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a dark wind blows
June 30, 2007 11:29 AM   Subscribe


 
It's a good job these guys appear to be completely incompetant, otherwise we'd be in real touble. As it is, we (thankfully) appear to have the terrorist equivalent of the Keystone Cops in action at the moment.
posted by pharm at 11:35 AM on June 30, 2007


So uh wait, the burning car in Glasgow guy is related to the London carbomb guys, and then maybe also Al Qaeda? Man. My head hurts.
posted by the dief at 11:37 AM on June 30, 2007


Not the best FPP (links search results?), but I had no idea about the burning car at the airport, so thanks for that heads up.
posted by anonaccount at 11:39 AM on June 30, 2007


Maybe. Nobody really knows at this point, but it seems plausible.
posted by pharm at 11:45 AM on June 30, 2007


developments and is expected to chair a meeting of Cobra

I'm speechless. The UK has institutionalized Evil?
posted by IronLizard at 11:46 AM on June 30, 2007


"His whole body was on fire."

I hope nobody pissed on him to douse the flames.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 11:47 AM on June 30, 2007 [2 favorites]


I like how non-exploding gasoline & propane packed cars instantly equals Al Qaeda.

Because you know, everything is Al Qaeda now.

I'm surprised some commentators haven't arrived at a Middle East connection because the cars in question were Mercedes. Because, ya know, A-rabs love them Mercs.

It all smells like amateurish home-grown terrorism to me, not some stealthy, sophisticated international terror plot timed to coincide with a new PM appointment.
posted by wfrgms at 11:50 AM on June 30, 2007 [3 favorites]


God, I love Scotland. The response of the local was to run at the bad guys and tackle them.
posted by eriko at 11:55 AM on June 30, 2007 [12 favorites]


Actually, I liked the reaction to the whole thing. They did not declare a national emergency. People's responses were very measured, "No, it didn't explode, there were a few pops as the gas went off."
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 11:57 AM on June 30, 2007 [1 favorite]


eh, wake me when are the sewers are muddied with a thousand lonely suicides.
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 12:01 PM on June 30, 2007 [4 favorites]


"a dark wind blows"?

"Two pathetic people mostly fail at being terrorists, suffer horrible burns" is more accurate.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 12:07 PM on June 30, 2007 [2 favorites]


I hope nobody pissed on him to douse the flames.

As far as I can tell, the Glaswegians pulled him from the car and started beating him up, burning body and all.
posted by tzikeh at 12:11 PM on June 30, 2007


Gordon Brown, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, First Lord of the Treasury, Minister for the Civil Service, Member of Parliament for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath, Cobra Commander.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 12:12 PM on June 30, 2007 [2 favorites]


The UK has institutionalized Evil?

It's actually COBR. Or are we not allowed to respond in a coordinated way to this kind of thing?
posted by greycap at 12:14 PM on June 30, 2007


Apparently the National Security Alert has just gone up to "Critical" over here in the UK. Yawn.
posted by ninthart at 12:14 PM on June 30, 2007


After googling my excuse for sense of humour failure is that GI Joe was not big in the UK.
posted by greycap at 12:17 PM on June 30, 2007


I wish Scotland Yard Godspeed.
posted by OrangeDrink at 12:17 PM on June 30, 2007


False flag
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:19 PM on June 30, 2007 [2 favorites]




Ugh.

People are slightly stunned here in Glasgow, and angry. It's quite an affront when worthless fucking terrorists decide to make their political commentary on Gordon Brown with fire, nails and explosives. Craven arseholes. Thank God the attacks partly failed.
posted by By The Grace of God at 12:22 PM on June 30, 2007




Because you know, everything is Al Qaeda now.

Reading the news and the milblogs, I've been suspicious of any description of US troops engaging insurgents in Iraq when there's any mention of "Al Qaeda." I admit it's not like I get to see and evaluate any of the intel take, but anymore "Al Qaeda" feels like a label of convenience. I doubt these guys are carrying laminated membership ID cards or anything of the sort.
posted by pax digita at 12:24 PM on June 30, 2007


I heard one guy being interviewed on the radio pleased with himself that he "managed to get a kick in" at the terrorist amidst the melee.
posted by fire&wings at 12:26 PM on June 30, 2007


I saw that gybe! song as more of an allegory to rampant industrialisation and environmental destruction... I don't think the band really cares about terrorism. We're just so many drunks with the radio on and the curtains drawn.
posted by anthill at 12:26 PM on June 30, 2007


Larry Johnson: ...
If today's events at Glasgow prove to be linked to the two non-events yesterday in London, then we should heave a sigh of relief. We may be witnessing the implosion of takfiri jihadists--religious fanatics who are incredibly inept. While I am not an explosives expert I am good friends with one of the world's foremost explosives experts. Propane tanks and petrol (gas for us Americans) can produce a dandy flame and a mighty boom but these are not the tools for making a car bomb long the lines of what we see detonating on a daily basis in Iraq.

My main beef remains that much of the cable news media reacts to this nonsense like a fifty year old guy on Viagra or Cialis--they pop major wood. And the same warnings are appropriate--an erection lasting more than four hours may be harmful. Amen.

posted by amberglow at 12:27 PM on June 30, 2007 [2 favorites]






A friend in London just called and said that he heard (a rumor) that they may cancel/postpone tomorrow's Concert for Diana and remaining events for this weekend's London Gay Pride due to the security level having just been raised to 'critical' in the U.K.
posted by ericb at 12:29 PM on June 30, 2007


but you never know, so kiss me, you're beautiful - in case these are truly the last days.
posted by nevercalm at 12:31 PM on June 30, 2007


coming on Fox "News" after the break: Princess Diana was killed by Al Qaeda terrarists astutely disguised as paparazzi
posted by matteo at 12:38 PM on June 30, 2007


boringNewsFilter
posted by From Bklyn at 12:50 PM on June 30, 2007


won't be long before some joker here actually starts praising the terrorists
posted by caddis at 12:50 PM on June 30, 2007



A friend in London just called and said that he heard (a rumor) that they may cancel/postpone tomorrow's Concert for Diana and remaining events for this weekend's London Gay Pride due to the security level having just been raised to 'critical' in the U.K.


