Friday, September 23, 2005

London bomb dress rehearsal

We're now being told that the London bombers had a dress rehearsal before (or here) the bombings in order to run through what they would have to do on July 7. It can't be that hard to get on a subway train. What is the one thing that would concern them? The possibility that, if all the bombers weren't in their positions on the trains when the first bomb went off, the system would be shut down preventing anyone else from getting on the trains. The system might have been shut down by some human action, either as part of a pre-planned response to terror or in panic, or the system might have shut down automatically due to damage done by the first bomb. It was imperative that every bomber be in position before the first bomb was detonated, and that is what they must have been rehearsing. And yet we're told that the fourth bomber, Hasib Hussain, the one who ended up on the bus, made exactly that one mistake. He failed to get into the station, and thus onto the train, before the first bombs were detonated (Hussain was delayed as he had to stop for a Happy Meal, and tried to phone his fellow bombers, who he ought to have known were already dead), and thus, unable to fulfill his part of the plot (there is controversy about this point too, as the line he was supposed to get on was apparently still working, leaving one to wonder why he chose to take a bus), had to improvise by boarding a bus (note the AFP story, which coyly says ". . . Hussain was thwarted because northbound subway services were suspended that morning, meaning he boarded a bus", leaving the question open of why the subway services were suspended). How could he possibly have made such a fundamental mistake, especially given the fact that the rehearsal must have focused on that very issue? The explanation is that he apparently wasn't at the rehearsal, but isn't this so obvious a point that the others might have mentioned it to him? Another oddity that makes no sense is that the No. 30 bus he is said to have blown up was the second bus he had taken, having earlier been on another bus towards Euston.