Sunday, May 02, 2010

The Times Square Idiot Bomb

(Latest news. Looks more and more like a setup -- "non-explosive fertilizer?" What is this, a supersized flaming bag of bulldoodle? I have really got to finish that foil-covered baseball cap).

Just in time for May Day -- well, they missed, but that's par for the course; even NYC's Mayor Bloomberg took time out from entrapment schemes for out of state gun shows to notice. After NYC's Finest (and in these situations, they are: here's a van an SUV slewed in, hazards on, smoke pouring out, going "pop" and "boom" with flashing light inside, and they run towards it!) and heroic NYC firefighters (bravery score, tied with NYPD) had cleared the area, they sent in a bomb-handling robot and popped a window for a look. Hizzonner reports,
Inside, they discovered three canisters of propane like those used for barbecue grills, two five-gallon cans of gasoline, consumer-grade fire works — the apparent source of the “pops” — and two clocks with batteries, the mayor said. He said the device “looked amateurish.”
Y'don't say.

It's practically a setup. There doesn't appear to have been any attempt to aerosolize the inflammables in advance, so you'd get more blowtorch than boom, more sound and light than fury. Oh, it would have hurt people dreadfully and might have sprayed burning gasoline over a wide area to horrific effect; but at this time, it looks more like the work of majorly delinquent juveniles than any terrorist, homegrown or imported. Whoever did it had seen enough movies that they'd swapped plates on the van SUV; but I wonder if they remembered the VIN? Assuming it was readable, there've got to be some interesting conversations going on about now. ...And that's before I get out my second-best tinfoil hat and commence theorizin', which I don't have to do 'cos the professionoids on the innerwebs are already doing it for me.

Oh, and for the Swiss tourist who wondered, "It makes me scared to know how close I was to being blown up. This is life in New York now?" Where have you been all your life? Leaving out muggers, footpads and vending machines that take your money but refuse to vend, didn't you ever hear about the way unoccupied vehicles had a tendency to go all 'splody in polite, civilized London for well over a decade? Nothing about WTC '93, sarin gas in Japanese subways or Timmy and Terry's OKC child-killing rental van truck bomb in '95? You are not safe and you never have been; it's a great big world, filled with great big powerful things and as long as you like central heating, travel by other than shank's mare, the wonders of electricity, plenty o' food and clean water, then bad guys and morons (lotta Venn diagram overlap there but let's not fool ourselves it's 100 percent) are gonna have ready means to do you -- and other innocents -- terrible harm. And what you can do about it is, keep your darned eyes open and know what you're looking at. Help when you can and know when to call for help -- like whoever it was (a freelance handbag vendor!) pointed out the Times Square Idiot Bomb did.


og said...

When I saw the lead I though someone had dropped a container full of idiots onto Times Square. Made me think, "Talk about carrying coals to newcastle"

Will Brown said...

Per a NY TV report via Drudge the VIN was dremeled off ("removed") and some Paki Taliban group claimed responsibility vis YouTube release of a pre-recorded videotape virtually simultanously (if I'm reading early reports right).

Amateurish construction yeah, but a legitimate attempt all the same, apparently.

w/v: yelin; google gettin' pithy, I see. :)

Drang said...

The Tangoes did, indeed, upload the video claiming responsibility prior to the fizzle.
NYPD is still claiming no indications it was anything more than a childish prank, however.
Just like the Pittsbergh PD is saying the same for their (suspected) VBIED this Ack Emma...

Borepatch said...

Errr ... I blame Sarah Palin?


Old Grouch said...

"'d get more blowtorch than boom"

Y'all might want to Google up BLEVE (Boiling-Liquid- Expanding-Vapor-Explosion). If that gasoline got a good start, there could have been a good-sized fireball, possibly accompanied by rocketing cans, when the pressure vents on those propane tanks let go. Not something I'd want to be standing close to.

Geodkyt said...

Old Grouch --

Unless the Tangoes disabled the pressure relief vents AND drilled a nozzle half way through the pressure vessel, the propane tanks would not likely go anywhere -- although it WOULD be a spectacular flamethrower effect going off, along with the other flamming goodies.

Leave pressure relief valve functional -- and the propane tank vents thorugh the valve. Much flame and flashiness, but no decent thrust.

Disable the pressure relief valve and fail to weaken the tank for a controlled nozzle, and the tank wont go a-rocketing -- it will explode.