Daily archives: October 30, 2010

The Courier Bomb – Curiouser and Curiouser

Hmmm. Not only did the Saudi secret service have the precise details of the bomb packages, the female alleged terrorist in Sanaa gave her phone number to the courier company. As all ultra dangerous highly trained al-Qaidah operatives are obviously taught to do.

Meanwhile David Cameron ups the 9/11 hype by saying the bombs might have been detonated on the plane. Well certainly, they might. Except that, given the parcels changed cargo planes three times, it would be difficult to know when they were on a plane and where. And why then address them to Jewish organisations in Chicago, which might arouse suspicion coming from Sanaa, rather than a fictitious uncle or a mail order curtain company?

I still think this probably was another half-arsed terrorist attempt, like the liquid bomb plot or the man who set fire to his gonads. Super dangerous and deserving all the hype it plainly was not.

View with comments

Workaday Terrorism

Let us assume for a moment that the parcel bombs sent to Jewish targets in Chicago were viable devices and this was a real attack by anti-Jewish, and probably Islamic, terrorists. There are other possible explanations, but it is not improbable this was a real attempted attack.

We are looking at low level, workaday terrorism. Parcel bombs were not infrequent in the UK in my youth, and the Unabomber caused extraordinary levels of alarm in the United States. Any loss of life is deplorable, but the scale of this threat appears to have been small.


It is hard to believe that a parcel bomb would have killed more than a couple of people – there have been a large number of parcel bombs used over decades, and they do not cause mass casualties. Now two or three dead or injured people is too many, but the worldwide media coverage is completely disproportionate to the threat – if they covered every two or three actually, not potentially, dead Afghans in this depth, they would never cover anything else.

It is of course possible that the media coverage was the aim rather than two or three unfortunate people in Chicago. The easy and extremely detailed tip off from the Saudi security services is very interesting. If publicity rather than death was the aim, that rather widens the field of people who might have been behind it.

View with comments