I bet they don't -- it's already 9 or 10 pm there. They're actually sensible about things, unlike us.
posted by amberglow at 12:53 PM on June 30, 2007


won't be long before some joker here actually starts praising the terrorists

Who says this isn't the work of the BNP, or the government, for that matter? The timing of this is awfully suspicious convenient, allowing the new PM to keep extant policies in place.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:54 PM on June 30, 2007


The lovely thing, it turns out, about your religious nutbars is that they're not very good at the Science.

Whether that's an effect or a cause is unclear.

Either way, by my count that's now seven non-explosions in a row. Perhaps they're students of Hollywood Physics, in which all vehicular fires result in gigantic explosions. In actual chemistry, they always seem to be both an explosive and an oxidant short of the desired effect*. Long may this fuckwittedness continue.

(* This of course also applied to the chemically-impossible theoretical "bomb" plot which led to airline bans on sippy cups and Colgate. Gov.uk isn't all that on the science either, sadly.)
posted by genghis at 12:55 PM on June 30, 2007


BBC News says ...Police increased patrols and security for events in London over the weekend, including the Gay Pride parade, the Concert for Diana at Wembley Stadium and the Wimbledon tennis championships. ...
posted by amberglow at 12:56 PM on June 30, 2007


"the Glaswegians pulled him from the car and started beating him up, burning body and all."

"That airport got SUV'd, and no cunt leaves here til we find out what cunt did it."
posted by Zonker at 12:56 PM on June 30, 2007 [2 favorites]


The eyewitnesses on telly are great. "Well, aye, I saw him running for the polisman, and I thought,'hoo no ye don't' so then I ran over and tackled this Asian chap'"

"it's a good job I wis ther! This gentleman was on fire, so I tackled him with a jab o' my airm, then these other guys got intae 'im"

"He was shouting 'Allah Allah Allah'. I can't be 100%, I'm not positive, but he was definitely shouting 'Allah'"

My favourite is "ay, I knew there was gas in the car, it was making these popping sounds, you know like when you chuck a can of deoderant on a bonfire, like".

I'm glad these terrorists are doing so badly. If they get to be as good as the IRA were, we'll be in real trouble, because they appear to have completely different limits, if that's the right phrase.
posted by bonaldi at 1:00 PM on June 30, 2007 [3 favorites]


won't be long before some joker here actually starts praising the terrorists

a) who's the joker?
b) who are the terrorists?
c) can't answer any of the above
posted by mr.marx at 1:00 PM on June 30, 2007


I like how non-exploding gasoline & propane packed cars instantly equals Al Qaeda ... It all smells like amateurish home-grown terrorism to me

And what exactly is the difference? Were the subway bombers Al-Qaeda or not? Does it matter? Was Oklahoma City amateurish home-grown terrorism? Or was McVeigh just as crazy as these guys, with access to a better library?
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 1:05 PM on June 30, 2007


won't be long before some joker here actually starts praising the terrorists

wtf, caddis?
posted by hackly_fracture at 1:10 PM on June 30, 2007


And what exactly is the difference?

between Al-Qaeda and home grown terrorism? beats me.

Were the subway bombers Al-Qaeda or not?

define Al-Qaeda

Does it matter?


yes, then again, no

Was Oklahoma City amateurish home-grown terrorism?

yes

Or was McVeigh just as crazy as these guys, with access to a better library?

probably. but "these guys" have an awesome media coverage.
posted by mr.marx at 1:20 PM on June 30, 2007


It will be interesting to see how Gordon responds to all of this -- I guess this will help show what sort of a Prime Minister he'll turn out to be.
posted by ukdanae at 1:22 PM on June 30, 2007


The UK is so civilised.
Putin had to blow up five or six apartment buildings in Moscow to get the same effect.
posted by hexatron at 1:25 PM on June 30, 2007 [1 favorite]


(sound of plug being pulled)
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 1:27 PM on June 30, 2007


Clearly, Gordon Brown is the wrong man for the job. Harold Saxon, OTOH....
posted by dw at 1:28 PM on June 30, 2007 [7 favorites]


BBC News 24 has some amateur/bystander video footage. The guys being arrested certainly don't look Asian (NB: "Asian" in Brit-speak means Pakistani, not East Asian) -- they're paler-skinned than the cops who were arresting them.

I note that John Lennon Airport, Liverpool, is shut. Liverpool, Glasgow, London ... could it be dissident Republicans?
posted by cstross at 1:31 PM on June 30, 2007 [1 favorite]


Now there's a man to guide Britain into the future, dw
posted by ukdanae at 1:32 PM on June 30, 2007


The Dead Flag Blues
No I don't agree with this interpretation of the song either but this is still quite a chilling montage...(I just happened upon it just now when searching YT...shame it ends before the guitar part).
posted by Flashman at 1:32 PM on June 30, 2007


Nice present for Gordon Brown. He's been PM for, what, three minutes? He hasn't had time to grab a newspaper and try out the toilet at Number 10 yet, and already the cars are exploding.
posted by pracowity at 1:34 PM on June 30, 2007


Simma down Alex...
posted by Dreamghost at 1:34 PM on June 30, 2007


We're supposed to be afraid of these people?
posted by uri at 1:35 PM on June 30, 2007


What this country really needs more then anything right now is a Doctor...
posted by Dreamghost at 1:36 PM on June 30, 2007 [5 favorites]


On Fri they indicted 4 people in the completely impossible "bomb plot" at JFK.


Nice present for Gordon Brown. He's been PM for, what, three minutes? He hasn't had time to grab a newspaper and try out the toilet at Number 10 yet, and already the cars are exploding.

