Entropy and Growth At Al Qaeda, Inc.
9-11 has proved a hard act to follow, as, it would seem, have the past bombings in Bali, London and Madrid. The spectacular failure of the attack on Glasgow, and the foiled hit on one of London's largest multi-ethnic hot spots may say more about the perps ineptitude than Osama Bin Laden's future intentions.
The two-car fiasco in London at once reflects the Bali Bombing , and the success of the measures taken to prevent its repetition. Nobody waltzes into a four-story West End dance club (let alone Annabels or Harry's Bar) wearing a back-back anymore, obviating the horrifically successful stratagem of using a small indoor explosion to drive a crowd into range of a vehicle bomb waiting to explode outside. Two VBIED's might defeat vigilant inspection on club entry, but London's nightmare traffic makes pre-parking car bombs a risky business for the bombers. Both sides get points for Lessons Learned on this occasion, and night club patrons a reminder that , witness the Coconut Grove fire and the indoor fireworks holocaust in Rhode Island, their favored hangouts are often fire traps
Glasgow was something else. Having written at length on the technology of terror , I'm struck by the wrote ineptitude with which the Glasgow Airport attack was carried out. Hollywood deserves a lot of the blame for equating fireballs with wholesale carnage in the popular imagination, but while confinement by building, bus or train car walls renders exploding gas tanks lethal , out of doors they are mostly a spectacular nuisance. Apart from one self-immolated perpetrator, Glasgow's only serious casualty was a broken leg inflicted by the careening SUV. The concrete bollards at the terminal entrance saved the day.
Bollywood may deserve a little backhanded credit for universalizing the confusion of special effects and the praxis of terror. But beware distraction-- a slapstick warm-up customarily precedes a class act.
It takes years to train a structural engineer able to deconstruct something the size of the WTC. OBL's talent agency has had six in which to produce a successor to the late Dpl. Ing. Muhammad Al Atta.