the Oklahoma City bomber, who made a decidedly low-tech, but deadly car bomb, without blowing himself up, London and Glasgow would have lost some buildings, and, more importantly, many lives.

    So yes, vigilance is useful, but paranoia (such as the measures concerning liquids on airplanes) is another matter entirely.

  4. John Latham

    Lewis...

    ...this is all very useful and informative, but will you please just get a proper job with a real newspaper, or the BBC? Then I wouldn't have to spend my lunchtimes angrily spitting coffee over the newsprint.

    John

  5. EnricoSuarve

    Amen Brother

    Exactly my thoughts and I am equally asshamed at what I see as my generations complete willingness to bend over and shove their heads under the pillow at the first mention of the word <i>"Osama"</i>

    Osama

    Scary ain't it?

    There are various people who seem to be running around stating that the terrorists slipped through and it was 'only luck' there weren't deaths. Yeah luck and a complete lack of competance on the clown's part

    I thought the Chapati bombers were funny - these guys are a riot! Frankly I've seen more impressive student pranks

    I take the opposite attitude to the need to tighten controls to avoid these kind of planks slipping under the radar - I would be worried if this and a plot to detonate a Delia Smith recipe were on the radar, it would to me signify a police state where we had sacrificed too many freedoms already

  6. Matt

    Well said.

    As someone who worked in London during the real threat and acutality of IRA bombs this does all seem a bit patetic. I ca't understand why the papers have hyped this all up.

    I'm not a big Mrs Thatcher fan, but she seems to have had bigger balls than our current sad excuse for a government.

  7. Steve Evans

    A voice of sanity

    At last, a calm voice of sanity, who actually knows what he's talking about.

    I have to wonder why there have not been any interviews with any real bomb disposal men during the recent events.

    Oh well, guess we'll just have to sit back and see what freedoms Mr Brown will remove from us next.

  8. Simon Greenwood

    We're laughing but...

    Practically every British airport has now banned cars from approaching the airport buildings, which creates another minor but significant irritation when travelling by air. These rules, which will be enforced by the same people who make you leave your bottle of water when you fly to Amsterdam, are where are freedom of movement are quietly being curtailed. If the bombers had thought, they would have tried to hit Glasgow Queen Street railway station and caused chaos on the entire UK train network, as unstable as it is, as every railway station would have to ban access to vehicles in the same way, even while the Home Secretary is standing up and saying that the terrorists won't affect our way of life.

  9. Marc Lawrence

    Well... a TV programme

    Who remembers a tv programme from early 90's about a minister / prime minister - something like house of cards? Anyway they found it really convieniant to have people 'suddenly' try and blow up something and get caught when the politicians needed something. Although it was fictional I just keep finding so many plausably similarities it is actually staggering...

    Oh well. Brown needed something to mark his arrival... he could have picked something which would at least go bang. Forwards the dictatorship.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Well said Sir..

    I can agree, it appears the war on terror has been won. AQ appear not to have any resources left. Which has most likely been a result of our boys/girls over in the middle east keeping them busy and moving without them being able to arrange for resupplies, training, etc. As well as being cash staved by the various other methods employed else where.

    Yet somehow, I can't see the various terror experts and security bods letting those £/$ signs fade away. So we hear about how '000s of people could have been killed by a burning car with some nails in it. I kid you not. I couldn't believe it when I saw the *possible* number of potential hurt being reported on well known (and at the time respected) news sites.

    The fact is gas canisters and fuel tanks are tested in situations where there is a lot of fire around, in order to prevent a bang.

    If we are now being told that these safety measures do not work, then I think there needs to be something done about that, instead of worrying about these other idiots.

    I want the security services to find AQ and deal with them, but don't try to make them out to be something we should fear. If the idiots are happy to set fire to themselves, then let them get on with it. Anyone noticing them should just walk away, set the fire alarm off, if they have crashed into your building and maybe call the fire services too.

    I am certainly less fearful.about the whole AQ situation now.

  11. John

    Incompetence to buy a parking ticket as well

    To add to the ineptitude of our would be attackers, lets not forget that the 2nd car was towed away for being parked illegally and it wasn't until the car was at the depot that the "bomb" was found. I'm sure the parking meter wasn't very far away and it would only have cost a couple of quid.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    They're ivory

    "If these guys at the weekend really were anything to do with al-Qaeda, all one can really say is that it looks as though the War on Terror is won."

    It will be interesting to see how the usual commentators square this circle. On the one hand, they will agree with you that the attacks were laughable, and they will praise you; on the other hand, they will disagree that the War on Terror is won, and damn you as a neocon stooge of Karl Rove, a a runaway son of a nuclear A-bomb. Their tiny little brains will blow a fuse trying to mentalise these two contradictory passions.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    pimping print runs

    Why the media is all over this in their OMG manner? Because this is how they make a living, that is why. Fear sells much better than rationality. Also, the terrorists won with the first quart of freshly pumped breast milk denied access to a plane. As terrible as dying in an attack is, success in terror is not measured in bodies, but in fear and restriction.

  14. Dillon Pyron

    Oh the horror of it

    All the lives lost, the utter devastation! Those cunning terrorists.

    7/7 was a true tragedy. If the terrorists had had enough kooks willing to off themselves, it would have been worse. But the bigger you make the conspiracy, the more likely it will be revealed.

    But this had an equally effective result. Fear. And a reaction from "the government" to further restrict freedoms. At the Austin airport, the driver can't leave the car when dropping someone off (even for a second, like to open the trunk). And nobody can do drive by pick ups, you have to park in the parking garage. At least they haven't blocked off 15% of the spots like they did right after 9/11. And security is doing random inspection of cars going to the terminal. ABIA boarded 780,000 passengers in May.

    No mention of the new security procedures on the ABIA home page (www.abia.com)

  15. willie

    Now this makes sense!!

    The only logical reason I can think of for any of these loosers to blow themselves up is to get laid. Assuming they actually get to heaven and Moh. gives them the 72 virgins, they FINALLY get favorable odds at getting laid!! Maybe they should get nominated for Darwin awards!

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What's really worrisome

    What really worries me is not seeing these idiots do such stupid headline grabbers, but why we *DON'T* see more *REAL* attacks.

    Making an effective IUD is not rocket science. Anyone with a high school (middle school for our Imperial friends) education in chemistry and some imagination can do this - that is, if they actually STUDIED.

    There will always be malcontents wanting to "disrupt" the status-quo for any variety of reasons, from woolly-headed "idealism" to very real economic reasons. The fact that serious attempts to disrupt society are so few and so very far between is the curious - and worrisome - anomaly in this whole "terror" scenario.

