Saturday, June 30, 2007

A few notes about the events unfolding...

- I was just joking about the car bomber trying to disrupt Canada Day celebrations in London. But then comes news that there was a second car bomb ready to go and parked on Cockspur Street (see map), which is where Canada House and Trafalgar Square, where Sam Roberts and K'Naan and others played a free Canada Day concert last night, are located.

Experts believe, however, that the target for that second foiled car bomb was people fleeing from the first foiled bomb:
"It appears that the bombers' original aim was to have the first bomb go off on Haymarket and the second bomb go off in Cockspur Street just as the emergency vehicles are arriving," said Mr. Beaver, describing a crowd-funnelling technique that has become popular in Iraq. "It would have been a scene of complete carnage and mayhem."
How utterly terrible.

- One of my favourite old Onion headlines is Car Bomber Given Shittiest Possible Car. I had always assumed there was an element of truth to it, but apparently you shouldn't judge a VBIED - a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device - by its make and model. The two unexploded car bombs in London were Mercedes (Mercedeses?) and the one that was rammed into Glasgow airport this afternoon was a Jeep Cherokee. Blue, green and green if you're interested in the esoterica, as I am (though likely only because I find it comforting to focus on the details rather than comtemplating the larger picture).

- The first car bomb was parked outside a nightclub called Tiger Tiger. While we shouldn't jump to conclusions, this is usually one of the calling cards of Islamist terror. Why? Because radicals view nightclubs as a symbol of Western decadence. As one plotter of another thwarted attack put it, "[N]o one can put their hands up and say they are innocent ... those slags dancing around." Charming.

Anyway, because of this, I find it rather ironic that Thursday's carbombing attempt was foiled because of London's decadent binge-drinking culture:
The first car bomb was spotted by an ambulance crew coming to the aid of a young woman who had consumed too many drinks at the Tiger Tiger nightclub on Haymarket, a major boulevard in central London. The attendants noticed a parked Mercedes filling with smoke or fumes and the crew called the bomb squad.
So, yes: young men and women of London, go out and drink too much tonight, proud in the knowledge that you are on the frontlines of fighting terror. At least, that's what I'm telling myself as I nurse a hangover from a decadent night out last night...

No comments: