19 July 2005

Really Suicide

The Mirror and others are questioning whether the "mobile self-demolition specialists" who visited London a couple of weeks back were really planning to die.

I'm still quite willing to believe they were, though there is room for doubt.

Classifying the evidence:
  1. Left no notes, wills, video messages or whatever
  2. Bought return train tickets, and possibly car park pay & display tickets.
  3. Detonations were nearly simultaneous (apart from the one that wasn't)
  4. Didn't make any announcements at the moment of detonation
  5. One or two of them had pregnant wives
  6. They were British, dammit! One of them played cricket!
  7. Obviously the Mossad was really behind it all.

6 and 7 I disregard.

5 - well, the September 2001 hijackers had full and apparently enjoyable lives. Of course, not all of them necessarily knew exactly what they were getting into. These four might have declared themselves willing to die, and volunteered for a mission without knowing until a late stage that it was a one-way trip. Security, you know.

2 3 and possibly 4 could be explained by my earlier theory, that they were acting on the cautious assumption that the security forces were close on their tails. They had had (very indirect) contact with previous blown operations, nothing in Britain had yet come off succesfully, the #1 priority was to get the job done before anyone could grab them.

The lack of any message is the strongest point, but even that I think might be because of the risk of exposure. Unlike the Palestinians, these people were really operating entirely in enemy territory: the fact of going out and buying a video camera might have triggered some investigating authority to ask for a search warrant.

I'm probably not going to blog about this much more. 50 murders is a significant news story, but a sense of proportion is still important, and we don't want to go overboard.

Here's my decision: once the Piccadilly line is open, I will consider the story over.

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