Which is like Madrid, no? wasn't it right at election time? These are inept messages to Brown, i think.
posted by amberglow at 1:37 PM on June 30, 2007


Interesting point, cstross - they'd have just as much reason to bomb at the transition of PM as Islamist terrorists would. Also: Calling something al-qaeda these days should in no ay imply some organised international plot. There are plenty of people who call themselves al-qaeda supporters that get all their info off the Internet somewhere.
posted by By The Grace of God at 1:40 PM on June 30, 2007


(hey, does Martha save the world in the finale?)
posted by amberglow at 1:40 PM on June 30, 2007


Did you notice from all the footage they don't have those concrete barriers at that airport? How come?
posted by amberglow at 1:42 PM on June 30, 2007


I'm not sure, amberglow -- Edinburgh recently changed their front entrance to taxis only with a barrier, so it might be something Glasgow had in the works.
posted by ukdanae at 1:51 PM on June 30, 2007


John Simm is supreme.
posted by afx237vi at 1:52 PM on June 30, 2007


Calling something al-qaeda these days should in no ay imply some organised international plot. There are plenty of people who call themselves al-qaeda supporters that get all their info off the Internet somewhere.

Then don't call it fucking Al-Qaeda.

Insofar as there is a "war on terror", majorities of the public see several enemies. Al Qaeda (75%), /../ are believed to be "our real enemies in the war on terror".
posted by mr.marx at 1:52 PM on June 30, 2007


MeTa already, jeez.
posted by nevercalm at 1:52 PM on June 30, 2007


[a few comments removed, holy crap you guys are amazing. WALK AWAY, and if you must, walk to METATALK.]
posted by jessamyn at 1:55 PM on June 30, 2007


I think that Scottish bloke on the telephone interview on News 24 this afternoon deserves a medal for "knockin the fella down"

Glasgow Kiss??
posted by cardamine at 1:55 PM on June 30, 2007


God, I love Scotland. The response of the local was to run at the bad guys and tackle them.

I'm sure they were just enthusiastically reminding the driver to stop, drop, and roll.
posted by The corpse in the library at 1:56 PM on June 30, 2007


In the United States, Strategic Forecasting, a private research group, said the “amateur construction” of the explosive device “and the way it was placed suggest the plotter or plotters have no connection to a major militant organization.”
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:56 PM on June 30, 2007


I'm not sure, amberglow -- Edinburgh recently changed their front entrance to taxis only with a barrier, so it might be something Glasgow had in the works.

They recently changed it so that cars can't drive in front of the building -- they run in parallel lanes separated by a concrete divide. Taxis and buses can pull up to the front door, but they have to pass through a gate, which was clearly forced. There are concrete bollards between the building and the road, but only small ones.

There's actually not a lot more they could do there, short of redesigning the entire layout. And to think I took the piss when they made what changes they did. "Terror in Glasgow? Ayyyye"
posted by bonaldi at 1:57 PM on June 30, 2007


During the just-completed press conference with Strathclyde Police Chief Constable Willie Rae he stated that evidence indicates that the Glasgow incident is linked with that in London.
posted by ericb at 1:58 PM on June 30, 2007


See, if 9/11 had gone down like this, I could actually believe the Bush administration was behind it.
posted by dirigibleman at 1:59 PM on June 30, 2007 [11 favorites]


Woo...is it getting hot in here or is just me?

I know someone mentioned this, but God it is great the way the locals grabbed the guy put out his fire but beat the crap outta him. I can only hope American's are capable of such poetic common sense. Every American man, woman and child should be learning Ju Jitsui and terrorist stomping techniques.

As for "False Flag". Fuck yes, I do think it could be that, I don't think the Brits are necessarily above it. Neither is the U.S. Gov. and think if they can do it safely without it leaking out, they will do it.

These operations seem so poorly executed though that they seem like diversions...I mean what else happened while these dickheads were trying to make their car explode like in the movies?
posted by Skygazer at 1:59 PM on June 30, 2007 [1 favorite]


Only those with the most radical politics are believers in this conspiracy nonsense. It is always the voice of the extreme left, extremely religious or extreme right; who talk of black helicopters, etc. When ever we've actually caught anyone plotting such conspiracies it always comes from their ranks. Look at the Reichtstag Fire. I'm more frightened of those people than of Gordon Brown. Show me one example where the extreme right or extreme left had actual power and there wasn't killing and conspiracy on a scale unimagined by the moderate governments of the west. There are less than 1000 people imprisoned in Guantanimo held by the USA, how many people is Castro holding just over the fence? How many women are locked up or beaten in Iran for not wearing the Hijab? It may be just a matter of degree; but I'll take the tempurature if that is the case.
posted by humanfont at 2:06 PM on June 30, 2007


These operations seem so poorly executed though that they seem like diversions...I mean what else happened while these dickheads were trying to make their car explode like in the movies?

Big chunk of Yorkshire underwater? London just can't stand being out of the news...
posted by cardamine at 2:08 PM on June 30, 2007


I think that Scottish bloke on the telephone interview on News 24 this afternoon deserves a medal for "knockin the fella down"

Here's the interview with eyewitness Stephen Clarkson.
posted by ericb at 2:11 PM on June 30, 2007


During the just-completed press conference with Strathclyde Police Chief Constable Willie Rae he stated that evidence indicates that the Glasgow incident is linked with that in London.

Reuters: Police say Glasgow attack linked to London events.
posted by ericb at 2:14 PM on June 30, 2007


They didn't give any proof of links tho. They've lied before (don't forget the Brazilian subway guy they shot and all the lies they told about him, and other incidents--they've lied alot, just like our officials.)
posted by amberglow at 2:17 PM on June 30, 2007


> The lovely thing, it turns out, about your religious nutbars is that they're not very good at the
> Science.... Long may this fuckwittedness continue.

Well anyway, one smiles to see yesterday's party line (Iraq war creating vast numbers of deadly new terrorists)...

think we created any new terrorists this week? huh bushies?---stop our officials (who work for us whose salaries we pay, etc) from creating new terrorists daily.---Generations of new terrorists breed from our aggression---the mess in Iraq, and all the new terrorists created there (who are, incidentally, sharing their research into effective terror techniques (against U.S. forces) with the rest of the world

...morph into today's line (Terrorists? Incompetent clowns, nothing to worry about.) Actually the old line was becoming tedious in its insincerity, since those dragging out the creating-new-terrorists talking point always had to pretend to be worried about terrorism when in fact they don't give a fig. The new line suits them much better. I recommend they stick with it; nobody likes a poser.
posted by jfuller at 2:24 PM on June 30, 2007


so what do you think, jfuller?

btw, kudos to the human font for the funniest comment in this thread
posted by mr.marx at 2:34 PM on June 30, 2007


I don't think this will turn out to be a false flag operation (or dissident Republicans for that matter), but given what has emerged subsequently about the FRU and the rest in Ireland, you can hardly call it outrageous for Blazecock to suggest the possibility.
posted by Abiezer at 2:41 PM on June 30, 2007


cstross: "The guys being arrested certainly don't look Asian (NB: "Asian" in Brit-speak means Pakistani, not East Asian) -- they're paler-skinned than the cops who were arresting them."

