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7/7/2005
LONDON’S TURN IN TERROR WAR
CATEGORY: War on Terror

WE ARE ALL BRITS TODAY. RULE BRITANIA!
Thanks to Jeff Harrell of Shape of Days for the great idea.

London just got hit…bad.

Early reports, now confirmed, say that a double decker bus was the target of a bomb that witnesses say completely destroyed the vehicle. No word on dead and injured yet.

There were apparently 7 other blasts that hit the subway or “tube” system in London.

This has al Qaeda written all over it although I suppose I should hold off on speculation until more is known. Al Qaeda, you may recall, specializes in multiple attacks carried out in a short period of time. Witnesses on MSNBC are saying that the subway blasts occurred one after another in rapid succession.

One note: while the G8 Summit is being held in Edinburgh, Scotland it is improbable that the anarchists who are protesting there have anything to do with this. This kind of coordinated attack would seem to be beyond the capabilities of the unorganized group of violent mischief makers in the anarchist movement whose very nature precludes any kind of large scale cooperation. That plus I would guess that the anarchists may be one of the most infiltrated groups worldwide when it comes to police and domestic security agencies means that any large scale attack would probably be discovered in the planning stages.

The IRA? It’s a possibility but of late, the nationalist terror group has sought to work within the political system. An ultra-violent off shoot of the group? Again a possibility. Many of the most violent terrorists received their training from al Qaeda back in the 1990’s so it would make some sense that they would adopt some of the jihadists methods. But it would be a radical departure for the IRA to target civilians in their attacks. Their bombs are usually preceeded by warnings so that civilians can clear out of the danger zone. And IRA bombs in the past have been directed against symbols of British authority like police, army, the government, and even the royal family.

I’ll keep this at the top of the page all day so watch for updates.

UPDATE I

First report of “90 casualties” in the blasts. Here’s a AP eyewitness report via Drudge:

LONDON (AP) - An explosion destroyed a double-decker bus in central London during rush hour Thursday, police said, and several blasts also went off on the London subway. There were reports of casualties.

People covered in blood stumbled out of the subway, and a witness said the entire top deck of the bus was destroyed.

“I was on the bus in front and heard an incredible bang, I turned round and half the double decker bus was in the air,” Belinda Seabrook told Press Association, the British news agency.

She said the bus was packed with people.

“It was a massive explosion and there were papers and half a bus flying through the air,” she said.

Another report, now confirmed, states that another explosion rocked the square where the double decker bus exploded.

London is at a standstill as the entire public transportation has been shut down. The London Police Commissioner has just gone on TV and told people to stay home.

I hope that American officials in cities across our country are on a heightened state of alert and are taking measures to protect our public transportation this morning.

UPDATE II

Officials are saying that at least 3 buses have been the target of bombs. Since it was rush hour, the loss of life could prove to be large.

One witness, Darren Hall, said some passengers emerging from an evacuated subway station had soot and blood on their faces. He told BBC TV that he was evacuated along with others near the major King’s Cross station and only afterward heard a blast.

Police confirmed an explosion destroyed a double-decker bus at Russell Square in central London and said they suspected a bomb caused the blast. Dow Jones Newswires reported that police said there were explosions on two others buses.

And more from AP:

Police said incidents were reported at the Aldgate station near the Liverpool Street railway terminal, Edgware Road and King’s Cross in north London, Old Street in the financial district and Russell Square in central London, near the British Museum.

London Ambulance Service said several vehicles had been dispatched to the area near Liverpool Street station.

Also a report from the Israeli’s (unconfirmed) that Scotland Yard approached the Israelis minutes before the explosions and told them that they had received warnings of a terror attack. If true, big trouble for Blair. Depending on what the authorities knew and when they knew it, this kind of thing could bring down Blair’s government.

We’re waiting anxiously for the first posting on the Democratic Underground website blaming Bush/Rove for the attack to gin up his support. Maybe they’re still asleep.

