July 08, 2005
Terrorist(s) Killed in the London Bombings?
The more details come out about the four bombs that went of in London yesterday (and the two that didn't), the more it sounds like we are dealing with terrorists with a minimum of training. 1/3 of the known bombs failed to detonate, of those 40%, or 3 of 5, failed to detonate in the Underground (subway) attacks. One may have even killed one or more terrorists in a premature detonation.
The attacks were not nearly simultaneous as many claimed in the confusion of yesterday's horrific events, with an ABC News article saying the Underground attacks were spaced out over 18 minutes. This seems an excessively long period of time if the intention of the attacks was to kill and maim as many as possible. Perhaps they were confident that even with the delay between explosions that people would not have been able to evacuate the subways in time, but I find it more plausible, due to the fact that two bombs failed to detonate at all, that their timing devices were crude and imprecise.
The crudeness of the timers seems more likely if this story reported by the New York Times is true, that the fourth device, the one that blew up the bus, apparently blew up prematurely while in route to its primary target.
If this story of a premature detonation turns out to be true—and we're talking about a New York Times story instead of a blog entry, so there is room for doubt—then there is a strong possibility that the bomber and any accomplices traveling with him may have been among those killed in the blast.
If one or more bombers were on the bus when it exploded, DNA and forensic evidence recovered from the crime scene may be well on the way to identifying the bombers, and by association, the cell which carried out the attack. I do not know how fast DNA matching and forensic science takes to work, but I'd be willing to bet that once Scotland Yard has a lead, that it will take very little time to make arrests for these attacks.
Justice will be served.
UPDATE: According to CNN a potential bomber may have indeed been killed in the blast:
A passenger who survived the bus blast said he saw an "extremely agitated" man rummaging in a bag just seconds before the explosion, the UK's Press Association reported.
The bus blast occurred about 30 minutes after the last train explosion. Investigators found fragments of timing devices that may have been used in the three train blasts, but no such fragments have been found in the bus explosion, U.S. law enforcement sources told CNN.
"The cause of the bus explosion right now is problematic. We don't know yet what we're dealing with as the cause there," one law enforcement official told CNN.
This new eyewitness information does not seem to confirm this was a suicide bombing, nor does it rule out the possibility of an accidental detonation. It does, however, seem to show the probability that a terrorist was among the fatalities.
UPDATE: It seems that the terrorists involved in this attack are most likely not Methodists.