Whoever was behind the apparent car bomb in London, it almost certainly wasn’t the police explosives experts who made it safe, and we should acknowledge the heroism it takes to do that job.
Peter Clarke, the Met’s anti-terrorism point man, gave a press conference claiming he was not going to speculate, but then doing everything he could to indicate it was an Islamic plot. He referred to other recent cases, including the Barot case, in which night clubs were mentioned as targets, and the use of gas canisters in cars discussed. The one bit of modus operandi pointing another way – the fact it wasn’t a suicide bomber – he was at pains to explain away by speculating that the driver had lost his nerve.
Of course the last time a nail bomb was actually exploded among clubbers in Central London, it was by a homophobic fascist. So it is right to keep an open mind. But whoever did this, the only people who can possibly benefit are the vast and ever-burgeoning security industry of all kinds, and those who want discord between the Islamic World and the West. Unfortunately, the extremists on all sides are strengthened by this incident.
Brown had already made plain he supports further anti-civil liberties legislation. This produces just the kind of febrile atmosphere in which that can be done. The television news is already pushing 90 day detention without charge again.
I am adding this para in response to blogs attempting to say that I am claiming the bomb was planted by the State. I have not changed the above, and plainly it does not say that. In fact, I think that is one of the least likely explanations – in terms of the British State, at least. I have no idea who planted it. I am saying we should not leap to the conclusion it was Islamic fundamentalists. It could be, or it could be other extremists, or interests, who benefit from the War on Terror. The Cui Bono test throws up a number of possibilities.