Equally, some of the bystander pictures on the BBC site show the back of someone being arrested who looks, as far as one can tell from the back, Asian in the British sense of Pakistani.

amberglow: They didn't give any proof of links tho.

To be fair, the Strathclyde Police chief constable said they thought the attacks were linked because of the similarities (car with explosives or flammable substances). More importantly, the police always (with every investigation, terrorist or not) limit the amount of information they release, in part because the UK has strict legal constraints about giving out information about arrested suspects prior to trial.

I agree with the people pointing out the incompetence aspect, but that's not necessarily entirely reassuring.
posted by Aloysius Bear at 2:50 PM on June 30, 2007


I don't think this will turn out to be a false flag operation (or dissident Republicans for that matter), but given what has emerged subsequently about the FRU and the rest in Ireland, you can hardly call it outrageous for Blazecock to suggest the possibility.

There's such a big difference between the Army covertly sanctioning some paramilitary kneecappings of Republican civilians during the Troubles, and driving a car possibly containing explosives into an airport full of Glaswegian civilians, that the comparison doesn't make much sense.
posted by Aloysius Bear at 2:54 PM on June 30, 2007


God, I love Scotland. The response of the local was to run at the bad guys and tackle them.

ah, i love scotland too. good on them for taking this all in hand. clearly, they were not scottish and we all know if it's not scottish, it's crap!!
posted by eatdonuts at 2:55 PM on June 30, 2007


'they' meaning the terrorists... ug. sorry!
posted by eatdonuts at 2:55 PM on June 30, 2007


Aloysius - it was more "the rest" I was thinking of, but couldn't scare up on online source. The FRU were just one part of operations at Thiepval barracks and all sorts of weirdness was directed from there apparently, including manufacturing witchcraft scares to ratchet up tension and disorientation, if certain sources are to believed.
Parapolitics are not a particular interest for me, but what's credibly in the historical record in the UK makes it, as I say, not outrageous to consider the possibility.
posted by Abiezer at 3:00 PM on June 30, 2007


If it is Al-Quaeda, then they've started hiring martyrs who are so inept that they probably couldn't even find 72 virgins in heaven.
posted by seanyboy at 3:04 PM on June 30, 2007


Fair enough, as long as we keep an open mind and remember it could also be the Russian mob, the vast Jewish global conspiracy or perhaps the aliens from Area 51. Personally, I blame the Loch Ness Monster.
posted by Aloysius Bear at 3:05 PM on June 30, 2007


It's not outrageous for people to claim that it was the British government bombing their own citizens to create a non-existent climate of fear - they can say what they like, after all.

It is, however, a ludicrous paranoid conspiracy hypothesis, of the sort that would disgrace the saloon bar at the Dog and Duck. Occam's razor, anyone? I know that politicians aren't popular, but Britain is a liberal western democracy, not Koruptystan.

(Now someone will say, "oh yeah, well what about that minor political scandal, that shows that the Government wants to kill its own people", or "Don't forget the different thing that happened in different circumstances thirty years ago - they're all the same", and it'll just be very tedious.)
posted by athenian at 3:05 PM on June 30, 2007


Yes, my point was more to defend Blazecock.
I expect it will turn out to be some misguided youths who paid more attention to propaganda videos then they did in chemistry class.
posted by Abiezer at 3:08 PM on June 30, 2007


...some misguided youths who paid more attention to propaganda videos then they did in chemistry class.

...or, to spelling and grammar in writing class.

I keed, I keed.
posted by ericb at 3:32 PM on June 30, 2007


Britain is a liberal western democracy, not Koruptystan

For the most part, and spoken as a citizen of the UK, this is more or less true, but then after cover-ups like De Menezes and the whitewash done on David Kelly's mysterious death, closer scrutiny perhaps might be warranted where allegations of terrorism are concerned.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:51 PM on June 30, 2007


I note that John Lennon Airport, Liverpool, is shut

I doubt they'd notice one more exploding car in Liverpool . When I lived there I had the impression that any 12 year old Scouser worth his tracksuit already had a couple of car explosions under his belt. And they know how to do it properly too.
posted by fshgrl at 3:55 PM on June 30, 2007 [1 favorite]


There are less than 1000 people imprisoned in Guantanimo held by the USA, how many people is Castro holding just over the fence? How many women are locked up or beaten in Iran for not wearing the Hijab? It may be just a matter of degree; but I'll take the tempurature if that is the case.

.......what?
posted by jokeefe at 3:57 PM on June 30, 2007


He forgot to take the US prison system into account. Sheer idiocy.
posted by IronLizard at 4:33 PM on June 30, 2007


government-staged, phony terrorist attacks to keep people in line.

wake the fuck up.
posted by quarter waters and a bag of chips at 4:39 PM on June 30, 2007


There are less than 1000 people imprisoned in Guantanimo held by the USA, how many people is Castro holding just over the fence? How many women are locked up or beaten in Iran for not wearing the Hijab? It may be just a matter of degree; but I'll take the tempurature if that is the case.

It's amazing how easily shoddy spelling and confused metaphors destroy a ridiculous statement.
posted by KokuRyu at 4:39 PM on June 30, 2007


The timing of this is awfully suspicious convenient, allowing the new PM to keep extant policies in place.

You might very well think that, but I couldn't possibly comment.
posted by dhartung at 4:59 PM on June 30, 2007




From the article that amberglow linked (which doesn't appear to have damned thing to do with the 'completely impossible' carry-on liquid scenario and ban):

Investigators said that Kadir and Nur were longtime associates of Jamaat al Muslimeen, a Muslim organization based in Trinidad that formented a coup in Trinidad in 1990.