    As Mr. Page points out, the PIRA was quite effective at doing real damage, often using simple devices and plans. Again, no rocket science here: just some thought into what was being attempted and how to go about doing it. Yet even the PIRA failed at doing any REAL damage - yes, lives were lost, and economic damage was sustained, but the Anglo-American way of life continued unchecked.

    I am truly concerned that what we have as "radicals" are naught but amateur bogey men - more like amateur Hollywood SFX crews than real terrorists. Where are the *REAL* terrorists in all of this? Why have we not seen the types of attack that are daily occurrences in Iraq or Sri Lanka or Pakistan?

    My personal theory: 90% of the "Al Quida operatives" that get into England or the U.S. decide that, well, you know, working at a convenience store may not be top of the heap, but it beats the crap out of starving on the streets of some piss-ant dirtbag city. So...they become "sleepers" that, unfortunately for their mates, decide to never wake up...and in turn become typical citizens.

    Not with a bang, but a whimper...or, more correctly, as sigh and a belch after dinner...

  17. Cliff

    Oh at long last!

    This gets my vote for article of the year from The Register. I include every other newspaper and media outlet in that. Thank you for being one dissenting voice in a million, but a voice with some intelligence

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re : Sing it Brother

    http://blog.interrupt3h.com/?p=19 is one that has picked up on the ... lack of 'professionalism' shall we say ...

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    ... disagree that TWOT is won ...

    " disagree that the War on Terror is won, and damn you as a neocon stooge of Karl Rove, "

    Umm, I think you maybe need a scorecard to keep up, so let me help:

    Neo Cons: claim the war on terror will go on for generations and are trying their hardest to stoke up the panic and fear.

    Usual Commentators: claim that terrorism isn't half the threat it's made out to be and the whole thing is being hyped up by anti-democratic authoritarians within our society who want to undermine freedom and democracy and rule by executive dictat.

    So how would this author saying that the neocon's attitude is a load of rubbish make anyone think he's a stooge of them? I really can't see that myself...

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Surely the war on terror has been lost...

    ...and the proof is the media response generated by these failed attacks.

  21. Jon Green

    But that's the point!

    "[...] petrol, gas etc make for an excellent, photogenic fireball"

    Exactly. Guaranteed plenty of publicity, but didn't actually hurt anyone (apart from the odd would-be bombers, of course). The instigators can claim that no real people were hurt during the making of this film. Just the thing to please the "boys back home" (Islamist mullahs) without causing undue guilt or second thoughts amongst the future AQ candidates they're trying to fill with fire of their own.

  22. Steve

    Al-Qaeda motto

    You don't have to be a complete and utter fuckwit to work here

    ...but it helps.

    This isn't terror, this is cabaret, FFS !

    I keep expecting Jacqui Smith to burst into song.

  23. James O'Shea

    these aren't terrorists, they aren't even clowns

    Those bozos weren't even amateur hour, they were kindergarten pre-naptime entertainment. I shudder to think what a _real_ terrorist could have done. Timmy McVeigh, for instance, or any of dozens of Islamist bomb-makers in Lebanon, Syria, Egypt, Iraq, Afghanistan... The old PIRA must be laughing themselves sick.

  24. Matt Eagles

    Anyone surprised by the ignorance?

    I'm delighted to find that the latest batch of Terrorists in the UK are so utterly incompetant that they only injure themselves (got to feel glad a Suicide Bomber can't even get the first bit right). But for those amazed by the ignorance have to remember the dimwitted ignorance that has bred their motivation. If these people were indeed intelligent types who consider what they do before they do it, rather than just go off and act on something that seemed good, then they wouldn't have signed up for a demented jihad against the UK in the first place.

  25. John A Blackley

    That's it, goad them.

    July 2006: Dozens killed and maimed by terrorists exploding homemade devices on London transport. The terrorists killed by their own actions and much of their support network 'rolled-up' by our security forces.

    June 2007: A new crop of terrorists (obviously less-well-schooled than their forerunners) creates a threat that fails to materialise. Some in the community heave a sigh of relief and thank whatever gods made them. Others - mainly among the smartarse tendency - jeer and point, presumably with the objective of goading misguided muslims into learning more effective ways to slaughter innocents.

    Sir, when the next terrorist is successful at killing and maiming British citizens, I will remind myself to write to you and ask, "So, are you happy now?"

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    There were proper terrorists when I was a lad

    This whole thing just showed a lack of effort.

    When I was a lad at least the IRA put their backs into it.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/9_February_1996_South_Quay_bombing

  27. kaiserb_uk

    Fuel Air bomb...

    I was within a mile of an effective fuel-air bomb when Buncefield went up...rattled a few tiles that one did.

    I reckon ITV news must win - hands down - the "potential mass-murder" prize for overstatement.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not again!

    > Sir, when the next terrorist is successful at killing and maiming British citizens,

    > I will remind myself to write to you and ask, "So, are you happy now?"

    Pchao. And then you will have achieved what exactly? Please explain. In your response, consider the fact that the author does not condone terrorism, does not incite hatred and does not want anti-terrorism efforts stopped. Also consider that we all know that there absolutely, positively will be a next successful terrorist attack. And nothing can stop it.

    In other words: Filed under "emotional blackmail".

  29. Steve Wehrle

    So much for "Big Brother"

    After all the rubbish put about by the "big brother is watching you" brigade, it turns out that police had to scan CCTV footage from cameras around London, to find which way the cars came into town.

    And the media still haven't told us whether the drivers of the cars committed the ultimate crime : not paying the London Congestion Charge!

    Be alert ; the country needs Lerts!

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ridicule is our best weapon against terrorism

    @John A Blackley: Damn right we should be ridiculing these people, and making it very clear for all the world to see that no, sir, we will NOT be terrorized, we will hold our heads up high, laugh in your face and spit in your eyes.

    And if the terrorists do succeed in killing and maiming, we will mourn, we will vow never to give in to terrorist acts, then put up our "Business as Usual" signs and continue with a renewed determination not to stop living our lives as free people.

    That, Sir, is the best way to defeat terrorism. It is the ONLY way. That determination and refusal to roll over and die is how Britain survived the Blitz and the PIRA. If we choose to live in fear, and let our liberties be stripped away "for our protection", then we are part of the problem, and we're throwing away all that generations past fought and died for!

    Sadly our politicians would have us live in fear, because it suits their political agendas, and the mass media would have us live in fear, because emotion and hype get higher ratings. Terrorists also want us to live in fear. Spot the difference?

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @What's really worrisome

    "Making an effective IUD is not rocket science...."

    Intra-Uterine Device? (Conjurs up image of exploding nether-regions).

    IED I think ;-)

  32. uk events

    What if...

    I agree. I'm not inclined to blow a gasket about these piddling little events.