CNN has a Timeline of events and is now reporting that there were 6 blasts at subway stations (some people are apparently still trapped underground) and 3 other attacks on double decker buses.

The communication network is completely overloaded as everyone is using their cell phones at once to call loved ones to assure them that they’re all right. This phenomena is reminiscent of what happened all over America on November 22, 1963 when the telephone system in Washington, D.C. was completely shut down when it was overloaded. This led to some speculation by conspiracy theorists that the assassination was a coup de tat by the military. What happened in London proves that even sophisticated and technologically advanced systems are vulnerable.

Tony Blair confirms that the attacks are in fact, “terrorist attacks.” He’s leaving the G8 summit to return to London.

UPDATE III

Looks like officials here - at least in Washington - are in fact ratcheting up security in anticipation of something similar happening here:

The explosions on London’s transit system are prompting heightened security in the U-S.

Metro riders in Washington, D-C, should expect to see increased patrols. A Metro spokeswoman says officials are “ramping up security immediately.” She says officials will be using bomb sniffing dogs and officers will have a higher visibility and will be carrying machine guns.

The spokeswoman says officers will also be searching buses

I’m going to hold off on more updates until the picture gets clearer. So far, 2 confirmed dead and 90 injuries but that number is sure to rise.

UPDATE IV

Now that more information has been confirmed and some things clarified, here’s what we know.

Four bombs exploded in downtown London. Three devices went off in subway cars and one took out a double decker bus:

LONDON - Four blasts rocked the London subway and tore open a packed double-decker bus during the morning rush hour Thursday, sending bloodied victims fleeing in the worst attack on London since World War II. At least 40 people were killed, U.S. officials said, and more than 360 wounded in the terror attacks.

A clearly shaken Prime Minister Tony Blair called the attacks “barbaric” and said they were designed to coincide with the G-8 summit opening in Gleneagles, Scotland. They also came a day after London won the bid to host the 2012 Olympics. A group calling itself “The Secret Organization of al-Qaida in Europe” claimed responsibility.

The explosions hit three subway stations and a double-decker bus in rapid succession beginning at 8:51 a.m. (3:51 a.m. EDT) and ended about 40 minutes later when a blast ripped the top off a bus. Implementing an emergency plan, authorities immediately shut down the subway and bus lines that log 8.4 million passenger trips every weekday.

As of now, 40 are dead with hundreds injured. A European offshoot of al Qaeda has claimed responsibility.

What will this do for the war on terror? Hopefully, the major effect of this attack will be in a hardening of positions by the so-called E3 - Germany, France, and Great Britain - who are negotiating with Iran to stop them from enriching uranium so that the radioactive mullahs will be prevented from building a nuclear weapon. If we can put a little spine into Chirac and Schroeder when it comes to our coming showdown with Iran, all the better.

By the end of summer, the mullahs will have a decision to make; confront the west or acquiesce to our demands that they abandon their enrichment program and submit to regular and close inspection of their facilities. It would help when we go before the UN to try and get that body on board for any sanctions regime that would certainly be a first step in any confrontation. And while the probability that both Russia and China would veto any sanctions effort in the Security Council, Germany and France would be valuable allies in any military confrontation with the mullahs.

By: Rick Moran at 10:47 am
24 Responses to “LONDON’S TURN IN TERROR WAR”
  1. 1
    Rick Moran Said:
    6:07 am 

    The comment was meant to show that you and the lickspittles who believe the terror war is a figament of Bush’s imagination designed to instill fear in the American people IS DEAD WRONG.

    The fact that you won’t admit it makes you more dangerous than the terrorists - that’s the point I was trying to make.

    As for making us safer…where did it happen. Since when did London become part of the US?

    Maybe you should have paid attention in geography class when you were in school.

