Failed bombings plots at Glasgow Airport and London (June 29-30, 2007)

Terrorists are not always the sharpest pencils in the box. That is a good thing.

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND — I would imagine that you have all heard the term ‘dodge a bullet’. It refers, of course, to an occasion where something bad was about to happen but failed to do so. In essence, the bullet failed to hit its mark. In the real world, no one ‘dodges’ a bullet, unless you are Neo in The Matrix film series.

Hey, if Neo can do it…

When it comes to terrorist attacks we avert disaster for a variety of reasons. Many times good security intelligence and law enforcement leg work ends up identifying and stopping attacks from occurring. On others the terrorists are too stupid to succeed. Then there are the occasions in which something that should have worked fails to do so. Nothing happens – or if it does happen it is smaller in impact than it could have been – and we all breathe a collective sigh of relief.

That is more or less what happened on this day in 2007. Two car bombs, one in Glasgow, Scotland and the other in London, failed to cause the carnage intended. The first one a car rammed into the terminal at the Glasgow International Airport, resulting only in minor injuries to five people. The car caught fire but the explosives did not detonate.

On this day in 2007, two car bombs manufactured by Al Qaeda terrorists at the Glasgow International Airport and in London’s West End failed to detonate.

The hapless terrorists got out of the vehicle and started chucking bombs and set himself on fire. Passersby tackled the two and neutralised them. The previous day (June 29) a similar car bomb was found in London’s West End but the cellphone detonator malfunctioned. The car was actually towed away by efficient English municipal authorities before the bomb was discovered.

Al Qaeda (AQ) was behind both attempts. The terrorist who set himself on fire later died of his injuries. His partner in crime was sentenced to 32 years in jail for conspiracy to commit terrorism.

Either attack could have been devastating. Neither was thank God. Thank God too for incompetent terrorists.

Phil Gurski
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