    That said, who is to say its not a precursor? Surely it makes sense to test the 'defences' of your 'enemy' before launching a real attack.

    If what's being said about the background of these people, they aren't your average home grown tosspot with a grudge.

    Lets hope its just a bit of idiocy.

    Love the headline!

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    John A Blackley, you are not alone

    > Sir, when the next terrorist is successful at killing and maiming British citizens,

    > I will remind myself to write to you and ask, "So, are you happy now?"

    Yep. So will I.

    I don't live in fear of terrorists.

    It's the apologist morons on here who frighten me.

  34. Gilbert Wham

    improvised IUD? Or clingfilm condom...

    IUD/IED: Gah! Beat me to it. re Teh! Terrible! Terrist! Firebomz!, the fact that they tried to ignite ANYTHING in this dreadful swamp of a country says quite a lot about their abilities, does it not? They'd have caused far more mayhem with the judicious placement of a binbag over a drain grating I reckon.

  35. Scott Silver badge

    Petrol Bombs

    Perhaps it was a rough boarding school but, in the early '70s, I remember older boys teaching me how to make petrol bombs (using petrol siphoned from teachers cars).

    It was demonstrated that too much fuel in the milk bottle and it burned but did not explode. Too little and it just went out. A goodly supply of air and petrol and you get a lovely bang.

    The benefits of an English Public School education. Obviously, nobody from AQ at my school!

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Try a different gas next time...

    Glad to see it wasn't just me that thought “hang on a minute, consumer propane / butane gas cylinders don’t blow up in a fire…” when this all hit the news.

    I remember seeing a health & safety video once where a propane gas cylinder was put in the middle of a fire. All that happened was a jet of propane shot out when the safety valve let go. I suppose if any bystanders were daft enough to hang about long enough watching, they might have been toasted.

    I'd recommend they use acetylene next time round. Do these people not keep an eye on the news http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/6694385.stm .

    All you have to do is leave the valve open in an enclosed vehicle, acetylene has an alarming tendency to spontaneously explode under such conditions.

    While they're at it, they could try taking ceramic kitchen knives along next time they want to hijack a plane. While every-one's surrendering their toothpaste, you can waltz through an airport scanner with one down your sock with no problem. http://www.hartsofstur.com/acatalog/FK_White_Zircona_Ceramic_Knives.html

    Opps, now they'll start routine strip-searches at airports and ban welding.

    Something's not quite right about all this is it?

    BC

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    media control?

    Interesting article, i guess we should wait for a while to see how many of the people arrested are quietly released or charged for the crime they actually got arrested for.

    Its interesting to note that the two BNP men who got arrested a couple of months ago and are now in court charged with having chemical explosives and planning an attack has hardly been on the news at all...only place i read about it is in the lancashire section of bbc news...

  38. Nigee

    ho hum

    I've certainly seen more specaticular results from a thunderflash in a deep dug dunny, and the whole thing is way below amateur night at the village hall.

    However, I'd suggest the reason is actually the CT effort. Obviously the group lacked training, AQ seems to have been quite good at this and Afg gave them the space to test and train. They now lack the secure development and training facilities so rely far more on 'theory' and wannabee bombers lack practical skills. Next, the recent wannabees used materials easily obtained without raising suspicion. It also seems likely that they avoided hanging out around fundamentalist imams, visiting iffy countries, etc, so as not to attract attention. Again fear of CT.

    I had thought that all this indicated that AQ had no role, however, as information about the arrested emerges it invites the question about how this disparate group came into being, how did they they find each other so quickly without being noticed? It might have been luck, but the obvious conclusion is it was before they got to UK, or that they were part of an organisation and were put in contact with each other after arriving in UK, this suggests a bit more of an organised conspiracy and real sleepers, fortunately undertrained thus far.

    Real sleepers with half decent training and some without suicide tendencies would present a serious challenge. Could the govt really convince the voters that 50 deaths a year in UK through islamic terrorism is just the price of democracy? Could the media be persuaded to accept that line? Logically its obvious that it should, but logic doesn't have much to do with it.

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Title

    I have to agree with the general feeling that this is an outstanding article in the current climate. The media did a good job of portraying this as the UK under serious attack, but once you filter the paranoid ramblings out and find out the truth, you can have a chuckle. I've been to Glasgow airport numerous times as it's my local airport and I could have told any idiot that they have good strong bollards in front of the doors and driving right through them would be nearly impossible. A quick trip over and a look around before the attack would have told these fools that. Why attack an airport anyway? Isn't that getting a bit cliched? Security is always high there and that's why the police had these idiots in handcuffs within minutes. They could have taken a metal pole into the street and swung it in a full circle and caused more casualties that this attack was likely to.

    Since it appears some members of this 'terror cell'/Kindergarten were foreign doctors working in the UK and this is the smartest attack they could come up with, doesn't that worry anyone more?

    I don't feel terrorized. Merely inconvenienced.

  40. John Rumble

    A Us perspective

    Thank you! thank you! for some perspective - I nearly hurled my dinner having lto listen to Brian Williams on NBC pontificate about the increased threat and how we were going on "ALERT" because of this. Is there no reliable news source left on this planet ?, People are so afraid to tell the truth as it might hurt ratings , unless you are the Daily Show . As was it was well pointed out you are well more likely to get hit buy a bus or by lightning than to be snagged by one of these so called terrorist events . Iraq , now theres a dangerous place where last month was concidered a good month because "only" 1200 civilians died - move there if you want to worry about car bombs - they know how to do it right.

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    John A Blackley, you are not alone... but you don't have a whole lot of friends round here.

    " I don't live in fear of terrorists.

    It's the apologist morons on here who frighten me. "

    There aren't any apologists here. You just made that up. You're lying, you're putting words into people's mouths that just aren't there. Not one single person here is in favour of terrorism.

    What there IS, is, there's a whole load of other people who also, just like you, don't live in fear of terrorists. In fact, we live /so/ not in fear of terrorists, that we've made rational and balanced decisions about how we rate the risk and threat and how we balance it against costs and benefits, and we've decided it's not worth sacrificing any more of what are after all /our/ - meaning yours and mine - rights, not the terrorists', for the utterly risible reduced risk it would bring us.

    Oh, and then there's you with your "Everyone who doesn't think exactly like me must be evil".

    Now you can argue with us about the weight we assign to the various risks and costs and benefits of the various tradeoffs between security and freedom, and you can think we're wrong, but if you had a point to make or an actual argument, you'd have made it, but you didn't, you had nothing but cheap emotional abuse. You didn't have a point to make about what we should be doing, you just wanted to say that everyone who isn't like you must be bad and wrong.