  2. 2
    Rick Moran Said:
    7:21 am 

    Yes, it is a coincidence. Since the date for these attacks are set months in advance, it’s more likely it was timed in concert with the G8 summit than London’s Olympic bid (that no one knew would be successful until yesterday).

    As for OBL, he’s so far underground that it’s extremely doubtful he had anything to do with the planning or execution of this attack. And the fact that we could TRIPLE our troop strength in Afghanistan and not catch him seems to be lost on those who push the “concentrate on OBL” meme.

    I’ll go back to the point of putting that quote at the top - a point you seem to agree with. We are at war with an implaccable, dangerous enemy who is currently flooding Iraq with soldiers. The question unanswered by you and others:

    “Where would these terrorists be if they weren’t in Iraq?”

  3. 3
    Richard Bottoms Said:
    7:41 am 

    “Where would these terrorists be if they weren’t in Iraq?”

    Uh, the point of my post is these terrorists AREN’T in Iraq are they?

    There is no finite supply of terrorists, such that you could engage 100, 1000, or 100,000 and not have more ready to strike.

    Michael Moore’s opinion of the nature of terror is irrelevant. The reality is there are plenty to go around.

    To turn you question around, why weren’t the terrorists who did this brutal act in Iraq?

  4. 4
    Richard Bottoms Said:
    7:56 am 

    BTW, you are right about this being timed to coincide with the G8 rather than the a rsponse to the Olympics annoucement. Just luck on the bad quys part to have it come the next day.

    And I thought of a simpler answer to your question:

    “Where would these terrorists be if they weren’t in Iraq?”

    London.

  5. 5
    Yeah Watseka!! Said:
    11:10 am 

    Richard Bottom is a tool.

  6. 6
    Larry Brown Said:
    11:26 am 

    Nearly 4 years after 9-11 Osama bin Laden and his terrorist organization Al Qaeda are still killing with impunity.

    Our leadership has failed us miserably.

  7. 7
    Rick Moran Said:
    11:30 am 

    “Nearly 4 years after Pearl Harbor, the Japanese still occupy much of Asia and are killing our soldiers on Okinawa with impunity.”

    You are a defeatist.

  8. 8
    Larry Brown Said:
    11:31 am 

    And you are an apologist for failure.

  9. 9
    Rick Moran Said:
    11:42 am 

    So, the war on terror is over when Osama is deep sixed? We’ve neutralized him. He’s hiding in a hole in the mountains or he’s deep in hiding in Iran. We’re strangling al Qaeda’s money supply, killing, capturing and arrresting hundreds of his soldiers. We’ve had regime change in Iraq and Lebanon with Syria and maybe even Egypt not far behind.

    OBL is a non-player in the terror game. He’s a convenient symbol used by people like you and your buddies the jihadists to bash Bush.

    If this is failure, I’d hate to see your definition of success.

  10. 10
    Fritz Said:
    11:46 am 

    Rick,
    Richard comes from the school that poverty causes crime. He’s cheering the bombings in London as proof that by confronting criminals, you breed more of them. France is so much smarter by cowardly attacking the US rather than confronting Islamo Fascism. Why dare I say, keep the poo leese out of the hood, they just harassing those innocent gang bangers. Amerika just a racist anti-muslim invader, given no radical terrorist a break.

  11. 11
    protein wisdom Trackbacked With:
    11:49 am 

    London terrorist bombings

    Instapundit has a nice collection of links; see also, the Command Post and Tim Worstall. Some speculation on the G-8 connection here; and, for a different take, here. Me? I smell Al Qaeda. And I suspect that once British authorities get through wit…

  12. 12
    Larry Brown Said:
    12:03 pm 

    “If this is failure, I’d hate to see your definition of success.”

    40 dead and 300 wounded by Al Qaeda on the streets of London. How can you make such a statement in the face of this disaster? Has your idiosyncratic need to spin away this grim failure blinded you to the reality of this horrifying event?

