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Fri

29

Jun

2007

London Bomb - What a Crock of Crap!!
Friday, 29 June 2007 17:56
by Larry C Johnson

So I turn on the telly this morning and find breathless CNN anchors hyperventilating over the nuclear suicide car weapon of mass destruction discovered smoldering outside of a London nightclub. One report from the scene notes that:
London police were contacted when witnesses saw a Mercedes being driven erratically near London West End night club Tiger Tiger, and the driver jumped out of the automobile and ran away. The car was reported to have two gasoline canisters and be full of nails.
CNN adds:
Explosives officers discovered the fuel and nails attached to a "potential means of detonation," inside the vehicle. Officers "courageously" disabled the trigger by hand, he said. Security sources told CNN that the "relatively crude device" in the first car contained at least 200 liters, or about 50 gallons, of fuel in canisters.
You know what you call a vehicle with 50 gallons of gas? A Cadillac Escalade. The media meltdown over this incident is simply shameful.

For starters, gasoline is not a high explosive. If we were talking 50 pounds of Semtex or the Al Qaeda standby, TATP, I would be impressed. Those are real high explosives with a detonation rate in excess of 20,000 feet per second. Gasoline can explode (just ask former owners of a Ford Pinto) but it is first and foremost an incediary. If the initial reports are true, the clown driving the Mercedes was a rank amateur when it comes to constructing an Improvised Explosive Device aka IED. Unlike a Hollywood flick the 50 gallons of gas would not have shredded the Mercedes into lethal chunks of flying shrapenal.

The fact that "officers courageously disabled the trigger by hand" coupled with the report of the smoke in the car leads me to believe that the mad London "bomber" tried to construct a Molotov cocktail of sorts and lit a cloth fuze. Fortunately he left the windows in the car up and there was not enough oxygen to really get the fire going. Looks like the brave British police reached in and snuffed the flame.

Judging from the overreaction to this non-incident I think we can safely conclude that Osama Bin Laden will remain holed up in Pakistan and let the fear mongers at CNN, MSNBC, and FOX do the dirty business of scaring the shit out of people.
 
Larry C. Johnson is CEO and co-founder of BERG Associates, LLC, an international business-consulting firm that helps corporations and governments manage threats posed by terrorism and money laundering.

Mr. Johnson works with US military commands in scripting terrorism exercises, briefs foreign governments on a regular basis on terrorist trends, and conducts undercover investigations on product counterfeiting and smuggling. Mr. Johnson, who worked previously with the Central Intelligence Agency and U.S. State Department’s Office of Counter Terrorism, is a recognized expert in the fields of terrorism, aviation security, crisis and risk management. Mr. Johnson has analyzed terrorist incidents for a variety of media including the Jim Lehrer News Hour, National Public Radio, ABC's Nightline, NBC's Today Show, the New York Times, CNN, Fox News, and the BBC.

Mr. Johnson has authored several articles for publications, including Security Management Magazine, the New York Times, and The Los Angeles Times. He has lectured on terrorism and aviation security around the world, including the Center for Research and Strategic Studies at the Ecole Polytechnique in Paris, France. He represented the U.S. Government at the July 1996 OSCE Terrorism Conference in Vienna, Austria. From 1989 until October 1993, Larry Johnson served as a Deputy Director in the U.S. State Department’s Office of Counter Terrorism.

He managed crisis response operations for terrorist incidents throughout the world and he helped organize and direct the US Government’s debriefing of US citizens held in Kuwait and Iraq, which provided vital intelligence on Iraqi operations following the 1990 invasion of Kuwait. Mr. Johnson also participated in the investigation of the terrorist bombing of Pan Am 103.

Under Mr. Johnson’s leadership the U.S. airlines and pilots agreed to match the US Government’s two million-dollar reward. From 1985 through September 1989 Mr. Johnson worked for the Central Intelligence Agency. During his distinguished career, he received training in paramilitary operations, worked in the Directorate of Operations, served in the CIA’s Operation’s Center, and established himself as a prolific analyst in the Directorate of Intelligence. In his final year with the CIA he received two Exceptional Performance Awards.

