Thursday, July 07, 2005

Bombings In London - Updated

In case you have not already heard, there have been a series of bombings in London. As of now, there have been four seperate bombings, three on London Underground subway trains and one on a double-decker bus. Casualties are heavy; at least 40 killed and 300 injured reported so far, and I expect that to rise.

A previously unheard-of group, The Secret Organization of Al-Qaeda in Europe, is claiming responsibility. Update 3:45 PM MDT: Authorities are not yet officially naming any group or country as responsible.

I recommend following the
BBC or Washington Post on this; they seem to be on top of it so far.

Update 11:15 AM MDT:
Casualty figures are staying roughly the same, with between 30 and 45 killed and 300 injured. These numbers are still changing.

The pattern of attack is emerging as well: the attacks were not quite simultaneous - there was a 30-minute break between the last subway bombing and the bus bombing.

Attack Timeline (Times GMT) From the BBC:
0851 Seven people die in a blast on a train 100 yards from Liverpool Street station
0856 21 people die in a blast on a train between Russell Square and King's Cross stations
0917 Five people die in blast on a train at Edgware Road station
0947 An unknown number die in a blast on a number 30 bus at Tavistock Place

Ongoing discussion and news at The Corner and The Counterterrorism Blog.

Update 3:45 PM MDT:
Casualty figures are at approximately 40 dead and 700 injured.

ABC News is reporting that British police have recovered two unexploded bombs and pieces of the arming mechanisms of the bombs from all four bombing sites.

My Analysis - a few random thoughts:
No warning - no intelligence "chatter" beforehand. That's significant - I'm just not sure how yet.

The half-hour gap between the last subway attack and the bus bombing - again, that's significant. Was that delay intentional, or merely accidental (like the lateness of the fourth September 11th plane)?

Why London? Either US counter-terror efforts have proven successful in making the US hard to operate in, the terrorists were home-town whackos, or the terrorists are trying to split the US-UK alliance. My guess, a combination of all three or the last two. It would be nice to know which.

Some sort of response/reprisal is necessary. Find those responsible, and destroy them without mercy. They target civilians. They operate outside the rules of war - and therefore are ineligible for any rights under those rules. But will Britain have the stomach, and will we back them? (Yes, and yes - I hope.)


At 9:16 AM, Blogger Nathan said...

Sometimes you wonder about things like this. Is it possible that Jacque Chirac was a little pissed that London got the Olympics and not Paris? Is it possible that he floated some money to this group if they would execute this attack?

Chirac has always seemed a little less than honorable. And, I'm sure there is more than one Frenchman smiling, and thumbing his nose at the English this morning.

At 9:25 AM, Blogger Tyler said...

You're not the first to suggest it, but no, I don't think so. Besides, that would consitute an overt act of war.

No, this is most likely some Islamist group. It breaks the profile of the IRA, which usually intends its bombings to disrupt, rather than kill.

And the multiple simultaneous attacks fits the profile of Al-Qaeda, although an Al-Qaeda wannabe group could imitate that.

At 9:33 AM, Blogger Nathan said...

I know it's not likely that Chirac had anything to do with it...I just like a good conspiracy theory.

However, the attitude of the French is truly sickening. I'm sure there are many who are happy that this happened.

At 1:35 PM, Blogger Maine Man said...

I just hope the attacks don't make the Brits turn yellow like it did to the Spaniards (have you noticed that the main color of the Spainish flag is yellow?) and back out of the war.

The loss of civilian life will have one of two results: 1. The British public turns chicken and backs out or 2. they (as in WWII) really start kicking a**.

At 1:41 PM, Blogger Maine Man said...

Could it be that Chirac is tired of France's international irrelevance and wants to return to world power?

Maybe the French think that in order to feel like they still have the world presence of their imperial era they must fulfill tradition by being at war with England?

At 3:36 PM, Blogger Tyler said...

Okay, enough of the French stuff. Really.

These were Islamist whackos - Great Britain has them in droves; France and Germany have even bigger communities of them. They nestle in the immigrant communities, which tend to be very closemouthed anyway. Perfect hiding places.

Who they are, and who they were affiliated with, is being determined even as we speak by Britain's police and intelligence services. ABC News is reporting that two unexploded bombs have been dicovered, and that pieces of the exploded bombs and their arming mechanisms have been recovered from all four bombing sites.

And those are exactly what the police need to track down these b*****ds.

At 4:34 PM, Blogger Nathan said...

I don't know. Isn't it odd that first Spain was bombed, then England? They may be crankin' more than pastry out of Paris.

At 6:51 PM, Blogger The Niem said...

I heard rumors that British intelligence mentioned to the isrealies a recent series of threats. So theres probably some intelligence chatter we just don't know about yet

At 7:27 PM, Blogger Notromemos said...

I'd say it's time we pulled back in irack and let shiites and the sunnis fight it out. At first the sunnis will kick butt but then the ibrainians will help out. just think the ibrainians will be the eagle's good buddy. Oh yea we could give the kurds a few tanks and maybe a couple hundred 120 mm howetzers. and provide asprin at a discount to the sunnis.

At 7:27 PM, Blogger The Niem said...

"But will Britain have the stomach, and will we back them?"

No. and Yes.

I was just listening to Michael Savage and I have to agree with what he presented.

Let us look at the past to see how this will play out. Nazi Germany attacks... Europe does not react - apeasement. Nazi Germany attacks... Europe does not react - apeasement. Nazi Germany attacks... Europe does not react - apeasement.

Islamo Fascists attack Istanbul, Madrid, London... Europe does not react - apeasement.

The men like Winston Churchill who once stood up against such threats are now dead, and the prevailing view point on world peace is "we need to react peacefully to everything... otherwise we are barbarians." They cry this as they are mowed down by gunfire. They cry this as they watch their wives and children mowed down by gunfire. Eventually, they lose control of their world... they lose control of their community... and when they lose that control the lose the ability to create the peaceful environment they wanted in the first place.

At 7:33 PM, Blogger The Niem said...

If Britain fails to react strongly, I think WE should. We should turn the Sunni Triangle to DUST. We should then begin systematically sweeping through Iraq.

At 8:16 AM, Blogger Nathan said...

I was talking with my boss yesterday (he is from an Asian country) and he was telling me how this kind of terror wasn't prevalent in his country.

Why? Deterrent.

He said that when they find out who the culprits are, they summarily execute all relatives...parents, children, brothers, cousins, etc. to the third generation. What message does this send to suicide bombers and terrorists? You kill one of us, and we will kill your whole dastardly clan and rid the earth of your filthy blood.

If we were to apply the same logic to Iraq or other terrorist hotspots we would peace quickly. If we find that you, or your village, has been harboring terrorists then you're all going in the slammer. If your relatives dont' report you, they all go in the slammer. Let's make it less an honor to harbor these villains!

At 5:30 PM, Blogger The Niem said...

The slammer is too expensive. If we do anything we should eliminate them. Of course this type of retaliation seems a bit harsh to me.

If it is possible to actually locate a terrorist community... eliminate them entirely. Of course usually those bastards hide themselves within otherwise "innocent" communities.

That's a lot harder. Rope off the community... evacuate. Register, check, examine EVERY individual who is evacuated. Give a time limit. Then turn the place to dust.


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