Friday, July 15, 2005

I really do want to stop writing about the London bombings but ...

Today's papers are full of stories with headlines like 'Mother of Satan' in response to the news that Acetone Peroxide has been found in one of the houses being searched in Leeds. This is being entusiastically cited as proof of a direct link between the London bombers and Al Qaeda. Because 'terrorists in the Middle East and Pakistan also make Acetone Peroxide'. I could be fatuous here and mention that I make curry at home and therefore must, by that same logic, be a member of Al Qaeda, but I won't

However, I will mention a couple of points that most of the media, entirely accidentally I'm sure, haven't picked up on

  • Acetone Peroxide is a rather naughty, unstable homemade explosive. It's not the kind of stuff you'd keep in your car on a drive down to Luton from Yorkshire then take on a train trip to London on a rather hot day and expect to get to your destination in one piece. Terrorists normally use it to bulk out stocks of other, more stable, explosives.
  • Nobody's actually yet indicated that Acetone Peroxide was used in the London bombings. As it happens, explosives tend to leave a unique reside which can usually be traced to their source of origin quite quickly. So, when Scotland Yard Deputy Assistant Commissioner Brian Paddick tells a news conference last Saturday "All we are saying is that it is high explosives ... That would tend to suggest that it is not home-made explosive. Whether it is military explosive, whether it is commercial explosive, whether it is plastic explosive we do not want to say at this stage.". you can be pretty sure factory made, commercial explosives were used.

Let's not forget any of this, as the source of the explosives and the route they took into the UK, like the bus CCTV, is one of those key pieces of evidence that could help nail down what really happened on that horrible day

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