They blew up real good!

14 terror suspects mistakenly blow themselves up Link.

Richard Reid - can’t figure out how to light a match and when he does can’t light the damp fuse.
Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab had an engineering degree from the UK - lights his nuts on fire rather than blowing up the plane.

Does the job description for terrorist list ‘incompetent boob’ as a requirement? Remind me again why we are afraid of these clowns?

I was just going to start a thread on this. Wouldn’t you think that the act of detonation would remove ‘suspected’ from their description?

And add the word “late”.

The 21/7 London Underground bombersalso failed to blow themselves or anyone else up, unlike their colleagues earlier in the same month.

Because they only have to get lucky once. But let’s face it - anyone who can be talked into blowing themselves up did not roll 18 for Intelligence, if you know what I mean.

Considering that they’re trying to use self-constructed materials, attempting to fabricate something that will pass through security (and in the two cases the OP cites, did do so successfully), are working with highly unstable and touchy chemicals (such as undiluted hydrogen peroxide, which will set your clothes on fire if you spill it on you), and are ultimately going to kill themselves in the process of triggering the bomb, I’d have to say that they’re not “incompetent boobs”, but unlucky and perhaps insufficiently trained.

The fact that they got the “getting explosive and incendiary substances successfully past intense security” part down pat gives me sufficient reason to be concerned about them, thank you very much. I still con’t get large quantities of bottled liquid or the scraper I inadvertently left in my briefcase past the checkpoints.

Because the 9/11 terrorists brought down the tallest buildings in the United States with $3 box cutter knives. It’s not often that you can use Visa to rent a 350,000 lb weapon and get random people to pick up the fuel tab AND ride along with you.

Of course, a thrifty person would have gone to a dollar store and bought a $1 knife.

People seem to forget that a number of attacks have been prevented through police work.

Yeah, I know what you mean. But instead of 3 dice they used two and rolled snake eyes.

It makes me wonder if we are hearing about all the attempts that fail? It is like an accident. Eg. For every accident there are, say, 10 near accidents. Where are all the attempted smuggling of explosive devices that are caught by security?

No, no, it’s “They blowed up real good!”

I think we’re still supposed to be afraid of them because of those times when they might accidentally get it right. I’m pretty sure the only requirements to be an average suicide bomber are:

  1. Fanatical piousness
  2. Can fasten Velcro
  3. Can operate, or knows theoretically how to operate a lighter
  4. Doesn’t mind being violently turned into stew

Most of them seem to have 1 and 4 down pretty well. It’s the bits in the middle they seem to have trouble with.

Sorry, but I have to disagree with the part above that I bolded. Now, the security is more thorough, but it was never intense. I was a frequent flyer (except for the last yr) and had many items go through that were not supposed to be allowed. Its not that its intentional - I did have my baggie of 3 oz bottles and all, but sometimes you forget stuff. I am sure it was nerve-wracking knowing you were trying to get through a bomb, but since you already are committed to dying for your cause, I doubt the security makes you that much more nervous.

You have any idea how long ago it was the last time I’ve seen that show? So, long ago that I can’t remember!

I don’t think they have this one down quite yet.

Forget the failed explosion. Cabin fires in aircraft are bad. The Detroit attack may have actually succeeded completely as a test run.

I don’t know that guy who managed to pull the wool over the CIA’s eyes, walk into a Forward Operating Base wearing a suicide vest, and take out 8 intelligence agents seemed pretty competent.

Were you the only person on the flight? One 3 oz bottle times 10 equals 30 oz. How many people on a wide body aircraft?

He wasn’t competent. The CIA was incompetent.
It wasn’t some random guy they had there. It was a known guy who had been supposedly turned from being a radical. I’d use him for what he was worth, but I don’t think I’d ever trust him enough to be free from regular screenings. I can’t get into work without being screened and I’ve worked here for years and I don’t have a questionable past.

Sorry, but I disagree with your disagreement. Perhaps you have a different definition of “intense”, like requiring cavity searches of everyone boarding. But they’re still making me take off my shoes, belt, and money, and on those occasions where they thought there was something in my briefcase I was shunted aside and very thoroughly searched.

It’s by no means a sketchy or casual process. By my lights, it is indeed “intense”.

That’s the theoretical part at work there. I imagine two terrorists trying to practice having this sort of conversation:

T1: How does it work?
T2: I think you are supposed to spin the ‘sparkwheel’
T1: What part is that?
T2: I think it is that round thing there
T1: This thing?
T2: I think so. Try it.
T1: [takes index finger and rubs it across sparkwheel] It will not move.
T2: Push harder.
T1: [takes index finger and rubs it harder across sparkwheel. It budges and makes a brief, small spark] Oh! There, did you see that?
T2: Yes! Allah be praised, you made a spark!
T1: Allahu akbar! But wait, is that it?
T2: Is what it?
T1: It just makes a spark? Is that all it is supposed to do?
T2: I don’t know. Isn’t it? Sparks light things, right?
T1: I thought there was fire involved.
T2: We’ll go ask Muhammad.
T1: Can’t. Dead.
T2: Really? When? How?
T1: Last night. Fastened a pipe bomb too tightly to his leg, cut off circulation, and he couldn’t unstrap it, so he started banging on it with the butt of a knife to try and get it loose.
T2: Was that bad? Should he not have done that?
T1: Apparently.
T2: Damn.

Before today, the thought or desire to temporarily change my user name to Big Jim McBob had never entered my head.

Now I’m thinking about Billy Sol Hurok.

May the good Lord take a likin’ to ya and blow ya up real soon!

That doesn’t really reassure me. I mean, they were in Afghanistan with a known radical and they let that happen. The fucking CIA! I thought they were supposed to be the (relatively) smart guys? What hope does the TSA have of stopping somebody even mildly clever?

Is there anyone here who did not read that conversation in “stereotypical” (read “performed by any standup comedian”) Middle Eastern accent?

Here in Israel, premature terrorist detonations are referred to as “work accidents”.