Report: Car bomb found in London; Update: A crude fuel-air bomb?

posted at 12:40 pm on June 29, 2007 by Allahpundit

Just waking up to this. “An eyewitness said a man had crashed the vehicle into bins near a nightclub and then ran off.” Gasoline, gas canisters, and that old favorite — nails — were found in the car, along with “a potentially explosive device.” Presumably it’s meant as some sort of opening salvo at Gordon Brown, although a nightclub seems an odd choice of targets for that.

Stand by for lots and lots of updates, no doubt.

Update: “These things happen.”

Update: The Beeb has been told that “international elements” are suspected. And no wonder:

This type of car bombing plot is typical of other British Jihadist car bomb plots in the past, including both the July 2005 bomb plots, and the Dhiren Barot Jihadist group bomb plots.

— In July 2005, a number of bombs and components, some packed with nails to cause death and maximum injury, were recovered from a car parked by the July 7 bombers at Luton station.

— British Jihadist Dhiren Barot pleaded guilty to plotting a series of attacks, including detailed plans to explode limousines packed with gas cylinders, explosives and nails after leaving them in underground London parking garages or hotels.

The target isn’t so strange either, according to the Daily Mail: a nightclub in Southwark was on the hit list of the AQ jihadis convicted in Britain earlier this year. The club in this case, the Tiger Tiger, apparently has a capacity of 1,700 people. And last night was ladies’ night.

There are photos at that last link; the manhunt for the driver is on, aided no doubt by Britain’s eight trillion security cameras. Might be a good time to revisit this post from December.

Update: The Times of London quotes nightclub staffers as saying there were about 650 people there last night. Chances are good that they’ve got the suspect on tape: “Mr Neil added that the club’s cameras are ‘absolutely everwhere’ around the club. ‘If you look at where it is, the camera should pick him up getting out of the car. It shouldn’t be long before they start putting out images.’” They might also be able to trace the car’s route using other cameras.

Update: They’re checking around London for other devices, of course, coordinated attacks being a favorite of AQ. Here’s something odd:

The incident, near Piccadilly, began when an ambulance was called to a nightclub at around 1am to treat a person who had fallen ill. The ambulance crew noticed a Mercedes parked outside the club, and saw the vehicle appeared to have smoke inside it…

Earlier, witnesses said they saw the light metallic green saloon car being driven erratically. It then crashed into bins before the driver ran away.

No one thought to call the cops originally, after the car crashed into the bins and the driver took off? Also, why didn’t the driver ram the car into the building itself? That fact, plus the fact that the bomb itself looks to have been the work of “keen amateurs” makes me think it’s probably a homegrown guy or group “inspired” by terrorist ideology and getting pointers off the Internet:

Patio gas cylinders found by police in the light green Mercedes would have been an unlikely weapon for experienced terrorists unless they wanted to create a fireball for the cameras, Sidney Alford, founder of explosives company Alford Technologies, told Guardian Unlimited.

As a readily available combustible material, the propane gas held in such cylinders might be considered by someone unable to source high explosives…

A witness reported nails were lying on the floor of the car, which Mr Alford said was another indication the bomb makers were inexperienced.

“Nails could be considered as an additional way of extending the potential damage and lethal range of the device but putting them on the floor is an incompetent way of building a bomb. They would go straight into the ground,” he said.

Update: The Independent has excellent background on the “gas limo” plot mentioned above that might have inspired this attack. It was masterminded by now-jailed AQ plotter Dhiren Barot, who you might remember for his creepy surveillance video of the World Trade Center. According to the Independent, the gasoline plot was Barot’s attempt to emulate the Madrid bombings. Details:

Barot detailed his proposals in a document entitled “Rough Presentation For Gas Limos Projects”, which was found by police…

He wrote: “Gas can, within certain perimeters, be employed to cause large scale damage to structures since many of them, gas types, are by nature, extremely flammable as well as explosive.”

The chilling document said many different types of gases available on the market were considered, although the “final choice” was narrowed down to propane, butane, acetylene and oxygen.