Formented?
posted by cortex at 5:11 PM on June 30, 2007


always had to pretend to be worried about terrorism when in fact they don't give a fig

funnily enough, though, we're the ones who, unlike you guys who blissfully live in Bumfuck, Georgia, and similar places so remote no terrorist would even be able to find on some map, much less would they see point of bombing, well, we're the ones who live in cities that may actually be targets, and have to live with that fact. we're also the ones who, unlike the passport-less jingos who always take care to lecture us, we're the ones taking planes all the time -- again being exposed to much higher risk than the stay-at-home US crowd.

most of you guys are safe behind lines, as usual -- don't worry. we're the ones who may risk being hit by a bombing or an hijacking you'll just watch on Fox.
posted by matteo at 5:30 PM on June 30, 2007 [2 favorites]


Q: What do terrorists crave, above all?

A: Media attention.

I know that it's an impossibility, but I really wish that these things didn't dominate any given news cycle.
posted by chuckdarwin at 5:34 PM on June 30, 2007 [2 favorites]


We're trapped in the belly of this horrible machine, and the machine is bleeding to death.
posted by jimfl at 6:29 PM on June 30, 2007 [1 favorite]


Q: What do terrorists crave, above all?

A: Media attention.


I'm just wondering what the message is. Rather, I'm not sure if these terrorists (9/11, nightclub bombings, London subway bombings) really have a coherent communications strategy that uses the media to effectively convey key messages.

Common sense says that terrorists crave media attention. Well, if this is true, they got what they want. But the media, while broadcasting these violent acts, does not communicate the political goals of the terrorists. I have no idea why they do what they do. So this terrorist campaign is a failure.

Terrorist bombings in Iraq are employed as a strategy to set off, and sustain, a civil war. What's the strategy behind the recent London and Glasgow bombings?

I think what's most frightening is that 9/11 and Iraq have empowered anti-social morons to perform chaotic terrorist acts with no political goal whatsoever.
posted by KokuRyu at 6:50 PM on June 30, 2007


My personal theory - since it's Armchair Security Analysis Hour - is that these attempted attacks were the work of the hitherto-unknown provisional wing of FOREST, as part of a strategy to build a security case for keeping smoking indoors.
posted by WPW at 7:02 PM on June 30, 2007


Maybe they would've been more successful here if, instead of a Jeep Cherokee, they'd used a Chevy Blazer.
posted by Flashman at 7:15 PM on June 30, 2007


Sheesh, these guys call themselves terrorists? Fucking amateur hour.
posted by Bovine Love at 7:19 PM on June 30, 2007


fshgrl writes 'I doubt they'd notice one more exploding car in Liverpool . When I lived there I had the impression that any 12 year old Scouser worth his tracksuit already had a couple of car explosions under his belt.'

But we're not wasteful, fshgrl. We only explode them *after* we've stripped out all the resaleable parts -- purely to enable the owners to reclaim the full value of the vehicles on their insurance.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 7:24 PM on June 30, 2007


False Flag

I'm sure Islamists everywhere appreciate you as their self-proclaimed protector and apologist. One wonders what they would do for (to?) you.
posted by Krrrlson at 7:27 PM on June 30, 2007


Blazecock Pileon writes 'Who says this isn't the work of the BNP'

It might have escaped your notice, Blazecock, being out of the country and all, but the BNP don't generally let many asians join their ranks.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 7:32 PM on June 30, 2007


From the article that amberglow linked (which doesn't appear to have damned thing to do with the 'completely impossible' carry-on liquid scenario and ban):

Investigators said that Kadir and Nur were longtime associates of Jamaat al Muslimeen, a Muslim organization based in Trinidad that formented a coup in Trinidad in 1990.


It was an article about the guys just indicted for trying to bomb the fuel lines leading to JFK--who said it was about liquids at all? It was another heavily heavily hyped "plot" that was impossible and not even plotted at all. They were called "al Qaeda" too, by the way.
posted by amberglow at 7:36 PM on June 30, 2007


"Impossible" covers that liquid thing too, by the way, since you brought it up, cortex. That one too, was heavily heavily hyped, caused all of us to be inconvenienced and still does, and was never realistic either.
posted by amberglow at 7:39 PM on June 30, 2007


Comedy of errors, amberglow:

I read this: This of course also applied to the chemically-impossible theoretical "bomb" plot which led to airline bans on sippy cups and Colgate.

And then this, from you, which I took to be a reaction to the above: On Fri they indicted 4 people in the completely impossible "bomb plot" at JFK.

Of course, he had "chemically" and you had "completely", so it could have been a complete non sequitur and I'm nuts. In that case, apologies for running interference.
posted by cortex at 8:02 PM on June 30, 2007


Congrats on the title/link names.
posted by dobbs at 8:03 PM on June 30, 2007


no biggie, cortex

Brown is soooo dour. Is he going to be better than Blair?
And i see he says that bull about how his first duty is security and safety too (this says it's to form a govt and appoint people)--it's actually not Bush's first duty by any means either (his is supposed to be making sure laws are faithfully executed--hah)
posted by amberglow at 8:11 PM on June 30, 2007


I think Glasgow (and other airports) needs to rethink the concrete barrier thing--the city here is full of them on the sidewalks (often as planters) and they'd have stopped a car thing like this.
posted by amberglow at 8:13 PM on June 30, 2007


When they found the other cars the other day, I half expected the media to hound Blair for a reaction. It seems we've got a little too used to having these presidential type addresses from Blair, that when a proper old fashioned PM turns up, it seems like there's something missing.

Next time Gordon, remember pace yourself.

Walk out... pause... take a breath... pause... then address the nation.
posted by popcassady at 8:22 PM on June 30, 2007


One wonders what they would do for (to?) you.
posted by Krrrlson


ABOOGHABOOGHABOO!!

scared shitless yet? oh, sorry, you were already.
posted by mr.marx at 8:34 PM on June 30, 2007 [1 favorite]


It might have escaped your notice, Blazecock, being out of the country and all, but the BNP don't generally let many asians join their ranks.