    In that one respect, you even think alike to the terrorists. That doesn't mean I'm calling you an apologist for, or supporter of terrorism, or saying that you're in any way comparable to or as bad as them. I'm not as dishonest as you. It does, however, say that you make the same basic psychological errors of egotism and solipsism in your personal and political judgements, and that they are therefore not to be relied on.

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What it's really all about

    Nice article - the technical appreciation is spot-on.

    A couple of points though.

    It seems a number of the 'cell' members are doctors. Aren't they supposed to be intelligent? And have passed pretty intensive chemistry and physics exams?

    Given their level of competency demonstrated by this exercise, perhaps they should have quietly stayed working as doctors and achieved a much higher body count without even trying?

    However there is a more serious point about these hi-jinks. The group have achieved at least two of their aims - disruption and publicity. They will also have given the government yet another excuse to tighten up on ordinary people and their daily activities.

    For the marginal cost of three cars and some gas bottles they have demonstrated how easy it is to get the British Government to do exactly what they want - which is to become every more authoritarian and remove yet more civil liberties. Stand by for the increased guards at airports, car exclusion zones, and restrictions on sale and ownership of gas bottles.

    We are certain to see more of these disruptive activities - with varying degrees of lethality but with guaranteed ever increasing inconvenience.

    Jeremy

  43. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  44. Asif Youcare

    Incompetent

    I think the job was planned by Beavis and Achmed.

  45. heystoopid

    More like a plot from Spooks everyday

    Say , this is more like a failed plot from the TV series " Spooks" , each day the mainstream media runs with the Police Propaganda Machine in crap overload output!

    But hey, the late Abe Lincoln said it best in the following words "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."

    Or as the much downtrodden Chief Sitting Bull of the Souix Nation would say white men from officialdom speak with very forked tongue!

  46. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    This is reassuring

    I am quite pleased to see that there are many people that are keeping their wits about concerning this sad event. Of course, Reg readers are above the norm, but it's nice to see it confirmed.

    That said, I am worried about the comparisons between wartime UK and "modern" UK. I think it is high time that England adopts a new motto : What Would Churchill Do ?

    Obviously, in this case, he wouldn't even stop smoking his cigar.

    It would be nice to see "mainstream" media adopt this kind of attitude. Right now, they look much too much like Fox News for my own comfort.

  47. Steven Perez

    Those silly old terrorists

    Oh dear it all went wrong... The point of your article is moronic.

    So how many goes did it take to collapse the twin towers? You seem to be forgetting that the UK has been dealing with terrorists since the mid 70's. The IRA used to be laughably incompetent as well, after a few blown up and burned operatives they got it together and started to do some serious damage.

    The recent attempts were pretty amatuer, but I don't think that qualifying as a medical doctor makes you an idiot.

    This campaign marks a definate turn in tactics and perception about who the terrorists are. They are not British born disaffected poorly educated youths; hence the coverage in the press.

    As well as that I don't seem to recall the front of a major airport entrance being rammed by a flaming car being in much in the news as of late, so I expect the overall novelty value has pushed this story to the front pages of the press.

  48. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hype is stupid but helpful

    This article sounds utterly convincing to me, but overplaying the seriousness of these attacks may have some positive effects. Presumably a series of ineffective attacks like this present a great opportunity to gather intelligence. The present coverage will presumably encourage any would-be jihadis to continue on their present path - handing out valuable intelligence with little danger to the public. If the coverage was more accurate then presumably these guys would be going back to the drawing board to come up with more effective techniques, which would be unfortunately for anyone blown up as a result.

    Of course this assumes that stupid reporting in the mass media is less of a tragedy than people being killed by terrorists. I think stupid reporting in the mass media IS a tragedy, but it seems pretty much inevitable these days.

  49. Simon Holt

    Oh Dear, don't catch cold

    I'm actually more worried that these idiots could pass themselves off as doctors - is the NHS that hard up?

  50. Michael

    Testing

    I couldn't agree more. You have to first test things before trying them in public. It is as simple as that. I have to say that not getting a trigger mechanism to work is more embarrassing than the uselessness of the "bomb", that is something you can test as much as required until you get it right.

    I have to say the police and fire service only treated the attack at Glasgow airport the way they did to be sure the gas canisters could be safely removed, to check that there weren't any other vehicles with inflammable material and because there was significant smoke damage to the main terminal building. I know this as I was there on Sunday.

    We have been saved from any serious threat in the past week thanks to the incompetence of the so called terrorists. I doubt that will continue indefinitely. Personally I hope that it does.

  51. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It all makes sense...

    It was reported earlier in the year that there is increased competition for jobs for medical graduates.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/6411481.stm

    After the shortage of doctors in recent years, the number of graduates coming through the system is now exceeding the number of available jobs.

    Is this an excuse to get rid of a load of immigrant doctors to make way for locally produced graduates?

  52. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Love this guy

    I agree, a special task force to tackle the yobs would be cool

  53. Jez Ockenden

    @Try a different gas next time...

    Though it is all well and good laughing at these guys, it really is actually quite difficult to make a really decent explosion using flamable gases or dusts.

    As pointed out Propane in particular has quite a narrow band between the Lower and Upper Explosive Limits (these are upper and lower ratios of fuel to air/oxygen at which a well mixed gas will explode), at which the stuff will actually go bang at all. To get the mixture just right to make an even halfway decent explosion is really very tricky as the futher you move away from the stociometric mix (forgive my spelling) the engergy released drops. As pointed out they may have been better with Acetylene which has a huge band in which it will explode, which allows for less precision, though to get a really good bang you still need just the right mix of fuel to air.

    The fact of the matter is getting things to blow up at all is a tricky business. High explosives are very difficult to make,transport and store even with a good level of know-how becuase by their nature they're unstable; and making an effective explosion out of common flamable gases and dusts is likewise very difficult to do outside of a controlled environment.

    God forbid that terrorist actually ever work out that blowing things up isn't always very effective way of killing people and that something much more mundain such as a fire in the wrong location could easily be far worse, and far easier.

    Though it's easy to laugh, the fact of the matter is however that they still intended to commit mass murder on a large scale, and that is what is worrying.

  54. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Its only a matter of time...

    ...before someone remembers the good old fertiliser bomb.

    I believe that was what the original WTC bomb was based on, not to mention the docklands bomb which almost brought down several buildings.

    I know how easy it is to make one - we used to muck about with this stuff when I was in University. All you need is a drum of ordinary farm fertiliser (nitrogen based - straight out of the sack) and mix in a certain proportion of diesel. Stick in a detonator and you're good to go, with enough bang to cause a lot of harm in a decent radius. To make a much bigger version, its the same recipe except you need to encase the detonator in something like TNT (which can fairly easily be cooked up in a basic lab) to get the reaction started. (Yes we tried that too, and tested it on a remote beach with spectacular results)

    The point I'm hinting at, is that yes recent events were pretty pitiful, but eventually someones going to have a proper go. What we really need is for the government of this country to stop messing about with foreign regimes who are no threat to the UK, and learn to use diplomacy rather than threats. The only result of this is that these regimes *become* a threat!

