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Thursday, July 14, 2005

Smiley Face & King's Cross

That London bombing incident sucked any way you slice it. I learned about it here in the midwest listening to the Marky Marc's on AAR about an hour or two before my brother-in-law did toiling away in his office a few block's away from one of the bomb sites. After the incident, he went out during lunch and didn't notice any real difference in activity. Apparently the London Olympics selection spread through the grapevine faster than the bombing news -- at least in some circles.

I also heard since from my family that many people seemed befuddled how "clean skins" could do this kind of attack. Word also that the men had planned to distribute the bombing locations in the pattern of a cross (i.e. "burning" and emanating from King's Cross); however the temporary shutdown of one of the tube lines thwarted the realization of this plan.

This last part sounded familiar. Is it possible that the men from Leeds learned some creative symbolism from other "homegrown" terrorists:
CNN/May 9, 2002 Accused mailbox bomber Lucas Helder told authorities he was planting pipe bombs in a pattern to show a happy face during his five-state weekend spree.

I couldn't find anybody else making this correlation, but I can imagine if someone would resort to suicide bombing, doing a copy-cat of some home-grown lillywhite, clean-skinned American youth would not seem out of the ordinary.

Incidentally, here is how far the Wisconsin yute got:
This story, although only a couple of years old, has faded from view largely because as David Neiwert from Orcinus argues; asymmetric threats don't worry us.


Professor Blogger Big Gav said...

Wow - patterns and similarities of the weird kind - maybe you should do a guest spot at RI while Jeff Wells is having the week off :-)

5:26 AM  
Professor Blogger WHT said...

Gulp. Suddenly I have a strange disinterest in pursuing this line of query. If 0.001% of the population of the greater London area planned to do something terrible, it would still amount to more than 100 people that could come out of the woodwork with a bizarre scheme. Weird happens.

6:24 AM  
Professor Blogger Big Gav said...

Weird happens alright - but posting on it can attract attention from strange places sometimes.

I might note in your next post you quoted Mike R !

I'm never quite sure if noticing patterns in things has become easier as we've become more adept at processing large volumes of data from the internet. It certianly seems to be a lot more widely practiced in the past year or two.

Of course, it could just be that excessive internet exposure results in apophenia.

3:56 AM  

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