Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Now we're all terrorists!

From Media Monitors Network:

Meanwhile, reports of material evidence in the UK have been unnervingly threadbare. Only eleven out of the 24 suspects arrested over the alleged airliner bomb plot have been charged, largely it seems on the basis of police findings of “bomb-making equipment and martyrdom videos”. Out of the other thirteen, two have been released without charge. But the “bomb-making equipment” discovery of “chemicals” and “electrical components” is ambiguous at best, especially given that police descriptions of the alleged bomb construction plan is to mix a sports drink with a peroxide-based household gel (the chemicals), and detonate the mixture with an MP3 player or mobile phone (electrical components). If possession of such items makes you a terror suspect in possession of potential bomb-making equipment, then we are all terror suspects. As Craig Murray observes:

“Let me fess up here. I have just checked, and our flat contains nail polish remover, sports drinks, and a variety of household cleaning products. Also MP3 players and mobile phones. So the authorities could announce -- as they have whispered to the media in this case -- that potential ingredients of a liquid bomb, and potential timing devices, have been discovered. It rather lowers the bar doesn’t it?”

Yes -- clearly, it lowers the bar to potentially include millions of perfectly normal British citizens. The police story is also, simply, scientifically absurd, as Murray further notes: “The idea that high explosive can be made quickly in a plane toilet by mixing at room temperature some nail polish remover, bleach, and Red Bull and giving it a quick stir, is nonsense.” Citing US chemistry experts, Washington-based information security journalist Thomas C. Greene similarly concludes that "... the fabled binary liquid explosive -- that is, the sudden mixing of hydrogen peroxide and acetone with sulfuric acid to create a plane-killing explosion, is out of the question... But the Hollywood myth of binary liquid explosives now moves governments and drives public policy. We have reacted to a movie plot."


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