He concluded that gas explosions from cylinders, if carefully orchestrated, could be as powerful as TNT…

In a passage on petrol, he pointed out that as well as being legally available at forecourts, petrol cans could be filled with sharp metal nails during an attack to maximise damage.

Needless to say, don’t be surprised if that document turns out to have been the “inspiration” for today’s amateur.

Update: “If reports that it contained home-made explosive are correct, it would most likely be a hydrogen peroxide mixture as used in the July 7 atrocities, although a small ‘fertiliser bomb’ made of ammonium nitrate cannot be ruled out.”

Update: A security source claims it’s “entirely possible” that the suspect had links to jihadis in Iraq or elsewhere, but if this really was an international plot timed to send the new prime minister a message, it surely would have been more effective than this. Multiple bombers, professional explosives, etc. The explosive here appears to have been 60 liters of gasoline sitting on the back seat. You can catch a glimpse of it, or of something, in this screencap at the Sun.

Curious, or perhaps not so curious, detail: despite the fact that there’s a massive manhunt on for the suspect and eyewitnesses saw him running from the car, no description of him has been published thus far as far as I can tell.

Update: Hmmm. Sky News is reporting that Park Lane has been closed now due to another suspicious vehicle, but it may simply be out of an abundance of caution. One of the articles I read earlier said they’d done the same thing with another car earlier but it appears to have been a false alarm. Fox is saying now that cops have stopped a double decker bus.

Update: MSNBC had to be dragged to this story kicking and screaming. Surprise.

Update: It’s 10:30 and Fox is reporting that Hyde Park is being evacuated. All of these alarms are probably false, of course, but they’re obviously taking the threat of a coordinated attack extremely seriously.

Update: Sky is reporting by way of Fox that the suspicious vehicle in Park Lane that’s caused the evacuation of Hyde Park is a double-decker bus. The suspect, or *a* suspect, must be on board and they naturally figure he may be wired. Recall that of the four bombs detonated on 7/7/05, the last was aboard a double-decker. Update: Wait, no, hold the phone. According to the Telegraph, the vehicle in Park Lane is a car. The double-decker is a separate lead. According to Sky, it’s the Park Lane car that’s linked to the nightclub bomb. Not sure where the bus figures into this.

Update: I’m officially confused. The would-be bomber drove “erratically” down the street, smashed into some garbage bins, got out and ran away — because he planned to detonate the bomb by cell phone? That’s what Sky is reporting but it makes zero sense. If you’re going to detonate by remote, you’d want to be as unobtrusive as possible so as not to alarm people and have them flee the area or call the bomb squad. Was this guy drunk during the attack? Meanwhile, it’s still not clear if there were any explosives in the car or just the gas tanks. Biiig difference in terms of blast power.

Update: The Kossacks are already busy proving their left-wing terror-fighting superpowers by scoffing at the threat. As for this:

Hours before London explosives technicians dismantled a large car bomb in the heart of the British capital’s tourist-rich theater district, a message appeared on one of the most widely used jihadist Internet forums, saying: “Today I say: Rejoice, by Allah, London shall be bombed.”

Don’t they leave messages like that every day?

Update: Sky has details up now of why they thought it was a cell-phone bomb. Did a hero cop save the day?

Sky News sources say one of the first police officers on the scene of the London West End car bomb may have saved dozens of lives by diffusing the explosives before the bomb squad arrived.

It is believed the quick-thinking cop recognised that the car was wired to blow up, jumped in and disconnected the trigger device, thought to be a mobile phone.

This backs up an eye-witness account of a police officer briefly entering the metallic green Mercedes before running for cover.

Still makes no sense. The driver wouldn’t have careened down the street if this was a cell-phone bomb and he surely wouldn’t have left the cell phone in his haste to get away and detonate it if it was.

Update: The plot thickens. According to Sky, the cops are now looking at a third suspicious vehicle, this one on Fleet Street. A police presser’s set to start at any minute.

Update: Time says that British officials have yet to confirm the story about the car swerving down the street into the trash and the driver running away. It must be apocryphal. The cell-phone thing and the fact that no description of the suspect has been released makes no sense otherwise. Time also confirms that the bomb appears to have been amateurish, which makes the Daily Mail’s claim of an Al Qaeda cell at work that much more dubious.