  55. Rob Crawford

    Apologist I don't think so, but at least I can actually understand what I claim to read

    John A Blackley & friend

    Obviously you have your own agenda, which involves allegedly reading an article and then ignoring its contents (you don't work in Downing St do you ?)

    Having lived in Belfast (almost constantly) between 1968 & 2004 I can happily say I have a loathing for all those who use violence to make whatever point they imagine they have. You never ignored the risks but you learned to judge what is real and this weeks attempts would have been laughed at and ignored.

    Unfortunitely as we now see an unsuccessful (and incompetant) attack has succeded in yet another knee jerk reaction by the nanny state, and is justified by the goverment and the chattering classes.

    You would have thought that they would have tested their bombs to see of they worked (even the dumbest little chav knows gas canisters seldom if ever explode these days when they have their Friday night enterainment)

    This morning Canary Wharf security staff proved their usefulness by searching the bags of anybody entering via the western 'turnstyles' but ignoring those approaching from the north and south. I'm just glad I didn't bring any fuel for my zippo today

    I also noticed that the Sunday, papers said that the 'bombs' in London where to be triggered by mobile phone, yet in the next paragraph they said the bombs where defused 2 minutes before they where due to explode.

    Could they please make up their minds ?

    I'm tired of hype, and I'm tired of the goverment selling fear, no doubt they will claim that ID cards would have prevented the event from ever occuring.

    Propane gives a pretty nice bang (Pink Floyd discovered) when mixed with air (in the correct proportion), and is even better when mixed with acetlyne

  56. Mark

    The cost of amateur pyrotechnics

    Great article, and a fine antidote to the "be very afraid" stuff doing the rounds elsewhere. I have to confess, I had to laugh at the reports of the Glasgow airport attack, not least as the cop in the video clip appeared to be grinning as he pinned the partially roasted Comedy Terrorist to the floor.

    But one thing occurs to me; perhaps the visual bang IS enough to achieve some of the aims. The thing that ultimately brought the UK government to "talk to terrorists" was money; the threat to the City in terms of disruption of business and spiralling insurance costs that began to threaten London's viability as a global financial centre. This, more than loss of life, led to the eventual negotiations.

    One of the IRA's most cost-effective campaigns was a cheap-and-cheerful firebombing campaign on the tube, in the early nineties I think. A few fag packet sized devices under seats on the Tube - few of which ever went off - caused massive disruption, and a lot of checking under seats of the entire tube fleet, with seals placed on checked seats. No death, little damage, plenty of panic and plenty of cost.

    A quick look at the video of Glasgow airport and Haymarket looks much the same. Large numbers of well paid cops doing fingertip searches over a wide area. The cost of forensics, organising what will surely be an expensive prosecution and trial with attendant security cost. Interruption to business and serious long term disruption to air travel all hit the national wallet hard. Look at the effect of last summers "binary bomb" non-starter which didnt get beyond a bit of beardy male bonding and a few wild and implausible ideas - result; months of serious airport chaos.

    Maybe handing the job to a bunch of amateur jihadis wasn't such a bad idea. They may end up with porridge instead of virgins, but the shoddy results still cost UK PLC a fortune, and it frees up the more competent bombers for more demanding work in Iraq etc.

  57. wim

    hop over the pond for explosives

    Well I from the Flemish part of Belgium and if you really need explosives why not go for a tour in the country side.

    Farmers still dig up a lot of explosives used in WW1 (Fields of Flanders will make you remember) and they are up for grabs at the side of the road

    take a look here

    http://pierrescolumn.punt.nl/?a=2007-06 (go to 22 juni 2007 = 22nd of June 2007)

    At least you then you would have something a bit more explosive than a bit of gasoline. Hell Buy a lot of laptop batteries from Sony I am sure they can give you a discount and set those on fire that will also produce a better result than what was tried here.

    It is nice to see that nobody in the "real" news business cares about facts anymore. Makes me glad that I canceled my newspaper subscription.

  58. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You should be ashamed of yourself

    You should be ashamed of yourself. Not for the obvious reason though. I think we're all agreed that it's wonderful that these so-called-terrorists are wildly inept, planning badly, lighting too soon, not using ready-to-go phones, leaving a trail a mile wide... And wow, the media are jumping on soemthing and making a story out of it that isn't there, well what a shock. That's never happened before, especially not in the UK media... And I will hug and kiss some poisonous snakes. Now <i>that's</i> sarcasm.

    If anything, despite you're holier than thou attitiude, we should still be glad the intelligence services seem to have their shit together for once, and hopefully will prevent further comic attempts, as they may seem less funny when these clowns figure out what they're doing and actually hurt someone else.

    But the reason you SHOULD be ashamed of yourself is simple. I have no idea what's really behind these attacks, but your attitude of 'let's indulge in some military adventurism' is sickening. You talk about body counts - well Iraq currently is approaching 700,000 dead civilians. There's your adventurism, dripping blood. I have no idea if Iraq is related to the current attacks, but you shouldn't joke about a war for oil that has killed more civilians than the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Whether you supported it or not, it's hard to have levity about that many families torn apart. Unless you trhink it's ok because they're foreign?

    MikeC

  59. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    terrorists... schmerrorists

    As long as the government has its fingers up the media's butt this junk will be spun to seem like we are in peril from some kind of "threat".

    It's good to see the Reg is prepared to air the other side to this - and it's refreshing read some sensible comments too.

  60. Chris Fryer

    Silly Season

    There's nothing newsworthy going on now that GB has ascended to the throne. This petrol-bombing caper is manna from heaven for the TV and papers. Another excuse for a pointless satellite link-up to a junior reporter "live at the scene".

  61. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    re: Apologist I don't think so, but at least I can actually understand what I claim to read

    "I also noticed that the Sunday, papers said that the 'bombs' in London where to be triggered by mobile phone, yet in the next paragraph they said the bombs where defused 2 minutes before they where due to explode. Could they please make up their minds ?"

    Maybe the phone rang two minutes after it was disconnected from the thing it was set to trigger? Doesn't seem too much of a stretch on my imagination to see how both those statements could be true. The papers also said the guy they arrested on the M6 had called the 'trigger' phone 4 times. I can just see the copper's face when the phone he had in his hand rang 2 minutes after he disconnected it.

    What was that about understanding what you read? When there's so little actual 'fact' being reported, how can you 'understand' anything from it?