    This administration’s so-called “War On Terrorism” is not only a failure, but also an historic example of the consequences a great civilization can suffer when it is led by individuals who are clearly incapable of performing their duties.

    It is time we took the important first step of recognizing that our present leadership is not only not up to the task, but has initiated policies that have only exacerbated the problems we all face. Only then can we begin to bring about the changes necessary to beat back terrorism.

  13. 13
    Rick Moran Said:
    12:08 pm 

    35,000 American dead and wounded on Okinawa. Again, you’ve proven that you have no stomach for the long haul. If you’re not a defeatist, you are grump.

  14. 14
    Flagwaver Said:
    12:30 pm 

    Larry Brown,

    I am trying (without success, so far) to figure out if you are a tool, or simply a fool. What ARE “the changes necessary to beat back terrorism” in your oh-so-humble opinion?

    Rick Moran is right - the War on Terror, in both Iraq and Afghanistan, is successful to date - not complete, but clearly going in our favor. Don’t you bother to LISTEN to the words of the enemy? What have OBL’s and Zarqawi’s comments been about the war in Iraq? Why do you not take their words at face value?

    Could it POSSIBLY be that you are simply an anti-Bush, anti-Western, “liberal” idiot? No, that COULDN’T be it, could it?

    Effing tools.

  15. 15
    Fritz Said:
    12:34 pm 

    Rick,
    The dancing Palestinians cheering 9/11. The Left has no moral clarity. They think 40 dead Londoners is a political incident for partisan attack rather than a ruthless enemy that that will only be destroyed when the culture of death is replaced with a culture of freedom. If the Bush Administration had attacked UBL before 9/11, they would have bitched that it was the cause of 9/11. Lefties, don’t worry, no one trusts you on terrorism anymore than they trust you to fight crime, this won’t be your responsibility anytime soon.

  16. 16
    Arguing with signposts… » Personal comments (Updated throughout the day) Pinged With:
    12:41 pm 

    [...] Either way, we’ll soon see who has a better idea about the character of our allies. Rightwing Nuthouse: What will this do for the war on terror? Hopefu [...]

  17. 17
    Matt Said:
    2:33 pm 

    Richard, I’m sure the Brits appreciate you taking the time to use their tragedy to score political points.

    If regime change and democracy in Iraq and Afghanistan, 2 hotbeds of terrorist activity (argue that there was no Iraqi connection to Al Queda until the cows come home, you’ll be wrong) are not indicative of success, then you need to define success.

    Also, please let us know what our “idiot president” SHOULD be doing to fight terror- because you’re obviously a genius when it comes to geo-political thinking and are certain to have some suggestions which don’t involve appeasement.

  18. 18
    Ogre Said:
    2:40 pm 

    I’m starting to think the only way to defeat these scum is to do as that letter-writer in CA wrote a few years ago as a letter to the editor:

    Each time one of them kills one of us, we randomly hunt down and find 5, any 5, of them, and shoot them in the street.

    Of course, we could go with Richard Bottoms’ solution and just bury our heads in the sand and hope they won’t bother us any more.

  19. 19
    Mustang Said:
    3:06 pm 

    To Rick’s detracters, what part of Bush’s warning that this war on terror would take a long time did you not understand? If you suggest that John Kerry or Al Gore would have responded more appropriately to 9-11, you are seriously delusional. We know what Clinton’s track record was in his response to several terrorist attacks on US personnel and property, so there should be no argument along those lines. So if Bush is on the wrong track, what IS the right track?

    Remember that terror isn’t a person, it’s a strategy. Would you rather that we just sit around and REACT to it, or is it better to be PRO-ACTIVE?

    Okay, waiting for your solutions . . .

  20. 20
    docG Said:
    3:06 pm 

    “Nearly 4 years after Pearl Harbor, the Japanese still occupy much of Asia and are killing our soldiers on Okinawa with impunity.”