It appears no witnesses can agree on and therefore state conclusively that those two fellows were Asians. One witness claimed the suspect repeated "Allah", while another witness quoted in a BBC interview claims the same suspect didn't say much at all. So, again, a lot of what you read in the press is certainly speculative — in my opinion, deliberately so, to incite fear and xenophobia. Feel frrree to take it all together with as much or as little salt as you please.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 8:42 PM on June 30, 2007


There was a guy, and he seemed ASIAN, and he was speaking some kind of language ... I think it was ASIAN!
posted by Astro Zombie at 8:47 PM on June 30, 2007 [2 favorites]


Feel frrree to take it all together with as much or as little salt as you please.

Yeah, I think this oughta do it.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 8:49 PM on June 30, 2007 [1 favorite]


(ohhh--that dr. who finale! and Jack!!!! just watched it) : >
posted by amberglow at 9:20 PM on June 30, 2007


If this is true...

"Q: What do terrorists crave, above all?

A: Media attention.
"

Then they missed a great opportunity by not having a car bomb parked outside of Paris Hilton's house last week when she was released from jail.

Or in Malibu, as usually just a little bit of rain and a fire or two within 25 miles of Malibu create a huge media storm.
posted by msjen at 9:45 PM on June 30, 2007 [2 favorites]


Flashman: kiss me, you're beautiful - these are truly the last days.
posted by UbuRoivas at 9:47 PM on June 30, 2007


It appears no witnesses can agree on and therefore state conclusively that those two fellows were Asians.

It's also possible that they were *mock* Asians. They turned Sean Connery into a Chinaman or whatever, after all, and surely the state of asianizing technology has advanced since then.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 10:39 PM on June 30, 2007


Egyptian, dammit. Sean Connery was Egyptian. Posing as a Spaniard, but still.
posted by Justinian at 1:05 AM on July 1, 2007


It appears no witnesses can agree on and therefore state conclusively that those two fellows were Asians.

Worth noting that only poms refer to subcontinentals as "asians". For the rest of the world, asians are actually asians, not aryans or dravidians.
posted by UbuRoivas at 1:16 AM on July 1, 2007


cstross: BBC News 24 has some amateur/bystander video footage. The guys being arrested certainly don't look Asian (NB: "Asian" in Brit-speak means Pakistani, not East Asian) -- they're paler-skinned than the cops who were arresting them.

You mean the guys being arrested that were ON FIRE a few moments earlier? Does wonders to the skin. Being on fire.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 1:19 AM on July 1, 2007


They turned Sean Connery into a Chinaman or whatever

Japanese (You Only Live Twice)

I have to say I don't miss the reliable competence of the IRA at all.
posted by Grangousier at 3:00 AM on July 1, 2007


wfrgms said -
"I'm surprised some commentators haven't arrived at a Middle East connection because the cars in question were Mercedes. Because, ya know, A-rabs love them Mercs."

But the baddies always drive Mercedes! Don't you watch Bond films or all those 70s TV series like the Avengers, the Saint, the Persuaders and all the rest? Driving a Merc = wearing a black hat.
posted by tabbycat at 3:04 AM on July 1, 2007


Blazecock Pileon writes 'It appears no witnesses can agree on and therefore state conclusively that those two fellows were Asians.'

The various witness accounts that I've seen appear to be suggesting that one was Asian, the other possibly middle-Eastern.

However, they've probably been Photoshopped to confuse the witnesses.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 4:42 AM on July 1, 2007


It seems to me (I think based on comments just from this thread, but then I read most of it yesterday) that the confusion stems from Americans calling Pakistanis either "Middle-Eastern" or "Pakistani" while Brits, while calling them the others previously mentioned might also call them "Asian." Never having been to the UK (much to my lasting regret), I could be completely wrong, however.
posted by nevercalm at 5:53 AM on July 1, 2007


Never having been to the UK is nothing to regret.
posted by UbuRoivas at 6:21 AM on July 1, 2007


What freaked me the first time I came to the UK is that huge numbers of people call Asians Blacks. I actually heard a conversation between two cleaning ladies about the daughter of one who was going out with a Portuguese guy. So lady 1 (and I use the term in the widest possible sense) says to Lady 2, "Portuguese, BUT that's Black too isn't it. Your mum won't like that ?"
Lady 2 "dunno he looks like the Paki bloke down at the corner shoop so he must be"

Anyway I want Matteo to write a guidebook to Bumfuck, Georgia, I would so buy that book!
posted by Wilder at 6:38 AM on July 1, 2007


Yes, pretty much right, nevercalm. Asian to us is someone from the subcontinent, because most of the people from Asia who are in the UK come (sometimes via roundabout routes) from Pakistan/India/Bangladesh/Sri Lanka. Pakistani (and especially Paki) can be terms of abuse, used indiscriminately against anyone who's got darker skin, so many people steer away from using them. I'd like to think most people can differentiate Middle Eastern from Pakistani, but I'm probably living in my little Helga dream world again.
posted by Helga-woo at 6:48 AM on July 1, 2007


"We fight them over there so we don't have to fight them here."*

* Offer not valid in Istanbul, Glasgow, London, or Madrid.

But the baddies always drive Mercedes! Don't you watch Bond films or all those 70s TV series like the Avengers, the Saint, the Persuaders and all the rest?

Goldfinger drove a 1937 Rolls Royce Phantom III Sedance de Ville made out of gold.

Google Maps results for Bumfuck, Georgia.
posted by kirkaracha at 7:00 AM on July 1, 2007


However, they've probably been Photoshopped to confuse the witnesses.

Perhaps they have the WMDs that Saddam had stored away in Iraq, sweetie.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 8:01 AM on July 1, 2007


A US-UK-cultural-gulf aside: I was watching Iggy Pop and the Stooges being interviewed after their amazing Glastonbury show, and Iggy referred to 'walking into a Paki shop', as if it was the most normal thing in the world to say. There was a moment of stunned silence, and then I think the Stooge who now looks like Michael Moore quickly changed the subject.
oh let's go to the clip shall we....er, as you can see my recollection of it is slightly skewed but factually correct..
posted by Flashman at 8:59 AM on July 1, 2007


If only he'd followed up with "oh, no, this was in Boston, see."

"Ohhhhhh."

"Go Sox!"
posted by cortex at 9:40 AM on July 1, 2007


... Lord Stevens, Mr Brown's new terrorism adviser, has said the attacks signalled a "major escalation in the war being waged on us by Islamic terrorists".

