This is a blog dedicated to a personal interpretation of political news of the day. I attempt to be as knowledgeable as possible before commenting and committing my thoughts to a day's communication.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Small Mercies 

 PHOTO: Forensic officers work at the Parsons Green Underground Station after an explosion in London Sept. 15, 2017.

Forensic officers work at the Parsons Green Underground Station after an explosion in London Sept. 15, 2017. AP

"In terms of scale this is bigger than the devices used in 7/7, so had it gone off successfully, it would have caused huge loss of life."
"Whoever built this [improvised explosive device] was not an amateur -- it has many of the hallmarks of devices used by terror groups, but the use of the timer to set off the initial part of the device is something we have not seen before in the U.K."
David Videcette, former police counter-terrorism officer

"I ended up squashed on the staircase. People were falling over, people fainting, crying."
"There were little kids clinging onto the back of me."
Ryan Barnett, London commuter

"I heard a large bang from the doors on the other side of the Tube train and this fireball came towards my head and singed off all my hair."
"It was a really hot, intense fireball above my head. I've just got red marks and burns to the top of my head. There were a lot of people a lot worse than me."
Peter Crowley, London commuter

"It was hot and just came towards you, this flaming orange coming towards you. It smelt like burning."
"We ran and hid behind cement boxes on the tracks and were the last people to get off the platform."
"My first thought was: 'This is a terrorist attack, I'm going to die'."
Lauren Hubbard, London commuter

The white bucket that is said to have blown up on the Parsons Green carriage

The improvised explosive device in a white bucket blew up on the final carriage of the Parsons Green train Credit: Pricey1983aa/Twitter
It was a terrorist attack, and she didn't die. Nor did any of the 20-some-odd people who sustained injuries as a result of the premature explosion that failed to go off as intended. It was obviously intended to cause greater carnage than the July 2005 attacks killing 56 people and injuring close to 800 others in the London transit system, both on the trains and on buses. The IED, however, appeared to the experts who examined it, to resemble the devices that were used back then.

The device was photographed by passengers who made their photos available to the news media. A string of LED lights used for Christmas decoration ironically enough was used by the designer of the IED; and just such a set of lights was also found in the bomb-making possession of a young Montreal couple now on trial for possession of vastly incriminating evidence that they were working for Islamic State.

In theory the bomber might have considered setting the lights to flash on a delay to allow himself the opportunity to escape prior to detonation. However the detonator, usually constructed of volatile or inflammable materials appears to have spontaneously burst into flames; since a massive detonation was thus avoided, the device, packed with shrapnel, did not explode as planned, saving the lives of countless people, a handful of whom sustained surface burn wounds.

The bomb had been packed with metal nuts, bolts and nails for maximum devastation on explosion and seemed similar to one used by Salman Abedi in his attack on the Manchester Arena where 22 people were killed, earlier this year. In the aftermath of yesterday morning's rush-hour attack the Joint Terrorism Assessment Centre recommended that the terror threat in London be raised to its highest level of Critical.

A massive search by police succeeded in arresting an 18-year-old man as the perpetrator, although as news coverage continues and investigative reporters begin to release details more, much more will be revealed including whether this man was capable of constructing the bomb. In fact, a bomb-making facility has been discovered and when those associated with it are identified the scale and scope of the problem facing London may surprise many who deliberately turn their faces away from reality.
"We have made a significant arrest in our investigation this morning. Although we are pleased with the progress made, this investigation continues and the threat level remains at critical."
"The public should remain vigilant. This arrest will lead to more activity from our officers."
Deputy Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu, Metropolitan Police, London

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