    Pearl Harbor attack - December 7, 1941

    Japan accepts unconditional surrender - August 14, 1945

    I calculate the duration to be 3 years, 8 months, feel free to correct me if I’m wrong. With the time comparison, are you suggesting that the terrorists are nearing complete, unconditional surrender? Perhaps the attack in London is a part of their “final throes”?

  21. 21
    Rick Moran Said:
    3:22 pm 

    On August 5, 1945, the day before Hiroshoma, the Japanese still had nearly 4 million men under arms. They had also mobilzed some 30 millions of their population to resist the American invasion.

    On the aforementioned Okinawa, the Japanese fought with suicidal fury. Seeing this, there were many conservative newspapers (Chicago Trib, Hearst publications) that called for an easing of the Potsdam Declaration that called for the Japanese unconditional surrender.

    No one in America thought on August 5th that Japan was in its “final throes” or nearing unconditional surrender. War planners in Washington believed the earliest the war could be over would have been the fall of 1946 or spring of 1947.

    Only idiots who know nothing of history would make a statement that posits the notion that Japan was nearing unconditional surrender. So maybe I should forgive you when you accuse me of saying that the terrorists are near the end and simply chalk it up to your breathtaking ignorance.

  22. 22
    The Mad Tech Said:
    3:30 pm 

    It sure did not take long for these yellow-spined lefties to crawl out from under their rocks and start blaming the British, the Americans, and anyone else within earshot. Flipping radio stations this morning I came across this same shit on the local Air America station. Seems the guest and the host concluded that the British people should suck it up and move on since they are used to getting bombed by the IRA. No one regardless of their political views should ever “have” to get used to terrorist bombings. Following that logic, then I guess the Iraqi people should “get used” to the terrorists setting off bombs and killing innocent civilians. These people are truly sick in the head.

  23. 23
    kat-missouri Said:
    3:41 pm 

    I see bashing here but no alternative plans on what should or should not be done about terrorists aside from pull out of Iraq. Afghanistan too?

    What is it that you all think would have precluded these attacks?

    Westerners, unlike Islamists, tend to forget their history. This clash was coming from the moment that Mohammed was born. It was inevitable the moment that European empires broke apart and took over the Ottoman Empire establishing “mandates. From the instant that the Balfour Declaration was signed and the day that oil was found on the Arabian Peninsula.

    As a matter of fact, had Mohammed never been born, I assure you that these men would have found another reason, another cause for which they would declare their reason d’eter as have any number of terrorist organizations declaring their resistance against nations since time imemorial. Bolsheviks, Marxists in Europe, Fascists, FARC, etc.

    They say today’s cause is Iraq. Tomorrow their cause will be Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, Jordan and Egypt. On 9/11 it was our presence in Saudi Arabia and Palestine-Israel conflict.

    In a decade or less it will be Indonesia, Thailand, Philipines, Malaysia, wherever we come in contact with the Islamic world, they will claim a reason.

    You may forget your history and geography, but they do not and more fool those that do as the saying goes, you are destined to repeat it.

    Iraq neither makes us safer or less safe in the short run. But, it is not short term strategy that is at play. Certainly, bin Laden and his ilk have been declaring their hate for western decadence and interference in the ME since long before the first Gulf War. You could withdraw from every Islamic nation and never do another moments business with them and these men would claim that you are oppressing them financially by keeping them from the global economy.

    Simply put, the reason is not only our existence or any activities within a region, but includes the desire of men to gain power in their own right and own names above those they claim to fight for.

    Castro, Hitler, Lenin, Chavez, name a cause and a nation that did not revert to democracy immediately upon revolution and you will find the power seekers have stated causes throughout history and yet never lived up to one.

    That is the nature of Islamist terrorists.

    You ignore it at your own peril as have those who have come before you and the unfortunate many that will come after.

  24. 24
    jcrue Said:
    4:58 pm 

    they, the nay-sayers and apologists, blame others because they have never done anything themselves.

    it is the coward’s way.

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