He wrote in his column in the News of the World: "It is clear a loose but deadly network of interlinked operational cells has developed."

He also said the "trick" of exploding one device and shortly afterwards igniting another to catch fleeing crowds was "textbook al-Qaeda". ...


No. It's not. It's just as likely (or far more likely) to be ETA or rightwing US terrorists or some others doing that.
posted by amberglow at 11:23 AM on July 1, 2007


It's just as likely (or far more likely) to be ETA

ETA doesn't target people like that. They often give advance warnings so no one gets hurt.
posted by homunculus at 11:44 AM on July 1, 2007


Meanwhile, in Pakistan: Taliban Spreading, Pakistani President Is Warned
posted by homunculus at 11:44 AM on July 1, 2007


ETA doesn't target people like that. They often give advance warnings so no one gets hurt.
They do, and the IRA did too, no?

But we don't know that the london cars wouldn't have had warnings called in beforehand or not, do we? They've said they were supposed to be cellphone-triggered, which means they weren't a suicide attack like Glasgow was more likely to be.

I don't buy the connection between these 2 obviously different London and Glasgow m.o.s, esp in terms of what we've been told, and there's no reason at all to call any of them Al Qaeda.
posted by amberglow at 1:24 PM on July 1, 2007


...The prime minister told Andrew Marr on BBC One's Sunday AM it was "clear that we are dealing, in general terms, with people who are associated with al-Qaeda".
"It's obvious that we have a group of people - not just in this country, but round the world - who're prepared at any time to inflict what they want to be maximum damage on civilians, irrespective of the religion of these people who are killed or maimed are to be," Mr Brown said.

This might as well have been said by Bush, and it's just as likely to be not relevant to these incidents-- and false. Al Qaeda itself does not strick anywhere, nor do they stay prepared all the time, but actually plan intensively and target specific things.

This conflation of Al Qaeda with everyone who does stuff everywhere is incredibly misleading.
posted by amberglow at 1:51 PM on July 1, 2007


The interviewer asked "What message do you have for the bombers" - he replied "This is Glasgow- we'll just set about you".
posted by sgt.serenity at 2:07 PM on July 1, 2007


I can't wait for the movie with Gerard Butler and the Tartan Army versus the International Bad Men in the arrival hall

"Madness? No, THIS IS GLESCAAAA!!!"
posted by Flitcraft at 2:36 PM on July 1, 2007


Asian to us is someone from the subcontinent, because most of the people from Asia who are in the UK come (sometimes via roundabout routes) from Pakistan/India/Bangladesh/Sri Lanka.

Technically, Asia begins at the Bosphorus, so anything East of Istanbul & North of Cairo probably counts. That would make Arabs, Persians, most Turks & all subcontinentals 'Asian' for a Brit. In contrast, I think the rest of the world thinks of Asians as being only the 'yellow' variety - Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Thai, Viet, Malay, Indo, Phillo...?

posted by UbuRoivas at 3:03 PM on July 1, 2007


I think Olbermann said it well: if you can make a car bomb with half a tank of gas, some propane, a handful of nails and an old cell phone, then every hollywood starlet is a potential car bomb, isn't she?
posted by five fresh fish at 3:20 PM on July 1, 2007


(His guest, btw, is pissed that some arsehole posers are attempting to divert media attention from the hell that has become Baghdad. The worst injuries in the UK were the douchbag who lit himself on fire, while in Iraq a dozen people, civvies and soldiers, were killed outright in a very real war. London needn't feel sorry for itself.
posted by five fresh fish at 3:22 PM on July 1, 2007


Apparently, all three bombs failed to go off because of the same flaw in the detonator-- so clearly, they are linked.
posted by Maias at 3:48 PM on July 1, 2007


> Worth noting that only poms refer to subcontinentals as "asians". For the rest of the world, asians are
> actually asians, not aryans or dravidians.

There are quite a number of subcontinentals out there referring to themselves as South Asians. For example.


> What freaked me the first time I came to the UK is that huge numbers of people call Asians Blacks.

The wogs start at Calais.
posted by jfuller at 5:24 PM on July 1, 2007


There's the fella: http://www.johnsmeaton.com/. Good man.
posted by bonaldi at 6:52 PM on July 1, 2007




John Smeaton can strangle you with a cordless phone.
posted by sgt.serenity at 3:02 AM on July 2, 2007


> unlike you guys who blissfully live in Bumfuck, Georgia,

Unaccountably tough talk from somebody who doesn't even have a location in his profile (fuller does quick screen cap, in case a lat./long. suddenly reappears.) Is it those imaginary stalkers of yours again, m? I grant that, did I live in Milano as matteo does or did, I would be moving out before nightfall--probably (if I just had to remain close to the Newark, New Jersey of northern Italy, only with its own peculiar forms of fun) to Pavia, which the m-person no doubt thinks of as Bumfuck, Lombardy.


> Anyway I want Matteo to write a guidebook to Bumfuck, Georgia, I would so buy that book!

It's a metasyntactic variable. The possibilities for nightlife and local color in a metasyntactic variable are, um, limited. But I expect you're really hoping for something like this. Glad to oblige, have fun.
posted by jfuller at 4:35 AM on July 2, 2007






US Warned of Glasgow Threat Two Weeks Ago

"...the two men suspected of carrying out the terror plot...were being tracked by police even before the attack on Glasgow's airport, sources told CNN's Nic Robertson."*

If so, how'd they get away with planting the car bombs in London and driving the Jeep Cherokee into the airport terminal in Glasgow?
posted by ericb at 8:24 AM on July 2, 2007


Best comedy comment on the incident so far seen here:

"Everyone seems to be missing the real issue:

If they had instead used a mini cooper, could they have blown the doors off?"
posted by Abiezer at 8:30 AM on July 2, 2007


Just don't use the Polo.
posted by caddis at 8:49 AM on July 2, 2007


"So incompetent as to be almost laughable." That's how former Scotland Yard detective John O'Connor described the botched UK bombings this morning on CNN. He also noted that it's probably wrong to refer to these guys as 'al Qaeda'. ...
posted by amberglow at 9:16 AM on July 2, 2007


Soiled Diaper Wearers Unite
posted by homunculus at 10:25 AM on July 2, 2007


Harold Shipman killed more people than this bunch of useless fucks. The UK has tons of Asian doctors. I think you can see my line of thinking there. TRUST NO ONE - ESPECIALLY DR ABDUL KAMIR.
posted by longbaugh at 12:49 PM on July 2, 2007


So they hauled in doctors and their families and friends? And one of the guys is a neurosurgeon? Since when are neurosurgeons anywhere involved in terrorism?
posted by amberglow at 1:17 PM on July 2, 2007


...My hotel TV offers both CNN and BBC news coverage, and the difference between them is remarkable. ...
CNN created the image of a major world crisis, while BBC presented an isolated but obviously troubling event.