Update: Danger Room thinks this might (note: might) have been a crude attempt at a very sophisticated weapon — a fuel-air bomb that packs enormous explosive power due to the unusually length of the blast. Maybe this is the equivalent of Iraqo jihadis using chlorine bombs to crudely replicate chemical weapons.

Update: ABC describes the scene as the bomb squad arrived:

Calling the device a “significant bomb,” bomb technicians first approached the car with a robot. The smoke inside the car was so thick that the robot’s camera could not record anything, sources said.

A bomb technician in a heavy kevlar suit approached the car and, sources say, was surprised to find a carefully constructed bomb. The bomb contained 125 liters of gasoline in containers stuffed onto the car’s right front seat and in its trunk. Also in the car were cylinders of propane and butane.

At great personal risk, sources say, the bomb technician then defused the bomb by hand.

According to U.S. security officials briefed on the matter a cell phone was to be used as a detonator.

The only way all of these details make sense to me is if the bomber parked the car casually, left the area, and tried to detonate it — but ended up with a fizzle. That would explain the smoke coming from the car that first alerted bystanders that something was up. It was a misfire. Otherwise you have to believe that the bomber walked away from the car intending to detonate it hours afterwards, but how likely is that given that the longer he waited, the greater the risk would have been that a passerby would notice what was in the car and call the cops?

Update: Londoners shrug. “I sort of think, ‘So what?’”


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“Work”?

Jim Treacher on June 29, 2007 at 12:09 PM

Still makes no sense. The driver wouldn’t have careened down the street if this was a cell-phone bomb and he surely wouldn’t have left the cell phone in his haste to get away and detonate it if it was.

I don’t know. Careening down the street can be explained by the fumes in the car, that one report says accounts for the appearance of smoke in the car. The fumes were so think that it looked like smoke.

Leaving the cell phone – if it was the trigger, connected to the bomb, he would have to leave it, and then call it from another cell phone to ignite the bomb.

Not that I know anything about cell phone triggers, but that, at least to me, makes sense…

nailinmyeye on June 29, 2007 at 12:10 PM

“Dam… Achmed… he took my cellphone…. think I’ll give him a call….”

/dials Achmed….

/cut to Achmed behing the wheel of a car, as the cellphone sitting on the passenger seat plays the ring tone

Phone “its the end of the world as you know it…”…

Achmed… “oh…. crap…”

Romeo13 on June 29, 2007 at 12:10 PM

“Work”?

Enough of this insolence! No SPAM and jelly sandwiches for a week! You can chew a ball of twine for all I care!

*turns to Slublog’s cage*

WHAT ARE YOU LAUGHING AT?!! YOU WANT SOME OF THIS?!!

natesnake on June 29, 2007 at 12:14 PM

Hmmmm…. could it have been an attempt at a poor man’s air-fuel bomb?

Driver opens Propane canisters inside a car… creating an air fuel mix… with extra gasoline around…

Then the ignition device which is a cell phone detonates the mix?

Key here would be timing, as the propane would leak out pretty quickly (even with well sealed windows…)… and driver would be overcome by fumes pretty quickly…

My guess? detonation didn’t happen becuase the cell device didn’t “spark” enough…

Romeo13 on June 29, 2007 at 12:15 PM

Like the “Park Lane is a mecca for shopping” quote – except that it’s more a mecca for hotels – The Dorchester, Hilton and more. But, again it’s just a half-mile or so away from Buckingham Palace as well.

London Boy on June 29, 2007 at 12:16 PM

Jim,

Would it be possible to have Greg draw a sketch of you in your working environment? Unicorn and Fluffy could have a cameo.

natesnake on June 29, 2007 at 12:18 PM

Not surprised that the club’s security didn’t think it was weird for the guy to run away from his car. There are so many drunks in that area at that time of night that one more drunk wandering off from his motor wouldn’t raise any eyebrows.
I’m also guessing this was the work of young British islamists. They hate night clubs and Britain’s “pub culture” with a passion. There was a TV documentary on about three years ago where these British muslim lads (Pakistani by origin) were saying that they used to go clubbing but were “saved by Islam”. They viewed their British peers with contempt , calling them “drunken, debauched, louts” and saying that British girls were “disgusting, mini-skirted sluts”. These devout British muslims would like nothing more than to do a Bali type attack on a nightclub or pub.

