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The Therapy Sessions
Friday, July 15, 2005

Were the London bombers tricked?

I like to read Mike Spenis at the Feces Flinging Monkey because he is very good at informed conjecture. He takes the facts of a news story, and he comes at it form an angle that I don't usually see in other places. He might be right; he might be wrong. But he makes you think. Here he goes again:

Were The London Bombers Tricked?

Wednesday, 13 Jul 2005

This is speculation on my part, but after conversations with several people I have come to believe that the London bombers did not know they were on a suicide mission.

Here's why:

1) At least three of the four bombers died with their ID cards with them, leading police directly back to their homes.

2) The bombs went off simultaneously, strongly suggesting they were set off by either timers or remote control.

3) The bombs were unusually small and light, reportedly only ten pounds. They were carried in backpacks, not vests.

4) There were no boasting videos left behind, no suicide notes.

5) From what I have seen in the press, the bombers did not seem to fit the profile of suicide bombers we've seen in Israel - people with a personal score to settle, people with obvious jihadist ambitions, or people who have shamed their families and who are looking for redemption. Furthermore, bombers are typically nervous and quiet when approaching their targets; these guys 'were captured on CCTV at 8.20am walking through a subway at King's Cross. One security source said last night: 'They looked like they were going for a hike. They were chatting to each other and smiling.''

This is not to say they were likely to be entirely innocent, either; one left his car behind, presumably with more explosives inside. However, if these guys were tricked into carrying these bombs I think it would be a fairly big deal. For one, it would suggest that the bad guys have less influence in London then we feared, and secondly, it might generate some backlash against the bomb plot leaders from fellow Muslims, and make future recruits less willing to trust their handlers.

Just a thought, but a good one, I think.

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