Monday, July 2, 2007

Terrorism or Incredible Bad Luck?

(Originally posted June 30, 2007)

Here in the center of Minnesota, it's a beautiful summer day. Considering what's happening on the east side of the Atlantic, I'm glad to be here.

News agencies have been remarkably restrained in making assumptions about three spots of unpleasantness in the United Kingdom.

British Authorities are acting as if these were terrorist attacks, and Homeland Security is being cautiously aware, according to a press release yesterday. H.S. is supposed to have another press release soon.

So far, here's what's happened:

A flaming green jeep (SUV) crashed into the main terminal entrance at Glasgow's Blackpool airport today (Saturday, June 30). At least one witness said that one of the men in the SUV jumped out and spread gasoline around before being put out by authorities.

To date, two people have been arrested at the airport, one of whom came out medium-rare after his ride in the rolling barbecue.

Yesterday, near a London nightclub's ladies night, a metallic green Mercedes, exuding smoke, was spotted and extinguished before the bomb of gasoline, propane gas and nails inside went off. A second car, with a similar bomb inside, was found before it went off.

"Foul play is suspected," as authorities on this side of the Atlantic have to say. And no, I haven't heard anyone say that this time.

Getting back to media restraint:

As of about 2:30pm (Central Time USA), nobody's mentioned the odd coincidence that two of the three vehicles involved were green: a color closely associated with Islam. And Ireland.

The two men arrested in Glasgow have been described as Asian, so it would be quite a stretch to consider the Glasgow incident as part of England's trouble with the Irish.

On the other hand, Indonesia is the world's largest Muslim country, and in British English, "Asian" refers to anything from about Pakistan and India east, and sometimes places like Saudi Arabia.

All three incidents could be wildly improbably coincidence. Or this might be one of those cases where something that waddles, quacks, and looks like a duck may, in fact, be a duck.

Oh, great: now there's news that the hospital where the suspect flambé was taken has been evacuated.

All of this could seem far removed from a family in a small town in central Minnesota. In a way, it is. We're no more likely to be involved in a terrorist incident than Lockerbie, over in Scotland.

But we've got family all over the country, some of whom live in larger cities. Even if we didn't, I accept the idea that all people are important: even the ones who attract the ire of homicidal fanatics.

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Note! Although I believe that these websites and blogs are useful resources for understanding the War on Terror, I do not necessarily agree with their opinions. 1 1 Given a recent misunderstanding of the phrase "useful resources," a clarification: I do not limit my reading to resources which support my views, or even to those which appear to be accurate. Reading opinions contrary to what I believed has been very useful at times: sometimes verifying my previous assumptions, sometimes encouraging me to change them.

Even resources which, in my opinion, are simply inaccurate are sometimes useful: these can give valuable insights into why some people or groups believe what they do.

In short, It is my opinion that some of the resources in this blogroll are neither accurate, nor unbiased. I do, however, believe that they are useful in understanding the War on Terror, the many versions of Islam, terrorism, and related topics.