Terrorist "incident" on London Tube appears to fizzle

Many of you are waking up this morning to news of what’s being described as likely yet another suspected terror attack in London. That description was quickly downgraded to a suspected “terror incident.” NBC News was on the scene early, describing what appeared to be two devices, at least one of which was activated on a train near the Parsons Green tube station. A second device was being investigated by authorities but had reportedly not been ignited.


A rush-hour fire aboard a subway train on London’s Tube network was being investigated as terrorism, police said Friday.

Authorities confirmed commuters had been injured at Parsons Green station in southwest London.

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu, the senior national coordinator for counterterrorism policing, confirmed it was being treated as a “terrorist incident.”

One photo shared on social media showed a bucket on fire. Wires appeared to be protruding from the supermarket bag it had been carried in.

I don’t want to downplay this too much because there were injuries and damage done, and givien the location (an enclosed train car) it could have been much, much worse. The device reportedly “exploded” or at least burst into flames, causing the passengers to scramble. As many as 18 people were injured and a dozen or more were hospitalized, some with burns while others were “trampled” as people fled the area. Thankfully, none of the injuries were described as critical or life threatening.

I’m sure British authorities are scouring the city looking for the culprit(s) as we wait for more information. But I have to wonder if ISIS or al Qaeda or any of the other mutants from the Islamic terror networks will actually take “credit” for this one. Take a look at the picture above, from the Associated Press image library, originally posted to Twitter by user @rrigs. That has the appearance of a pretty low-tech device to my admittedly untrained eye. Nobody who is an actual bomb-maker with ISIS or even an “inspired” person following their teachings is going to plant something like that, are they?


Following the Boston Marathon bombing, CNN and other news outlets basically showed the entire world how to make something more effective than that with a pressure cooker. This project looks more like a janitor was sneaking some moonshine onto the job site in his cleaning bucket and carelessly dropped a cigarette into it.

Yes, there may be more to come and everyone will need to remain vigilant as the authorities go about their inquiries, but if this was the extent of it – one burning plastic bucket and a dud which failed to activate – that’s a fairly embarrassing failure from the standpoint of the terrorists. Might this be something other than the usual list of Islamic terror suspects? Perhaps some far more amateurish person or group? Too early to say.

This YouTube video from the Associated Press shows the activity surrounding Parsons Green shortly after the incident.

USA Today tweeted out some local video from outside the station. You can see here the security perimeters already being established.


And, of course, the President weighed in quickly.


If there are any developments which merit an update we’ll add them later, but for the moment things seem (and we need to stress “seem” since these things can crop up in bunches) to be under control.

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Jazz Shaw 8:31 AM on December 09, 2023