London Boy on June 29, 2007 at 12:25 PM

Oops > Posted the same comment twice. Apologies, everyone – my first time posting at this great site.

London Boy on June 29, 2007 at 12:27 PM

I think we should wait to hear from John Edwards before jumping to any conclusions. There is probably a perfectly good explanation.
Like, Achmed was probably on his way to the 24 hour petrol stop to get gas for his mower (lawn was a tad shaggy) and some propane for the grill (roasted goat is a must on Thursday). While driving home, he called Abdul to let him know he had stopped to pick up the case of nails for the deck thet were building when he sideswiped a trash can and crashed. In a daze, he left the cell phone on the seat and walked home.

Those silly Brits! Always jumping to conclusions!

commonsensehoosier on June 29, 2007 at 12:28 PM

Turns out it was going to be detonated from an iphone. Updates at 11.

triple on June 29, 2007 at 12:31 PM

Shane Brighton, a counter-terrorism expert, told Sky News: “This is highly unlikely to be an Irish device, given the current state of politics there. Al Qaeda tend to go for symbolic timing.”

bnelson44 on June 29, 2007 at 12:32 PM

The first time I drove to work in London, I hit the curb three times. It’s harder than it looks to drive on the left.

Tanya on June 29, 2007 at 12:35 PM

Threatswatch: Consider another potential explanation for the crash:

ThreatsWatch: A bomber seeking out the Tiger, Tiger club on a suicide mission would likely want to drive the bomb into the building, not park outside on the street, for maximum casualties inside. Another possible explanation therefor may be that the bomb did not go haywire after hitting the trash cans near the club, but well before. This might explain the “erratic” driving and stopping just short of what we are assuming as the target.
If the bomb malfunctioned before reaching its target (which in this scenario could clearly be other than the Tiger, Tiger club) and the car began to fill with choking noxious smoke while driving, the visibility and breathing may have proved so difficult that the bomber simply could drive no further to his ultimate destination, forced to abandon his malfunctioning rigged vehicle. If surveillance video exists, it would be interesting to see how soon after impact the driver exited the vehicle and if smoke was already billowing out of the opened door.

bnelson44 on June 29, 2007 at 12:42 PM

Some of you need to draw back the shades and put down the Melania Philips crackpipe.

Yours Sincerely,
a Londoner

cardindex7 on June 29, 2007 at 12:48 PM

cardindex7 on June 29, 2007 at 12:48 PM

Call Bruce Bawer. Apparently Europe is still asleep.

IrishEi on June 29, 2007 at 12:55 PM

I second the earlier poster who speculates the malfunctioning bomb prompted the erratic driving and hasty abandonment of the car bomb. It looks like the bombers screwed up the fusing, which is what threw off the smoke in the car which drew attention.

I don’t believe that the first policeman on the scene defused the bomb. A bomb expert once said that you’re just as likely to detonate the bomb by pulling the wires out of it or screwing with it as doing nothing, unless you’re a bomb expert.

Tantor on June 29, 2007 at 12:56 PM

CNN running banner that Mercedes Benz contained 200 liters of fuel in containers.

bnelson44 on June 29, 2007 at 12:56 PM

WTF……..suddenly I can’t get any English server….
two forums, BBC, Sky……..IE says unable to connect…..anyone else or is it my local service?

Limerick on June 29, 2007 at 1:00 PM

Mr. Pundit,

The third car was false alarm, CNN reported about 10 minutes ago.

Chuck in Detroit on June 29, 2007 at 1:02 PM

I have read other comments, and this is just speculation, but one way to square the cell phone and erratic driving/running away, was if the driver was not a fully willing “volunteer”–perhaps a jihadi-lite fellow who hung aroung the cell and dug the rhetoric, but did not really want to kill himself. Under threat of murder of himself or family, whatever, he was told to drive this to the club, “or else.” Or, likewise, he was part of the cell, but not fully trusted to do the detonation himself and was told to just drive it there with no threat on the driver’s life: “just do your part” and he did.

