I hesitated to post about the two failed car bombings in Britain; terrorist attacks in Britain could well be Irish rather than Islamist. A day later, the British papers are reporting that the suspects are Middle Eastern. According to the Times of London (H/T), the two car bombs were linked in a particularly vicious way:
One car, a pale green Mercedes, had been left outside the Tiger Tiger nightclub in Haymarket. A second, a blue Mercedes, was left a few hundred yards away in Cockspur Street, a busy thoroughfare close to Trafalgar Square. This vehicle was towed away at 3:30am on Friday to an car pound on Park Lane by unsuspecting parking officials.
Had either device gone off it would have generated a huge fireball and a shockwave spreading over 400 yards in all directions. If, as suspected, one had been primed to detonate before the other, people fleeing the first blast could have been caught by the second.
Patrick Ruffini has an interesting hypothesis:
I’m sure this has already been remarked upon in the coverage of the London carbomb plot, but there’s an eerie parallel between today and the 7/7 attacks. Today was the first week of Gordon Brown’s premiership. 7/7 was the first day of the Gleneagles G8 summit. They seem to have a habit of planning to strike when Britain is in the headlines around the world.
My own hunch is that terrorists are trying to repeat the success of the 3/11 bombings in Spain. They turned the election a few days later around, and though the pro-American government of Jose Maria Aznar had been leading in the polls, they were tossed out and replaced with the pro-appeasement government of Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero.
Back to Britain. After the 7/7 bombings, we learned that Tony Blair wouldn’t chicken out. The terrorists were probably trying to test new Prime Minister Gordon Brown. Since those two bombings were blocked before they happened, and since nobody’s reported any arrests yet, I think Britain should stay on high alert. The terrorists want the kind of intelligence you can only get with a terrorist attack: how does Brown react to pressure?
Corollary to this grim theory: will terrorists attempt an attack on America in 2009 to see how the new president reacts to assaults?