Mr. Johnson is a member of the American Society for Industrial Security. He taught at The American University’s School of International Service (1979-1983) while working on a Ph.D. in political science. He has a M.S. degree in Community Development from the University of Missouri (1978), where he also received his B.S. degree in Sociology, graduating Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa in 1976.

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a guest said:

0
For one who thought too much attention was brought to this incident, you sure do cover it well....thank you.
you know an awful lot about explosives of the Al-qaida caliber.I find that odd.

Anyways, I hope the next time your in london, a cadillac escalade explodes next to you. Then you can write a really good follow up article on how you write about things you know nothing about. Why dont you jsut be glad noone got hurt instead of criticizing everything law enforcement does to protect everyone from terrorism. Yes, they even protect you from stuff like this. Grow up, sir.
 
June 29, 2007
Votes: +0

a guest said:

0
Why don't you read his BIO?
Why don't you read his BIO?

Larry C. Johnson is CEO and co-founder of BERG Associates, LLC, an international business-consulting firm that helps corporations and governments manage threats posed by terrorism and money laundering.

Mr. Johnson works with US military commands in scripting terrorism exercises, briefs foreign governments on a regular basis on terrorist trends, and conducts undercover investigations on product counterfeiting and smuggling. Mr. Johnson, who worked previously with the Central Intelligence Agency and U.S. State Department’s Office of Counter Terrorism, is a recognized expert in the fields of terrorism, aviation security, crisis and risk management. Mr. Johnson has analyzed terrorist incidents for a variety of media including the Jim Lehrer News Hour, National Public Radio, ABC's Nightline, NBC's Today Show, the New York Times, CNN, Fox News, and the BBC.

Mr. Johnson has authored several articles for publications, including Security Management Magazine, the New York Times, and The Los Angeles Times. He has lectured on terrorism and aviation security around the world, including the Center for Research and Strategic Studies at the Ecole Polytechnique in Paris, France. He represented the U.S. Government at the July 1996 OSCE Terrorism Conference in Vienna, Austria. From 1989 until October 1993, Larry Johnson served as a Deputy Director in the U.S. State Department’s Office of Counter Terrorism.

He managed crisis response operations for terrorist incidents throughout the world and he helped organize and direct the US Government’s debriefing of US citizens held in Kuwait and Iraq, which provided vital intelligence on Iraqi operations following the 1990 invasion of Kuwait. Mr. Johnson also participated in the investigation of the terrorist bombing of Pan Am 103.

Under Mr. Johnson’s leadership the U.S. airlines and pilots agreed to match the US Government’s two million-dollar reward. From 1985 through September 1989 Mr. Johnson worked for the Central Intelligence Agency. During his distinguished career, he received training in paramilitary operations, worked in the Directorate of Operations, served in the CIA’s Operation’s Center, and established himself as a prolific analyst in the Directorate of Intelligence. In his final year with the CIA he received two Exceptional Performance Awards.

Mr. Johnson is a member of the American Society for Industrial Security. He taught at The American University’s School of International Service (1979-1983) while working on a Ph.D. in political science. He has a M.S. degree in Community Development from the University of Missouri (197smilies/cool.gif, where he also received his B.S. degree in Sociology, graduating Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa in 1976.
 
June 29, 2007
Votes: +0

a guest said:

0
Uh...Yeah right.
Yeah, because we need CNN, MSNBC, and FOX to spend more time on important news like Paris Hilton and the new iPhone.
 
June 29, 2007
Votes: +0

a guest said:

0
So a few possible deaths isn't bad because it wasn't, say, 200 deaths or something?
Has anyone told you that you're an idiot?
 