  62. N1AK

    Good Read

    MikeC: It was in jest, in relation to the papers saying we shouldn't of gone to war because it caused attacks like this. Not a comment on whether we should of gone to war or not.

    Thanks for another good read Lewis, if only you could work out how to sell this view to the masses their might be a light at the end of the tunnel. However it seems that as long as such a big industry exists around protecting us and another big industry exists to 'inform us' (news IS entertainment these days) I have little hope.

  63. Tom Peach

    RE: Testing

    for sure, these "bombs" should never even have made it to UAT

  64. Pete Bryan

    Obviously not the all stars but stil...

    This series of attacks was obviously farcically planned and carried out. There is no doubt that these people had no help from the Al Queda 'All Stars' altough this is hardly suprising considering there recent drawback from the outside world. Mainly due to American pressure in Warizan and Afghanistan.

    However the intent is there in these attacks. Ametuerish and hyped up by the media, but something to be simply dismissed, definately not.

  65. David Reynolds

    Proof of evolution.

    The fact suicide bombers are becoming less competent is a clear demonstration of evolution in action, the competent ones all die.

    Keep up the good work, this is the sort of story that would get me buying a newspaper again.

  66. Adrian

    Student Ragweek

    Was what I thought when I heard about the London cars.

    As for the Scottish incident - isn't that normal for the Scot's - drinking petrol and smoking :-) If it had been done in England it would have just been classed as a protest about smoking in the workplace !!!!!

  67. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    clusterfucks....

    priceless.

    I thought that was only used when it CS games everyone went for the same door at the same time. leading to the inevitable jam. The CT (of course) would cut them down, to cries of clusterfuck.

    I hope the terrorist now realise that they are dealing with a public that have (virtual) experience of being CTs and always carry a pair of wire clippers to disarm the C4 the T's always carry around.

  68. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "you should be ashamed of yourself".

    I disagree, MikeC. I'd much rather have this kind of reporting of this kind of story than the "OMG we're all going to die (again)" cobblers in the tabloids; if nothing else because it would make it far harder to justify all the draconian legislation the Government wants to implement if this attitude was taken.

    Ideally these stories would be reported in a cool, factual and non sensationalistic way but then noone would buy newspapers. If this approach can replace the existing main stream "scaremongering" angle, then I am all for it; ok so it pokes fun, but it is more factual and down to earth than the main stream media reports.

    David R

  69. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ Its only a matter of time...

    About fertiliser bombs. I believe most of the western governments control the most dangerous types.

    Last summer in Canada, there was a fertiliser bomb plot. The mounties found out and switched the order with something harmless. Something like 17 people were caught in the ensuing operation.

  70. heystoopid

    Fertilizer Bomb what a joke

    Sadly , if you read about the old Bali Night Club Bomb used in Indonesia you would realize just how inefficient they are in that you still need a large block Semtex(minimum 2 lbs or a kilo will do nicely) or other stable Army demolition plastic explosive to initiate the fire works and even then the it only works if the mixture is properly mixed in the correct proportions! I believe had the van consumed the full load , it would have totally leveled a considerable portion of the surrounding block rather then destroying just the night club!

    By the way the fertilizer Bomb has an extremely high smell/odor quotient as well!

    As for real explosives even the experts get it wrong fatally from time to time!

    In closing a quote from Edward R Murrow "If we confuse dissent with disloyalty — if we deny the right of the individual to be wrong, unpopular, eccentric or unorthodox — if we deny the essence of racial equality, then hundreds of millions in Asia and Africa who are shopping about for a new allegiance will conclude that we are concerned to defend a myth and our present privileged status. Every act that denies or limits the freedom of the individual in this country costs us the. . . confidence of men and women who aspire to that freedom and independence of which we speak and for which our ancestors fought." "

  71. Ian

    Move along; nothing to see here...

    Indeed, nothing to see here, another rather poor post by The Register where they're yet again unable to see the difference between a random gas canister included car crash on the M1 maybe killing the driver and the potential for the much larger amount of people exiting a nightclub at once at closing time when it's detonated.

    Even then, arguably a more important point again is missed with this article is that terrorism is about mass murder. This reason, mass murder, is the very reason these stories are given more notice than your average joyriding youth burning out the car afterwards. It's not just about the bombs themselves, whether failed or succeeded but about the fact there's people who come here (or in some cases are born here) with the aim of killing large groups of people at once, that's the crux of the problem. Do you also think we should not have reports about the likes of Fred West in our news because after all, more people die to the flu every year than mass murderers so it's not worth reporting right?

    One final note is about the attempt to validate the credibility of the reporter by noting he served with bomb disposal... until 2004. This also validates that he's obviously pretty new to reporting, it begs the question why he feels qualified to question mainstream media reporters with years of experience in this case, yet it also clarifies why he's completely missed the point of said reports.

    I know it's nice to play the underdog, be the guy with the alternative viewpoint to try and stand out and get some attention, but like the 9/11 conspiracy theorists all you in fact end up doing is looking rather paranoid and perhaps even somewhat crazy.

  72. Nick

    El Reg T-Shirts

    Maybe time for a new El Reg T-Shirt - "Bomb Squad - If you see me walking noncholantly walking away, try and keep up".

  73. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Doctors eh?

    The Independent today carries the headline "Brilliant student, doctor - and now a terror suspect". Is it only me who worries that todays medical education neglects to equip its practitioners with sufficient basic chemistry to know that a suitable supply of oxygen is needed for a chemical explosion worth the name? probably cause more damage by simply not washing their hands (err, now there's a thought)

  74. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    North American media overreaction ...

    I find it sad that there doesn't seem to be balance in reporting of this on either side of the Atlantic. Last evening, I watched several articles on these clowns.

    In only one clip there was a Scotland Yard rep being interviewed who tried to put them in their proper place.

    One of the worst clips was a simulation where a NM University blew up a Jeep with propane tanks. They parked it right beside a wooden shack and used bolts (claimed nails would make too much of a mess).

    It was all very subjective. Nice fireball but well contained. Not satisfied the reporter was saying how the bolts "rained down like bullets" many yards away.

    There was no real assessment of if or how much harm and risk people would have experienced.

    I suspect the average downtown night club is a bit more fire resistant than a garden shed. The curbs would surely have placed the car further from the target.

    Even when we get these incompetent attempts, why do the media play into the fear? Far too many people believe what gets reported and the terrorists get what they wanted. Fear.

  75. Frank Bough

    BBC Noise 24

    ...described the Glasgow embarrassment as "the Glasgow Airport catastrophe".

    Presumably a man slipping on a banana skin would be reported now as the "Acacia Avenue outrage".