Either way, it is plausible that the driver did not ultimately trust the person who was to call the cell-phone number to wait until he was out of the car. So he rushed to his destination to get there a minute sooner than planned, panicked, and ran. Perhaps like in the movies, the cell-phone detonator was defused a moment before the cell rang. It fits, but who knows?

G. Charles on June 29, 2007 at 1:04 PM

cardindex7 on June 29, 2007 at 12:48 PM

Melania Philips

Nobody actually listens to er, we jus turn the sound down and say rude things…

doriangrey on June 29, 2007 at 1:04 PM

Limerick

I can get to them

bnelson44 on June 29, 2007 at 1:09 PM

thanks bnelson….must be my service then.

Limerick on June 29, 2007 at 1:10 PM

After reading other posts, I’m still thinking that this was not a suicide bomber, (just a mass-murderer who hoped to live to murder another day), but that he panicked because he didn’t trust the detonation person, and/or unanticipated fumes were making him really woozy.

G. Charles on June 29, 2007 at 1:11 PM

Just in time for Friday evening prayers.

awake on June 29, 2007 at 1:14 PM

Still makes no sense. The driver wouldn’t have careened down the street if this was a cell-phone bomb and he surely wouldn’t have left the cell phone in his haste to get away and detonate it if it was.

This seems like a plausible scenario: The driver was supposed to drive the vehicle into the building, either remaining in the vehicle in what would have been a suicide attack or jumping from it at the last moment. Either way, he tried but failed to make himself carry out the attack, and his driving erratically and crashing the vehicle resulted from the struggle inside him.

In this scenario, ramming the vehicle through the wall of the building would have been expected to cause injuries and deaths on its own. It would also have been expected to increase the destructiveness of the bomb, which the reports seem to describe as having more flammable potential than explosive potential.

As for a cell phone or some part of one being found in the vehicle, it seems it would be just one of two phones involved in this scenario. If the driver was expected to accompany the car as it crashed into the building, it seems an accomplice was expected to detonate the bomb by using any phone to call the cell phone-based triggering device in the vehicle. If the driver was expected to jump, then he might have been expected to call the triggering cell phone from his own cell phone or, again, an accomplice may have been expected to make the call.

As for the lack of any explosion, it’s possible the cell phone-based trigger failed when it was called. It’s also possible that the triggering call was never made, because of the driver’s failure in ramming the car into the building.

Kralizec on June 29, 2007 at 1:15 PM

Anybody have a link to live video covering this news?

df4jc on June 29, 2007 at 1:22 PM

Looks like the 3rd car was a false alarm:

Fleet Street was also briefly closed after the discovery of another suspect vehicle, but has now reopened.

http://news.sky.com/skynews/article/0,,70131-1272910,00.html

bnelson44 on June 29, 2007 at 1:22 PM

“International Elements” fingered in London. All are male Muslims of middle-east origin shouting “down with Britain” and “death to infidels”. So far, police see nothing to tie them together and can find no motive.

JiangxiDad on June 29, 2007 at 1:24 PM

Too weird….sorry folks for being OT but HA is the only site I can connect too. FOX, BBC, SKY, Jihad watch, several forums, ABC, Drudge….nada……unable to connect….
there aren’t that many Texans to crash the system………
Off to run firewall and virus scans I guess……..;(

Limerick on June 29, 2007 at 1:25 PM

Car bombers are erratic drivers. Ask Soldiers in Iraq how they spot VBIEDs. The cars are driven like drunk drivers and are usually foreign terrorists who don’t know the local streets ( so they are usually driving the wrong way down one ways etc.).

Win Win Win on June 29, 2007 at 1:26 PM

If all the “infidels” left all the Muslim countries, would all the Muslims leave all the “infidel” countries? Wishful thinking.

pugsly on June 29, 2007 at 1:30 PM

Still makes no sense….. he surely wouldn’t have left the cell phone in his haste to get away and detonate it if it was.

