Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Woodburn Bank Bombing - Another Arrest, a Few Answers

Why someone set a bomb that killed two police officers in Woodburn, Oregon, is still an open question.

But, something that's been bothering me was cleared up. The dead police officers had carried the bomb into the bank before it went off. That seemed odd: the best guess I had was that they were trying to minimize damage, in case of an explosion, to the one building. Turns out, I was wrong. KPTV reported:

"...Local police officers arrived at the Wells Fargo building, opened a garbage bin and spotted a cell phone on top of what appeared to be a package. Hakim and an FBI bomb technician were called. They examined the package and cell phone and determined it was a hoax device.

"Woodburn police searched the area around the two banks for other devices, and a green metal box was spotted next to the West Coast Bank building.

"Hakim, Tennant and Russell arrived at the West Coast Bank. After Hakim inspected and X-rayed the green box, he said he was 'confident that it was a hoax device and that it could be taken apart to be placed into evidence.'

"Hakim brought the green box into the bank to work on it, with help from Tennant and Russell, and it detonated.

"The court document clears up the mystery of why bomb technicians brought the bomb inside the bank -- because they thought it was harmless...."
(KPTV (December 16, 2008))

That makes sense:
  • A device at a neighboring bank had been a fake
  • Examination and an x-ray of the device at the West Coast Bank apparently didn't show that it was a bomb
  • The police officers assumed that the West Coast Bank device was a hoax, like the first one
A curious detail is that the police linked the father to the bomb, through cell phone purchases. The father was too old to be the man in the security video, which was a puzzle: until investigators found out about the son.

This hasn't been a good day for the Turnidge family, with the arrest of
  • Bruce Turnidge, father of
  • Joshua Turnidge
Any one of the five possible explanations for who - and why - the Woodburn bank bomb was set might still be true. The more we find out, though, the less this looks like the work of international terrorists. I won't say it's impossible: just wildly unlikely.

Related posts: In the news: Related posts, on tolerance, bigotry, racism, and hatred.

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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.