  76. Suricou Raven

    Bloggers

    Ive been arguing this on on a couple of blogs, and im seeing a very clear split along the traditional left/right divide. Its interesting to note that the two big factions of politics are now even disagreeing over basic physics.

    In general, the left-faction is trying to downplay this as an incompetant attack that would at best have killed a couple of people, and that only with a lot of luck. The right-faction then argues (usually less politely) that this almost killed hundreds of people, and that the left are a bunch of liberal cowards who are so scared of offending muslims they would rather see more terrorist attacks than admit there is a problem. The left returns fire with a claim that the right is hyping the attacks out of all proportion in order to score political points and win votes. Before long it degenerates into a factional shouting match.

    So, just another week as usual on the political blogs. Where factional loyalty matters more than real issues.

  77. Rob Crawford

    Tired of bigots, apologists and career building experts

    Clipped

    -----

    Maybe the phone rang two minutes after it was disconnected from the thing it was set to trigger? Doesn't seem too much of a stretch on my imagination to see how both those statements could be true. The papers also said the guy they arrested on the M6 had called the 'trigger' phone 4 times. I can just see the copper's face when the phone he had in his hand rang 2 minutes after he disconnected it.

    -----

    I considered that at the time, but considering the length of time the car had been sitting, and the other one had been left long enough to be towed away.

    Surely if you are going to trigger with a mobile phone you will be close enough to make sure there is atleast something close enough to damage, as triggering 'on command' allows such an option.

    After speaking to the reoprter who wrote that part of the article the phrase "due to go off" was apparently quoted from the security services, with the implication that it was a timer. I pointed this out to the reporter and he didn't see the difference between phone triggered and timer triggered (a tree stump has a higher IQ)

    Thinking about it, if they where so poor at choosing the explosive, I wonder how reliable their trigger would have been ?

    Clip

    -----

    What was that about understanding what you read? When there's so little actual 'fact' being reported, how can you 'understand' anything from it?

    -----

    I was referring to the reg article not the 3rd press reports we have been fed with.

    The Glasgow incident has been upgraded from burning vehicle (accurate) to car bomb (inaccurate). I have no beef against the members of the security services who do something useful. However the ones talking up the fear level to justify overseas conferences and higher budgets are a different matter

    Just because they where completely incompetant, dosn't make any difference to their original intent to commit murder.

    As for the Iraq violence, I hold a sever grudge against the US & UK goverments actions.

    However it is Iraqui killing Iraqui, these tensions have always been there, but they where too afraid of the previous leadership. Yes the invasion (without any plan for the future) the underlying bigotry to run wild. BUT it is the choice of Iraqui extermists to carry on this pointless waste of life

  78. Carl Guderian

    Competence in one field...

    ...doesn't translate into competence in another. I've got a mechanical engineering degree, but it doesn't mean I still remember how to use a lathe like I did in Mechanical Lab 25 years ago or can fix a car. And involvement in IT (I'm assuming of "You ought to be ashamed...") doesn't automatically confer perspective.

    Or a sense of humor. If 7/7 and a few hangfires are the price of "indulging in military adventurism," then, going by the scorecard, Salman Rushdie can safely write a sequel to The Satanic Verses and not worry again until 2025. Except maybe for his marriage. That's a joke, son.

    Hat tip to you folks for the article. Thanks to the cops and traffic wardens who averted even the handful of deaths these attempts could have caused. Security issues, even meatspace ones, hold lessons for IT security, so this article is relevant.

    Not all of us Yanks are wetting our collective bed because of the not-especially-scary bogeyman hiding under it. Some of us are snickering at said bogeyman's resulting golden shower. I grew up under the threat of nuclear annihilation or at least winter. Now, growing up in the 1970s, I thought it would be kinda cool, Mad Max style, or maybe involve telepathic sheepdogs, but, still, al-Qaeda just don't stack up to a stack of SS-19 ICBMs. I'm not gonna let a bunch of amateur terrorists spook me into giving away the few rights I've got left.

  79. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Spook 7/7

    The 7/7 bombers were under substantial spook surveillance - see Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed, 2006, The London Bombings: An Independent Inquiry, London: Duckworth.

  80. Michael Corkery

    RE: You should be ashamed of yourself

    N1AK: If you're right and it was in jest, then i'll partially retract it - I still don't think it's suitable for joking about, if only because it's too convenient for us to forget. I don't link Iraq to the current events necessarily, but I do think that people shoul dremain conscientious in the face of what's become commonplace.

    David R: You may be right, but I'd worry that these idiots will look at what they did, and the chasm between that and the increasingly common knowledge about what was done more professionally by PIRA and the IRA before them. The danger is that they'll improve, and hurt someone, or at least avoid traceability next time in case they screw up again. The best part at the moment is that they're leaving a trail, and their colleagues are getting collared now. But I will agree with you that it's good to see non-panic-mode media response alright, even if it then leans to the far extreme

  81. Adam

    totally true

    what can i say, for to long i though i was the only one that thought the level of over reaction in this country is staggering, people just dont like it when i tell them it thou.

    good post!

  82. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    At last, some sense.

    Great article, I've been arguing a lot of those points until I'm blue in the face.

    It does seem to make the assumption, though, that the intention of the perpetrators was to cause large-scale death and destruction.

    The intention ~could~ have been to do exactly what they did do - make a bit of a flash and a bang and scare the shit out of the west aided with boundless enthusiasm by the media and government - no reason for terrorists not to use those tools against us for a bit of psyops (and yup, I mean 'tools' in both senses).

    That would help explain the apparently poor choice of target, payload and execution by otherwise apparently educated people and given the resulting fear and disruption could therefore count as a success rather than a cock-up.

    That is, of course, pure speculation but as pure speculation comprises 98% of what the mainstream media is feeding us on this story right now I'm not feeling too bad a little speculation myself.

  83. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Unbelievable!

    I am amazed that with all this "expertese" and erudite conclusions by pundits, that no one has come to the obvious conclusion that this attack was perpetrated by Suni Muslim Insurgents (Capitals intended to describe a group not a religious sect).

    During the Iraq invasion their hard core militia vowed to carry on a guerrilla war, as they have in Iraq, but there is no reason for them to confine themselves to there if they can infiltrate the NHS with ease.Being doctors and trainees one would not expect their bombmaking skills to be advanced , but they will improve, especially if one their more experienced brothers from Baghdad joins them.

    If a petrol loaded SUV is so ineffectual how did an occupant catch fire after he had left it?Also, if fertilizer is so inefficient, what exactly happened in Oaklahoma?

  84. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Unbelievable?

    Uneblievable?

    "this attack was perpetrated by Suni Muslim Insurgents" (it's spelled 'Sunni')

    It could also have been a hit by the Badr Brigade.