Sure it does. The cell is the bomb trigger. Calling it closes the circuit.

ronsfi on June 29, 2007 at 1:30 PM

Limerick on June 29, 2007 at 1:25 PM

Oh face it man…Allah just want you all to himself……

doriangrey on June 29, 2007 at 1:36 PM

Still makes no sense. The driver wouldn’t have careened down the street if this was a cell-phone bomb and he surely wouldn’t have left the cell phone in his haste to get away and detonate it if it was.

Perhaps the driver wasn’t the detonator and he was trying to get the car to the target and get away before his compadres blew him to smithereens.

CP on June 29, 2007 at 1:40 PM

Limerick on June 29, 2007 at 1:25 PM

I’m having trouble connecting to other things, too. Must be a Texas thing.

pugsly on June 29, 2007 at 1:48 PM

pugsly on June 29, 2007 at 1:48 PM

Hmmm, couldn’t possibly be all that rain trying to wash half of Texas out to sea to join Atlantis could it?

doriangrey on June 29, 2007 at 1:54 PM

Limerick

My internet acting funny in Austin, so it may not be just you.

As to the makeup of the bomb: I think that the propane tank would lack punch. It’s not just the energy contained within the volume of gasoline or propane, but the rate at which you can get it to burn. You need oxygen for that, and only the fuel at the surface has contact with oxygen. To get the fuel to really explode, you have to vaporize it first in order to get the most surface area. But in doing that, you’ve lost containment, and it’s more like just a big fireball. That’s impressive, but doesn’t generate the pressure wave needed to tear things, and people, apart.

The first Bali bomb was not a gas or propane bomb. They had collected quite a bit of high explosive. And there were two, the first which drew people into the street.

TexasDan on June 29, 2007 at 1:58 PM

doriangrey on June 29, 2007 at 1:54 PM

God must be trying to form another sea in Central Texas.

Maybe trying to wash the Muslims out of here.

pugsly on June 29, 2007 at 2:02 PM

Time also confirms that the bomb appears to have been amateurish, which makes the Daily Mail’s claim of an Al Qaeda cell at work that much more dubious.

From what I can tell, al-Qaeda in Iraq car bombs are crude as well.

bnelson44 on June 29, 2007 at 2:03 PM

pugsly on June 29, 2007 at 2:02 PM

No Al Gore is trying to turn half of Texas into illegal immigrants to Atlantis…

doriangrey on June 29, 2007 at 2:06 PM

Driving erratically, smoke coming out of the car

Where was Tommy Chong?

Alden Pyle on June 29, 2007 at 2:17 PM

doriangrey on June 29, 2007 at 2:06 PM

Aren’t we(Texas) half illegal aliens already? It sure feels like it!

pugsly on June 29, 2007 at 2:18 PM

You know what we need now? Rampart speculation.

Any idiot who is on a tv and starts a phrase with “It’s entirely possible…” should immediately lose all credibility.

e-pirate on June 29, 2007 at 2:21 PM

e-pirate on June 29, 2007 at 2:21 PM

That’s what 24hr. news has done. They have to fill up the time, so speculation is better than facts!

pugsly on June 29, 2007 at 2:24 PM

The only way all of these details make sense to me is if the bomber parked the car casually, left the area, and tried to detonate it — but ended up with a fizzle. That would explain the smoke coming from the car that first alerted bystanders that something was up. It was a misfire. Otherwise you have to believe that the bomber walked away from the car intending to detonate it hours afterwards, but how likely is that given that the longer he waited, the greater the risk would have been that a passerby would notice what was in the car and call the cops?

Try this on for size… as he was driving to the destination something went wrong and he thought the thing was about to blow… with him still in the car. Perhaps he was panicking, trying to put out a spark he feared was going to set off the explosion (or something else along these lines) causing him to drive erratically. Finally he got too freaked out and thought he was on the verge of his head asplode and he baled.

Or what about this… Maybe someone else was to remotely detonate and did it while he was still in the car. Maybe he knew this was how it was to go down but chickened out at the last second, or maybe he didn’t know he was to be a martyr and freaked as soon as he saw what was going down.

I’m not saying any of those scenarios are true, but certainly plausible… don’t close yourself off to anything yet AP.

