Friday, July 15, 2005

Calling last post on the London bombings for the time being


Traditional Cornish Pasty

Dum de dum de dum

Still waiting for the CCTV footage of the four bombers at Kings Cross …


I made a post about mindsets and paradigms a few days ago, in anticipation of how the London bomb story would develop. Since then I’ve been watching an almost perfect case study of how one particular mindset can happily twist information in the most counterintuitive ways.

What we know about the bombers:

  • not previously known to the police as activists
  • no history of fundamentalism
  • one taught disabled children, was married with an eight month year old child and another on the way
  • another had just applied to attend university
  • all of them seem to be quite settled and seemed to be drawn together through a love of sport rather than religion
  • they died carrying extensive personal ID and so, presumably, knew they would be identified. Yet, to date, they appear to have left no testament or explanation for their actions
  • they went down to London with backpacks. Even though the backpacks were full size they carried only 10lbs of explosive each, yet they left some explosives in their car that morning (why?)
  • they were last seen conspicuously joking with each other on CCTV in Kings Cross station behaving ‘as if they were going on a hiking trip’.

There's also the intriguing prospect that some of them were questioned by the police last year, as blurted out by the French Interior Minister two days ago. Our own Home Secretary, Charles Clarke, angrily denied this straight away - the angry part is important.

Charles Clarke is cut from the same mould as Tony Blair, as in the 'if he came in through my front door soaking wet and told me it was raining outside I'd still look out the window and check for myself' mould. However, Clarke is not as a good an actor as Tony so when he looks angry he is well, er, angry.

Now maybe the police have a lot more on the bombers but that’s pretty much all the general public and the newspapers know so far.

Yet no one has seriously entertained or discussed the possibility that THEY DIDN’T KNOW THEY WERE CARRYING BOMBS.

Why would that be?

I'd suggest that people haven't considered that possibility because they've been pretty effectively programmed not to.

It's not as if such an idea flies in the face of the facts is it?


Non traditional Yorkshire Patsy?

Actually, it looks like one of them might have been surprised to discover he was carrying a bomb, as he was sitting on a bus, rather than a train, repeatedly looking into his bag with a pissed off look on his face just before he exploded. Shame that the bus CCTV wasn’t working

In fairness, I did hear one commentator briefly mention the inconsistencies in the evidence so far, Mark Urban on BBC’s Newsnight. But then he spoiled that brief flash of lucid, open-minded thinking by saying:

‘Of course, many people are saying they made the mistakes they did because they were relatively inexperienced suicide bombers’

Say that slowly Mark … ‘Relatively inexperienced … suicide bombers’.

Yes, of course, that would explain everything. A team of suicide bombers with several successful missions already 'under their belts' would have done a much more professional job.

Why didn't I think of that. Nice one.

They shovel it. We swallow it.


Anonymous said...

I have had the same thought. Why were they carrying ID? Is is possible they were told to place these under the seat and had no idea that the timer would be set to make them blow up with the bomb. The only flaw in this is the bus bomber because his did not go off at that same time.

Stef said...

Try it this way round ...

They didn't have the faintest idea there were bombs in their bags. They thought they're doing something else; helping with a security exercise (one was taking place that morning), taking part in some kind of reality TV show, whatever. Matching full-size backpacks - I ask you!

They blow up.

Something goes wrong with one of the bombs. Either it malfunctions or the guy looks in the bag and interrupts it somehow. He realises his mates are dead, people have died and he's in big doodah.

He gets on a bus to put some distance between himself and Kings Cross while he figures out what to do.

But before he can do anything he blows up. Maybe there's an anti-tamper device. Maybe a loose connection goes live again. Whatever.

Now at this point. Anyone could have set those guys up. You don't need to be a conspiracy theorist to buy this scenario. It could have been an Islamic nutcase. Yet no-one has even discussed the idea even though it fits the facts.

A conspiracy theorist would develop the scenario further. If there was some high level involvement that would explain all sorts of things ...

- the CCTV on the bus going AWOL

- the mobile phone networks crashing and the conflicting stories in the media as to the causes - did the government close the networks or did it not? Maybe someone wanted to prevent the last bomber calling home, or friends

- the fact that for two hours or more we were all told a 'power surge' was to blame. The intention being to mislead the surviving bomber and let him believe that his mates hadn't exploded

An explanation along the above lines fits the events much better than the current official story.

At the moment, the government has the advantage as it can choose what information is allows into the public domain e.g. where's that bloody Kings Cross tape? It would be difficult to second guess what they're ging to come up with next. It's a waiting game now and, if 911 or Madrid are anything to go by, people will have swallowed the official story 100% before and if any flaws in the official story become clear.

From the point of view of someone who is sceptical of the official story we're now at a crucial stage of the scenario. If you are open to the suggestion that some kind of set up is involved, you'll expect that right now there's a group of people somewhere figuring out ways to proactively and retrospectively plug any glaring gaps in the official story as they become manifest. A unacknowledged dialogue will develop over the next few weeks between that group of people and those who doubt. Actually, I believe it's already started.

John Thacker said...

no history of fundamentalism

Err, no. If you mean that they didn't grow up fundamentalist, yes, and that their families aren't, yes. But all of them had a history of getting quite into fundamentalist Islam in the months to years shortly before the attack.