    Seriously, that was tongue-in-cheek use of a pre-existing Mainstream Media Label (MML) to something that's quite different in nature. Right?

    > If a petrol loaded SUV is so ineffectual how did an occupant catch fire after he had left it?

    Spontaneous combustion? Wanted to have a smoke? Came into contact with fireworks?

    > Also, if fertilizer is so inefficient, what exactly happened in Oaklahoma? (It's spelled 'Oklahoma City')

    Trained Marine got the mix right and knew what he was doing?

    "because Marines kill ... everything they see"

  85. Petrea Mitchell

    Re: T-shirts

    The one I'd like to get would be: "The Register Bomb Squad: Protecting the World From Terrorist Clowns"

  86. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Wishful thinking

    " If a petrol loaded SUV is so ineffectual how did an occupant catch fire after he had left it? "

    Because he was flinging petrol all over the already-burning car after he got out of it. That was reported in all the stories, so if you don't know that, it just goes to show that your "obvious" conclusions are nothing more than your personal pre-existing beliefs presented without the slightest actual knowledge of the situation.

    Why do people think that whatever they make up in their own imagination without any reference to external reality is even remotely likely to be true?

  87. Jim Coe

    And incidentally.

    If the Glasgow (Globally Indoctrinated?)

    pair had used their mates Mercedes they could not have swerved into the terminal- but of course you know why!

    Also I have not noticed that English spelling is great on this site,but as a seasoned traveller I am sure you have noted that local spelling does vary and ethnic groups have many different names, like BRITS

  88. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Well if all else fails

    They can charge two of them with smoking in a public building.

    I gather they were at school together. And have recently got together again using Friends Reignited.

  89. Phil Bolden

    A new PM... alright quick somebody whip up a scare for the new guy

    1st off, very well said. I recently stopped reading CNN online news as they seem to have lost all journalistic decency as well as changed the site to a most annoying format. And you should see the comments about this story (what a laugh). I simply had to search out some commentary with a bit of common sense.

    Are kidding me? Gas cans and nails ...and igniting it with a cell phone? Come on now. What load of crap! And these guys are doctors?! How is it that people that well studied and intelligent could screw up so badly (not that I wish that they'd succeeded), but it just doesn't fit.

    I have VERY serious doubts about the authenticty of the whole affair. I looks very badly staged at the last minute type stuff.

    I am also pleased to hear other voices of common sense and dissent for the lapdog media outlets, but they have to make a living too. So what if it's at the expense of truth? What possble consequense or reprecussions could that possibly have on humanity?

  90. Dave

    t-shirts - excellent idea.

    I could quite happily go for one with Churchill and the motto about what he would have done.

    Anyone remember a science fiction story by Norman Spinrad (I think) - published in the Destinies book/magazines in the seventies where a global terrorist threat is defeated by laughing at their incompetance - "Very Proper Charlies" or something along those lines. This fantastic article brought back happy memories of that and of the Judean Peoples Liberation Front from Life Of Brian.

    Perhaps humour might be one of our best weapons against any supposed or real threat to our civil liberties from AQ and the Grey Men running the country. The second world war was no laughing matter for those going through it but it didn't stop us finding humour where we could ("Hitler has only got one ball....")

    If this is how competant these docs were at following basic intructions off the net we should be grateful they are not going to be allowed anywhere near patients anymore. RTFM...

  91. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Reality?

    "Why do people think that whatever they make up in their own imagination without any reference to external reality is even remotely likely to be true?"

    Ha ha.

    When you can answer this you will be ready for a more senior management position.

  92. BridgetDunne

    21/7 - no-bombs bombers

    The day before these events, the jury in the 21/7 'no-bombs' bombers trial retired to consider their verdict. No time was lost before parallels were drawn by the media between the men 'running away' from the cars and the 'running away' from the scenes after the chappati flour/bleach/tea bag bombs on 21/7 oozed out onto the floor of the trains/bus.

    The media covered the extensive explosion that these no-bombs would have caused, accompanied by vivid pictures from the explosives lab at Fort Halstead. Screaming headlines that these no-bombs would have brought down the tower block in which they were constructed and led to mass casualties. Professor Hans Michels, wanting to see justice done, conducted his own experiments at his own expense and proved that these no-bombs would not cause explosions. Very little media coverage of this, and certainly no headlines.

    Now the charges of 'conspiracy to cause explosions likely to endanger life' previously faced by each man, has been quietly left off the indictment. No headlines accompany this news either. How precisely the accused can now be charged with conspiracy to murder without conspiring to cause explosions we shall have to wait and see.

    It also came to light during the trial that these men were under surveillance in 2004 - all except Asiedu who had tried to join the army - and who 'turned against the other defendants' during this trial.

    Can we expect indeterminate life sentences when the jury deliver their verdict, not based on the evidence, but influenced by subsequent events?

  93. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Klown Kar

    The author should reveal that he was pressured by MI5 not to report that there were actually *37* terr'ists that jumped out of the burning car, one at a time...

  94. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Things that are actually scary

    Include the fact that the most popular petition on the (slightly bizarre) petitions page on the 10 Downing St website is a racist ramble about a non-existant mosque which makes no sense. Ten of thousands of people have signed it and it is total rubbish about something which isn't going to happen. This drivel is the direct result of media scare mongering. No-one should be ashamed of themselves for saying that actually some bloke driving his car into a bollard isn't a good reason for the erosion of our rights and the growing insipid racism of the media

  95. Trotsky

    So did other explosive experts lie?

    A quote from explosives expert Andy Oppenheimer, editor of Nuclear, Biological and Chemical International on the 29th of June:

    "If the first bomb had gone off, people inside the Tiger Tiger nightclub would have stood no chance. This looks as if it was something like propane. We are talking about highly incendiary qualities which would have made a big fire, probably destroyed buildings and caused mass fatalities,'' he said.

    People would have stood "no chance"?? So are we to assume that this guy is either lying or is incompetent?

  96. Chris Miller

    Economist quotes Lewis

    Mr Page's "terror-clowns" have made it into the hallowed pages - see:

    http://www.economist.com/displaystory.cfm?story_id=9441495&fsrc=nwl

    (I hope this is 'free to view')

    No tip o' the hat to El Reg, though :-(

  97. DaveHowe

    If I were a conspiracy theorist....

    I would probably consider it significant that these incompetents were backtraced most rapidly using a database of data obtained via RIP from the telecomms providers who provided their mobile phones, Just as a statutory instrument to activate the final and most controversial part of RIP (the access to data and encryption keys section) is to be laid before parliament for approval.

    But nah, its probably just a coincidence :)

This topic is closed for new posts.

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019