London (UK) under attack

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Early this morning starting at 08h49 bombs went off in central London, wrecking havoc on metro and buslines. Most public transportation in the London area has been suspended for the time being - more info can be found on the Transport for London site.

Hundreds of traffic cams that monitor London have been shut down and show a "This Camera is unavailable for operational reasons" notice when requesting their image. While I think that keeping the public informed is essential, I can understand not providing camera streams without proper information to go with it.

From a terrorist point of view, I must say the attack was a beauty. Sure this may sound harsh and as if I don't care, but that impression is wrong. Understanding what and why it happened is key to learning and possibly preventing it in the future.

Most resources are tied up with the G8 summit going on and loads of security related organisations are focussed on keeping protesters out, and international leaders safe. They G8 summit results in increased tension everywhere and loads of people entering and leaving the greater London area.

A first bomb is set up to disrupt a metro line, and explodes at 08h49. At first everyone thinks about an accident, a powerfailure but not of an attack. Minutes later two more devices explode, taking out other lines. Since metro lines connect most of London, disrupting important lines makes people flock to alternative public transportation. People could take cabs, but they can never make up for the influx of people needing transportation. Hence busses - that are also very frequent in London - get more crowded. An additional explosion on a bus further creates chaos and takes more lives.

Do you see the ingenuity in that? Disrupt transportation method A to shift focus to the alternative, B, where you then strike again, aiming for more chaos. It's like throwing a brick through the store front window and then taking off with all the loot through the back of the building.

Bruce Schneier just posted about the attacks and want to put up a short quote of his post : We need to resist the urge to react against the particulars of this particular terrorist plot, and to keep focused on the terrorists' goals. Spending billions to defend our trains and busses at the expense of other counterterrorist measures makes no sense. Terrorists are out to cause terror, and they don't care if they bomb trains, busses, shopping malls, theaters, stadiums, schools, markets, restaurants, discos, or any other collection of 100 people in a small space. There are simply too many targets to defend, and we need to think smarter than protecting the particular targets the terrorists attacked last week.

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This page contains a single entry by ServMe published on July 7, 2005 2:54 PM.

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