"Relatively inexperienced suicide bombers," eh? Yes, that's rich. Incredibly dumb. Not sure that you can point to it as a sign of that horrible media, since it did come from someone otherwise making similar points to you.

Stef said...

@John, thanks for commenting ...

Quotes from the BBC

Mohammed Sidique Khan, 30 ...He was also a Muslim, although one neighbor, Imran Zaman, said he had never seen Khan at the local mosque

"He didn't seem to be an extremist. He was not one to talk about religion. He was generally a very nice bloke."

I also picked from somewhere that his wife is a Hindu but I can't find a reliable link. Maybe that was untrue or maybe that's being down-played because it doesn't fit with the story

HASIB MIR HUSSAIN, 18 ... Around this time, he was sent to Pakistan to visit relatives. He also went on the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca, grew a beard and began to wear robes.

Shehzad Tanweer, 22 ... "He was proud to be British," he said. "He had everything to live for. His parents were loving and supportive. "He was a very kind and calm person. He was respected by everyone."

That's not a history of fundamentalism, even a recent one. OK, one of the blokes grew a beard and wore religious dress. Sure the papers have been playing that up and somebody went out of their way to find a shifty picture of that particular guy. But that's it.

re. Mark Urban. Yes, he has been one of the conspicuously few journalists attempting to be thoughtful about this BUT ...

the point I'm trying to make is that even people who I usually respect, such as Urban, find themselves twisting around to fit information into a model even when there isn't a natural fit

What's going on right now is that information that doesn't square with the official view is being discarded or twisted. Anything that does fit, however weak e.g. 'ooooh, he had a beard' is being played up big time.

Anonymous said...

I would have thought it fairly obvious that the last bomb on the bus went off when and where it did because they wanted to maximise the casualities and fear factor.

Attributing doubt and lack of planning sounds very unIslamic.

Stef said...

@anonymous: Do you know Tavistock Square at all? It's an utterly unremarkable place.

There's absolutely no reason to attribute any "obvious" motive to the location or timing of the explosion, whether you believe the official story or not.

The bus bombing is actually pretty key to understanding what happened that day. I think anyone who has thought about it, whatever camp they're in, acknowledges that the timing and location was unplanned.

The police are currently suggesting the bomber was there because the underground Northern Line was closed and the bomber selected an alternate target of opportunity in the heat of the moment.

I'm suggesting that the bomber was on the bus because his bomb hadn't gone off as intended and he was scared and confused

You might find the timing and location "fairly obvious" but it would be nice to hear some reasoning, supported by evidence or circumstances to back that up.

Anonymous said...

Reasoning? I don't say you're necessarily wrong but just more likely to be, going by past methods of Al Quaeda etal :

(googled recent examples - many more)

"30 killed in suicide blasts in Iraq"

I feel it's standard Modus Operandi of Islamofascists everywhere. Anyway it's mere quibbling as the intent is the same regardless.

Stef said...

Oh, I'd agree with you 100% about the intent thing. Whoever did this and however they did it, the intention was the spread hate, fear and division. Our response should be the same, whatever the whys and hows might be.

Re. the techniques employed. My concern at the moment is whether three or four innocent men are being reviled and the true culprits getting off free.

We had four bombs go off in London last Thursday. Three went off at the same time in trains and shut our rail system down. The fourth went off in a bus about an hour later. The significance of the bus explosion is that it doesn't look like it was part of the plan and is therefore more likely to yield unanticipated evidence than the other blasts.

Anonymous said...

Fair enough stef. I'm sure more will be revealed with time.

Although I seriously doubt your innocent dupes theory .. that might be wishful thinking I feel.

Good luck.

Stef said...

Well, all I want to do is put something else on the table.

So, now we have ...

A. Belief in Innocent dupes

B. Belief that three or four stone-cold psychopaths, capable of hiding their true nature from everyone around them and joking around ten minutes before martyrdom, just happened meet each other and decided to go to London for the day

Let's be clear here, the government and police are offering us a theory as well and, of course, because these blokes are dead it'll never have to stand up in court. Come to think of it our Prime Minister knew what happened two hours after the final explosion.

We'll see. But, hey, our opinions won't change anything either way.

rahid said...

Actually there is something cruelly ironic about the blast in Tavistock Square. TEN years ago in Woburn House which is right next door to the BMA if i recall, there was the Jewish Museum of London (they moved up to Camden in 1995). I only know this as i was designing a calendar for a Jewish Recipe book or something like that and visited the museum for design motifs.
[here comes the insensitive flippant bit...]
I know Stef would not say it but i will because frankly i have the mind of a child...
Now I'm not saying time-traveling suicide bombers from the future with crap watches are out there somewhere but it does make you think.

Stef said...

Well, if we're going to play that game - I was the temporary assistant office manager in Woburn House when it was home to the Business and Technician Education Council in 1984 before going to uni

But wait, there's more. The movement that culiminated in the Balfour Declaration of 1917 and the founding of the modern state of Israel was based at 77 Great Russell St just down the road a little bit. Maybe the bomber had a sense of history but could't hold his load long enough ...

nah, on second thoughts Tavistock Square is a tediously inappropriate place for a bombing and I'm in agreement with the police on that one

PS Rahid - go to bed