I would respectfully posit that such coverage by most of our American Mainstream Media is why the Bush Administration has been able to so easily play with the fears and emotions of Americans.

posted by amberglow at 1:22 PM on July 2, 2007


I was fucking joking but apparently this was true. Dear Security Services - I know naaaathing. Look to poke some other person.
posted by longbaugh at 1:26 PM on July 2, 2007


And one of the guys is a neurosurgeon? Since when are neurosurgeons anywhere involved in terrorism?

Yes, but the police investigating terrorism can hardly say, "Oh that chap's got a respectable career so we'll ignore him."
posted by Aloysius Bear at 1:29 PM on July 2, 2007




Since when are neurosurgeons anywhere involved in terrorism?
When they just barely escaped what became of Iraq? Lots of terrorists are well-educated. Atta had a degree, didn't he?
posted by bonaldi at 2:37 PM on July 2, 2007


homunculus: This is all Michael Moore's fault.

Oh come on. I read the page at Mark Steyn's blog that apparently "linked Michael Moore to the Glasgow bombings", and it was completely obvious that the post, and the reader's email it quotes, were attempts at humour.

It wasn't actually funny, and was really fairly tasteless. But really, no one does themselves any favours by deliberately completely misrepresenting Mark Steyn like this. He's repulsive enough as it is without having to distort what he writes for shock value.

Steyn's post: I've been getting more than a few letters along these lines:
Would these be Doctors who work for the U.K. health care system so lavishly praised by Michael Moore? Are you sure that we can rule out poverty? If not poverty, how about frustration. Perhaps they are not Jihadists at all but simply men driven insane by their employer? Maybe Michael Moore has spawned an entirely new breed of suicide bomber — the alienated UK health care worker....."
I think it's just the jihad's multi-pronged strategy: they oppose the surgin' in Iraq, but they recruit the surgeon in Stoke-on-Trent.

posted by Aloysius Bear at 2:51 PM on July 2, 2007


That's actually a bit close to the bone. With the recent MTAS fuck-up about 8,000 doctors in training will be unemployed by August. Between 4-8 depending on who you ask. Many, many of the are from the Asian sub-continent and have given sterling service to the NHS in the past, and the message to them now is.OK you took out huge loans back home to come here and do your PLAB and try to get the kind of training that would enhance your job chances back home. Yes , we needed you for a while but no longer. Thanks Bye. One of these doctors has already committed suicide (see page three) 28 year old Imran Yousef. .
posted by Wilder at 9:44 AM on July 3, 2007


That's terrible, Wilder. They aren't citizens or on a citizen-track or something? Is the UK just using them?
posted by amberglow at 10:03 AM on July 3, 2007


Interesting. Perhaps the motive for these doctors (if the news articles are correct) attempting to commit mass murder was anger at the immigration rules change?
posted by caddis at 10:24 AM on July 3, 2007


heheheheheheheh. Tomorrow's Daily Record splash:
I KICKED BURNING TERRORIST SO HARD IN BALLS THAT I TORE A TENDON IN MY FOOT
A hero cabbie who took on the Glasgow Airport terror suspects told yesterday how he booted one of them in the privates.
posted by bonaldi at 2:12 PM on July 3, 2007


Aloysius Bear: and it was completely obvious that the post, and the reader's email it quotes, were attempts at humour.

I know. I was mocking their dumb jokes.
posted by homunculus at 3:34 PM on July 3, 2007




Riiight. The site you actually linked to takes them completely seriously. A somewhat opaque method of mocking, if that's what it was.
posted by Aloysius Bear at 3:38 PM on July 3, 2007


The visa change angle grows more interesting with some research. The protests have been going on for over a year and with many visas expiring in August anger must be at a fever pitch. Couple that with the reports that some of the subjects were not known to be particularly religious. Perhaps there is an al Qaeda connection in there somewhere, but the anger driving this particular set of attack attempts by a group of doctors may be the British government pulling the immigration rug out from under them, sending them home or off to other lands to pursue a career which might all of a sudden no longer be lucrative. In other words, the motive might be anger and greed. How ignoble. No virgins for you, well, especially because you were such loser doctors who couldn't even pull the trigger right. al Qaeda associates with these lamers? What a joke.
posted by caddis at 4:50 PM on July 3, 2007


I hate the fucking fact that I said this was a train-crash in slow motion a year ago. Everyone of us involved in medical training did. But there was too much at stake politically.
The twisted thing is that the rules are more lenient towards these doctors than the high-court ruling in December had suggested. If that ruling was followed many more would not even have been eligible to apply and the Daily Telegraph appalling scenario of middle class UK educated grandaughters of Sir Reginald Whatsists would not be on the cards.
The scenario facing us now in the UK is that large numbers of UK educated junior doctors (most of whom we the UK Taxpayer funded through their medical training to the tune of £250,000) will be unemployed in August. And huge numbers of sub-continent doctors. Anger is not the word.
Heads have rolled Crockhardt, Heard, but Patsy was allowed to resign.
Thanks to the concerned mefite friends who advised me over the last year that to post more of this would be suicidal to my career. Right now I could give a fuck.
posted by Wilder at 3:44 AM on July 4, 2007


Appaling scenario of UNEMPLOYED granddaughters... I meant . Sorry
posted by Wilder at 3:46 AM on July 4, 2007


It's true!
posted by homunculus at 9:38 PM on July 5, 2007




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