RightWinged on June 29, 2007 at 2:26 PM

pugsly on June 29, 2007 at 2:18 PM

Yea, but Al wants to make sure the other half is illegal as well.

doriangrey on June 29, 2007 at 2:27 PM

Still makes no sense. The driver wouldn’t have careened down the street if this was a cell-phone bomb and he surely wouldn’t have left the cell phone in his haste to get away and detonate it if it was.

I have another theory. He thought he was going on a non-martyrdom operation somewhere else.

His Jihadi buddies try to detonate the bomb in front of the club, but it misfires.

This scares the Mohammed out of the driver and he crashes the car, jumps out and runs away, and is now somewhere in London, wondering if he has gotten mixed up with the wrong crowd.

dinasour on June 29, 2007 at 2:35 PM

Win Win Win on June 29, 2007 at 1:26 PM

Yup.

These guys were amatuers. A paracticed cell would have had a secondary initiating device controlled by someone outside of the vehicle- In case he9the driver) lost his nerve or there was a better target of opportunity.

Also if it was a shaky would be suicide bomber they would tie his hands to the wheel.

Trooper on June 29, 2007 at 2:41 PM

Erratically driving probably Keith Richard’s car mistaken for the bomb car

Drtuddle on June 29, 2007 at 2:42 PM

Drtuddle

HAHA!
Or George Michael

Trooper on June 29, 2007 at 2:45 PM

This scares the Mohammed out of the driver…dinasour on June 29, 2007 at 2:35 PM

That is funny! I’m still laughing!

pugsly on June 29, 2007 at 3:23 PM

Explosive found in second car in London. That’s what Fox News is reporting.

pugsly on June 29, 2007 at 3:26 PM

Once again, I ask where the competent Jihadis are. Iraq and Afghanistan are supposed to be training grounds. When they come back to impart knowledge the failure rate is enormous.

Are the good ones all dead or are they simply lying in wait? If it were a professional bomb, it would have exploded when it was supposed to explode.

Krydor on June 29, 2007 at 3:37 PM

I don’t know. Careening down the street can be explained by the fumes in the car, that one report says accounts for the appearance of smoke in the car. The fumes were so think that it looked like smoke.

Leaving the cell phone – if it was the trigger, connected to the bomb, he would have to leave it, and then call it from another cell phone to ignite the bomb.

Not that I know anything about cell phone triggers, but that, at least to me, makes sense…

nailinmyeye on June 29, 2007 at 12:10 PM

I’ve been in the Environmental, Health and Safety field for 20 years with my main background being in hazardous materials management. I am by no means saying I’m an expert in explosive devices, however, volatile flammable liquids and gases have what is called a UEL (Upper Explosive Limit) and a LEL (Lower Explosive Limit). Without going into too much technical jargon, in order for a volatile flammable liquid (gasoline, etc) to ignite the liquid must give off sufficient ignitable vapor along with a sufficient amount of oxygen that falls between the substances LEL and UEL. If the mixture of ignitable vapor/oxygen is too rich it falls into the UEL and will not ignite, if it is too lean it falls into the LEL and will not ignite.

However, if the ignitable vapor of the flammable substance in question has just the right mixture of ignitable vapor and oxygen and falls between the LEL and UEL it will ignite, and if the material being ignited is confined (like in a cylinder) it will detonate. This is key, a deflagration is the unconfined burning of a substance, but a detonation is the result of a confined substance igniting and releasing all of its energy at once instead of a slow burn (deflagration).

IMHO with the information being presented by eyewitnesses as to the “smoke” (which was more than likely gasoline vapors) tells me the fuel/oxygen mixture was UEL (too rich) while the perp was driving the vehicle to its intended target and did not detonate when the ignition source (cell phone) was called the first time, then when the driver exited the vehicle and opened all the doors the fuel oxygen mixture became LEL (too lean) and again did not explode when the ignition source (cell phone) was called a second time.

Another possibility is the ignition source was not wired properly and did not provide sufficient “spark” to ignite the device. Again, just MHO, but these three potential scenarios seem to be the most logical reason why the device did not explode, but had it exploded it would have been a devastating explosion and not just a fireball (deflagration) because of the confined propane in the cylinders.

Liberty or Death on June 30, 2007 at 2:17 PM

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