"Terror through the Looking Glass"

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by goodkurtz, Jun 5, 2007.

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  1. I must say I have been impressed by the British Arrsers sang froid and stiff upperlips that have remained buttoned about the New York terror plot.
    Just because the sirens scream there is no need to indulge in an unseemly rush to the shelters.

    Experts cast doubt on credibility of JFK terror plot
    Published: Monday June 4, 2007

    An alleged plot to blow up fuel tanks and pipelines at New York's JFK airport had little chance of success, according to safety experts, who have questioned whether the plot ever posed a real threat.

    US authorities said Saturday they had averted an attack that could have resulted in "unfathomable damage, deaths, and destruction," and charged four alleged Islamic radicals with conspiracy to cause an explosion at the airport.

    But according to the experts, it would have been next to impossible to cause an explosion in the jet fuel tanks and pipeline. Furthermore, the plotters seem to have lacked the explosives and financial backing to carry out the attack.

    John Goglia, a former member of National Transportation Safety Board, said that if the plot had ever been carried out, it would likely have sparked a fire but little else, and certainly not the mass carnage authorities described.

    "You could definitely reach the tank, definitely start the fire, but to get the kind of explosion that they were thinking that they were going to get... this is virtually impossible to do," he told AFP.

    The fuel pipelines around the airport would similarly burn, rather than explode, because they are a full of fuel and unable to mix with enough oxygen.

    "We had a number of fires in the US. All that happens is a big fire," he said. "It won't blow up, it will only burn."

    Even if the attackers had managed to blow up a fuel tank, the impact would be limited, he said, citing the example of North Vietnamese forces attacking US fuel dumps during the Vietnam war.

    "They hit the fuel tanks with pretty big rockets. You would get a big fire but not a big explosion other than the rocket."

    "There is a difference between just exploding the tank and a huge explosion. The tank may explode and blow up some metal, but that certainly wouldn't go very far," he said.

    His comments contrasted with those of US Attorney Roslynn Mauskopf, who insisted at the weekend that "the devastation that would be caused had this plot succeeded is just unthinkable."

    Jake Magish, an engineer with Supersafe Tank Systems, also cast doubt on the credibility of the plot, saying: "The fantasy that I've heard about the people saying 'they will blow the tank and destroy the airport,' is nonsense."

    "There are people there responding to hysteria, I think. But from an engineering point of view, if someone is successful in blowing a hole into a tank, they will just have a fire from one tank.

    "There is no way for the fire to go from tank to tank, that is nonsense. It just won't happen."

    Besides the alleged plotters' capability, other questions have focused on the main source in the probe -- a convicted drug dealer who infiltrated the group and whose sentence was pending as part of his cooperation with police.

    Neal Sonnett, a former federal prosecutor, told the New York Times there was also a danger in overstating how serious or sophisticated a plot really was.

    "There unfortunately has been a tendency to shout too loudly about such cases," he said. "To the extent that you over-hype a case, you create fear and paranoia," he said.

    The New York Times on Sunday pointedly avoided giving much coverage to the alleged plot, devoting only a brief on its front page continued on the local section, despite the story breaking in the early afternoon on Saturday.

  2. Biped

    Biped LE Book Reviewer

    The fact of the matter is that these bods planned a strike on US interests, on US soil, no matter how big or small. Good drills for catching them, irrespective of the hype.
  3. And on 'terror plots', this from Nora Ephron who wrote 'Harry met Sally,' on how to make one:

  4. Biped, it wasn't ever a real plot. It was, like so many others an entrapement job. And like so many before it will no doubt not result in any convictions of the defendents on the original charge. These 'terror plots' are needed on a regular basis in order to try and shore up diminishing support for an unpopular war. The 'plots' are as dishonest as the war itself.
    Unless of course you like the cut of this fellows jib.


  5. Surely a terrorist attack would demonstrate how badly Bush has cocked up?
  6. If only that was true, bush needs the war on terror to ensure that the voices of 'danger everywhere' distract from his appaling record thus far in steering the american econemy out of 'danger'!
  7. Would not of caused an explosion well what happened at bloody Hemel Hempstead 18 months ago tell the residents there
  8. even if the entire fuel farm went up still would'nt be a 9/11 style attack they build them at a distance and have berms and things almighty bang clounds of smoke tough shit if your working there possibly. much dollar damage
    few deaths nobody killed at hemel bit like the flooding the tube bomb plot.
    short of filling a tube train with a shaped charge not going to work.
    even london transports finest would eventually notice 100s of jihadist's manhandling tones of explosives and det cord into one tube carrage :twisted:
  9. Am sorry but I am more inclined to believe the airport 'fuel experts' than any of the lying spin-meisters of the Bush administration who have a vested interest in stoking the terrorist flames after all....

    Further - am pretty certain that the set-up at Hemel Hempsted does not match that at the airport and so any attempt at a direct comparison is doomed to inaccuracy from the outset. And although there was a blast at H.H (where the fuel did have more room to mix with the air and have oxygen present), mostly it was a large long-burning fire - no massive desolation and thousands of casualties.
  10. overpromoted wrote and in so doing proved how very true his name is :D :

    Seriously though, I don't think it would show that. The police in Britain worked flat out during the I.R.A. campaigns but no one seriously blamed them when a bombing happened. Its extraordinarily difficult to stop all terrorist attacks.
    In fact bearing in mind the huge size of America it's very odd that there hasn't been any follow up attacks since 9/11.

    Amongst a lot of people in America there is now a growing suspicion of this 'War on Terror' malarky. In fact it is increasingly seen as just that.
    People are beginning to look with curling lips and a jaundiced eye at reports of 'terror plots' that don't even get to a credible planning stage being discovered. They are beginning to withhold judgement as to whether there is anything real there.
  11. Refresh my memory. What was in those tanks, wasn't it petrol?
  12. You could argue that it should have done the first time. :wink:
  13. Lets just put one or two two's together and see whether they make four or whether they make five.

    On the one hand you have this low grade Repub. arrse clown saying this:
  14. I am pretty cynical about all of these 'plots'. Information is so widely available these days that any group of disgruntled muslims (or members of society) could put togther a perfectly feasible looking plot from their living rooms. We have a plethora of quite easy targets here in the UK and it doesn't take much brain to point them out. Down here in the South East I am amazed that nobody has detonated a truck full of fertilizer in the Dartford Tunnel yet. In such an overpopulated nation, the targets are endless.

    In the UK our porous borders allow many to go back to their homelands for futher training if they want it. From what we hear about the quality of this training they would be better off buying any one of the 'SAS' training handbooks from WH Smiths and popping out to the countryside for a bit of practice.

    Keyword-searching email traffic and monitoring websites is only going to throw up some of the traffic and there will be literally thousands of disenfranchised hot headed young muslims who getting excited and 'plan' major atrocities.

    Personally I think the septics are grasping at straws and have to be seen to be doing something. I confess that my attitude is coloured by exposure to government that is media based and spin orientated so I don't believe a word the oily little gutter-maggots say anyway.

  15. Here

    Petrol vapour caused initial explosion; fire spread to other natures, ISTR.