Wild-Ass Speculating About July 21 London Bombers

The whole thing is just too bizarre not to speculate about: why did the bombs not go off? Who? Why? How? Huh?

From the London Times:

I have to admit, I got nuthin’. I am not even able to begin to figure out who might have done this or why they, thankfully, screwed it up so badly.

How 'bout this? What if the 7/7 bombers were (as has been speculated) actually duped into becoming suicide bombers? They thought they were simply going to leave the bombs on the bus, but they were detonated by someone else. (I really don’t get the idea that there are a lot of genuine suicide bombers out there willing to martyr themselves in the name of Allah. I think a huge part of the terrorist strategy, though, is to convince us that they are all over the place.)

Anyway, today’s bombers, as devoted to the cause as they may be, aren’t quite that devoted…and so they simply drop their backpacks and run. (I saw something about police chasing a suspect into a hospital this morning and making an arrest.)

Just something to think about

Karl Rove!! :eek:

Quite possibly. Recall that most of the 9/11/01 hijackers thought they were part of a standard take-this-plane-to-Cuba bit of political theater.

It’s pretty obvious to me - they were intercepted by British intel. All four would-be bombers are currently residing in a basement deep, deep below London. With soundproofed walls.

James Bond had infiltrated the bombing group, and substituted Marzipan for the Plastic Explosives they were going to use. Hense only the detonators went off.

‘Bizarre’ is the perfect word. Everyone’s just like “oh, four different bombs failed to go off properly at the same time and only one person was hurt, so… no worries”. But what are the chances of that???


I hadn’t heard this. My understanding was that they were all committed suicide bombers. Do you have a cite?

If they ane last week’s bombers were duped, than someone else is setting the explosives off. If these guys “dropped and ran” why didn’t the explosives go off?

Damn good point. I have no idea but I did hear that the cops are thinking that some detonaters did go off after the bombers ran away.

Maybe they tried to jury rig explosives and botched the job. Perhaps the real expert on how to make and rig the explosives either had some misfortune (maybe as prosaic as breaking his/her leg or getting hit by a bus) or had to flee the country because of detection (real or imagined). So, they had the detenators but botched the primary charge…or botched rigging the detenators.

Or, maybe a large quantity of good luck potion was accidentally released in England last night…


Didn’t the British police raid an explosives factory? Perhaps the bombing was scheduled previously and the devices were improvised from whatever the would be bombers could find.

Because the explosives were for shit? I’m liking Robert Ayers’ theory that they cobbled the bombs together. Though I should wait until I hear what their secondary explosive was, we’re just speculating so I’m going to go with they had detonators but not a good explosive, like C4 or Semtex, that is willing to run with whatever shockwave you throw at it. Probably something that they screwed up making, like a fertilizer/motor oil mixup from a recipe they found online.

On the other hand, with all the Semtex and other high explosives unaccounted for and supposedly floating around the terrorism underground a detonator might be the part that’s hard to find.

I don’t know every single thing about the incident in question, but from what I do know it seems pretty clear that the bombs were all of the same general design, probably contained a lower grade of primary charge than those use in the first wave two weeks ago, and that the specific design and charge probably had not been tested before use. If there was a basic design defect, or the primary charge was homemeade and had been formulated incorrectly, it’s not all that surprising that all four fizzled.

So far this campaign is almost a mirror image (except for the suicide part) of the series of bombings carried out by a small cell of Algerian militants in Paris in the mid-'90s. The first and most destructive action was a bomb using military-grade explosives aboard a commuter train. Apparently the cell used up most of their small stock of explosive in the initial outrage, as subsequent bombings (there were a total of four or five attempts, IIRC) used considerably more crude gunpowder-based devices, at least two of which failed to detonate as per today’s incident.

Er, substitute “main” for “primary” in my post above.

I’ve heard wild stuff. Such as the 7/7/2005=7-7-7(2+0+0+5=7). oooohhhhh :o

A bin Laden videotape from late 2001 shows him smirking over the fact that the “muscle” (as opposed to the pilots, who obviously needed to know the truth about the mission) were kept in the dark on this point.

(The cite is a story from just before the actual tape hit the media, and is thus secondhand, but my recollection is that the release of the tape confirmed the description.)

Here is another cite backing Steve MB’s – likely they didn’t all know it was a one way trip.

Another thing to remember about yesterday is that these bombs were made of acetone peroxide which has a very short shelf life and deteriorates really quick.

If say, your chemist or Al Queda handler ran you up a big batch and fled 7/6 it is entirely possible wave no.2 7/21 was full of duds - maybe even likely to happen …

I am not saying that it DID happen that way, only that is one wild-ass specualtive possibility on 7/22

Reportedly the 7/7 bombs used acetone peroxide as their main charge, which is a primary explosive. Sensitive as hell, only a suicide bomber would think it a good idea to use in large quantities. No proper detonator required - a confined pyrotechnic would do to set it off. They had no semtex, no detonators, no fertiliser mix.

WAG 1: the two groups were seperate cells, the second group were lousy chemists. Their pyrotechnic triggers went off but not the main charges.

WAG 2: the two groups used the same batch of explosive but it has a poor shelf life and had decomposed in the intervening fortnight. (No idea what the shelf life of the stuff actually is.)

Parallel WAGs… thanks jimmmy.