June 29, 2007
Votes: +0

a guest said:

0
...
If the system managed to cover the area with petrol vapor, you would have had a very large explosion- One should look at reports that people were alerted because of the fumes. Also, if we were to take into consideration the simplicity of the design makes it that much more frightening, these are items that can be bought by anyone at a very small expense. (petrol fumes are very explosive! and an additional supplement of compressed fuel would only add to the explosion.)
Also look at the targets, Piccadilly Circus and they hay market, the emotional response would far outweigh the need for a large kill zone.
Using composition 4 would sound scary at first, but still a harder item to acquire than what you can pick up at any DIY store. No smuggling, the system can be assembled within minutes, and in pieces everything is legal (minus the triggering system, but that would be easy enough to use a cell phone- and easy to conceal/ final assembly until at/near target).

we are looking at "discount terrorism". Even with these explosives found, they've fulfilled one of their requirements... fear. I expect that we will start seeing this more in the west. Two very different systems of warfare (I find it difficult to call them terrorists because they are so convinced that everyone different is an enemy combatant )

This is article is worthless, I can only assume that Mr. Johnson wrote this because he knows that this home-grown/improvised munitions are nearly impossible to prevent; and it would hurt his consulting business. Any and all attempts at terrorism need to be looked at as something more than just in the context of a kill radius/zone; the emotional reaction is where the real damage occurs.

*Semtex is a eastern european (Czech) variant of C4 (composition 4); if they used something like RDX, the general public wouldn't know what it is, while "C4" has become part of the contemporary vernacular- inducing fears.
 
June 29, 2007
Votes: +1

a guest said:

0
you are joking, right?
1) if they were smelling the petrol fumes, they could be converting the petrol to a vapor state, which is highly explosive.
2a) while the kill radius isn't very large, the emotional response would be great, which effects far more people- and creates a greater state of fear. (look at the locations)
2b) these materials can be purchased, in cash, from countless outlets. Walk into you DIY store, everything you need. Increases the general fear.
2c) assembly and complexity are so low that any home grown terrorist could imitate this design- fear-
3) even an improvised detonator would be easily concealed within a beeper/mobile phone, modified by someone with little or prior knowledge, adding a larger capacitor would be ideal to create a greater spark.

--
you should be happy that these people are too lazy to make their own black powder (or even RDX).
--
they had a message and it has now traveled around the world, tell me who was the winner?

 
June 30, 2007
Votes: +0

a guest said:

0
Alan
Only a week ago Crusade Media News reported:

“a new jihadi video, made in Kyrgyzstan, that purports to show a “graduation ceremony” of 300 aspiring suicide bombers headed for the West. According to an account of the tape on the ABC News web site, the ceremony was staged on June 9 at a training camp alleged to be operated by the Taliban and Al Qaeda. The video, recorded by a Pakistani journalist, shows groups of about 150 masked men—supposedly suicide bombers assigned to conduct attacks in Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany and the United States.

http://www.crusade-media.com/news80.html

Site also reports Germany, Spain France on high alert for the past 2 months especially.

 
June 30, 2007 | url
Votes: +0

a guest said:

0
Brilliant
So the ~50 gallons of gasoline are mostly harmless eh? What happens when it eventually cooks off (or simply initially blows) the several propane and pure oxygen canisters that were also set in the that car then?
 
July 01, 2007
Votes: +0

Jimmy Montague said:

Jimmy Montague
If the threat is real, and if terrorists manage
to blow up a Wal-Mart or a shopping mall here in the 'states, then the country will fall under martial law and George Bush will become president for life. Wannabe terrorists ought to think about that: Ten more years of the Middle East sweltering under the radioactive light of an endless Bush regime. . . . If that doesn't worry them, they really ARE crazy.
 
July 01, 2007 | url
Votes: +0

a guest said:

0
...
I'm interested in hearing Mr. Johnson's responses to the comments.
 
July 02, 2007
Votes: +0

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