Saturday, June 30, 2007

Just to stay current

Here's what happened at Glasgow airport today:

The green Jeep barreled toward Glasgow's main airport terminal shortly after 3 p.m. Leeson said bollards _ security posts outside the entrance _ stopped the driver from driving into the bustling terminal, but the nose of the vehicle smashed the glass doors.

"If he'd got through, he'd have killed hundreds, obviously," he said.

AP photographs from the scene showed the car hit the building at an angle and was poking into the terminal. The Jeep struck the building directly in front of check-in counters, where dozens of passengers were lined up, police said.

Lynsey McBean, a witness at the terminal, said the driver kept trying to push the car forward after it got stuck, and "the wheels were spinning and smoke was coming from them."

She said one of the men then took out a plastic gasoline canister and poured a liquid under the car. "He then set light to it," said McBean, 26, from Erskine, Scotland.

Police subdued the driver and a passenger, both described by witnesses as South Asian _ a term used to refer to people from India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and other countries in the region. The previous round of terrorist activity in Britain, in July 2005, was largely carried out by local Muslims, raising ethnic tensions in Britain.

Witnesses said one of the men was engulfed in flames and spoke "gibberish" as an official used a fire extinguisher to douse the fire.

Rae said one bystander was taken to the hospital with a leg injury.
Really? Hundreds would have died if not for those "security bollards"? Those things are pretty common in Houston, especially in places where there is no curb (easier for people in wheelchairs and on crutches), so they're used to keep cars in the parking lot. The grocery store next door to where I'm presently sitting has four of them, shaped like fruits and vegetables. I guess we can say they've saved hundreds of lives by now, eh? As Larry Johnson said (link via Eschaton):

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.
Something about running a car into a security "bollard" and then pouring gasoline under it and lighting it, doesn't seem to have turned out much like a way to kill "hundreds". It usually works in the movies, of course, except it never kills Bruce Willis. But then, a lot of preposterous things work in the movies: like Jim Carrey ending up with Cameron Diaz.

Back to Larry Johnson:

We may be witnessing the implosion of takfiri jihadists--religious fanatics who are incredibly inept.
Sounds about right to me.


"Al-Qaida has imported the tactics of Baghdad and Bali to the streets of the UK," said Lord Stevens, a former London police chief and Brown's terrorism adviser.
Sorry, but: really?

This is what the US and British forces face in Baghdad? People who pour gasoline under their car in a futile attempt to make it explode, and only end up in setting themselves on fire? That's the "existential threat" to both our countries, and to Iraq?

And why aren't we winning?

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