Monday, May 03, 2010

Not Too Bright

I am not making fun of the attempt at a terrorist bombing of Times Square in New York on Saturday night. If it has been successful a lot of people would have been injured and we should all be glad the 'bomber' is evidently as dumb as a box of hammers.

Granted there was potential for explosion and fire with respect to the propane cylinders and gasoline but whoever put this mess together obviously can't read, use the internet or think.

1. Using firecrackers to set off a fire doesn't work. There is very little actual explosive and thus very little actual 'fire' even in the most powerful commercial firecracker. He would have been better off with a pack of matches and a burning cigarette. More time to run and a sure fire ignition.

2. Garden fertilizer is not explosive. Even if it has a little ammonium nitrate mixed in. Pure ammonium nitrate is explosive if mixed with fuel oil (diesel fuel or home heating oil) while packed tightly in a confined space and ignited with an industrial blasting cap. Oklahoma City is good evidence of that but it takes a lot of ammonium nitrate to get a significant blast.

3. Causing a BBQ grill type propane tank to explode is virtually impossible. There is a reason you don't read reports of them exploding in the news. They are very well engineered. When they are heated they have a pressure relief valve that releases pressure before they can explode. You can throw one in a fire and it will soon vent gas in a great 'poof' but it won't explode.

4. A vehicle's VIN (vehicle identification number) is marked in a few more places on a vehicle than the little metal strip in the window. The engine, transmission and drive shaft are just a few.  This is done to hinder auto thieves who strip stolen cars for parts. The VIN on the trans axle was how they traced the van used in the bombing of the World Trade Center so many years ago. I am sure the New York police have traced the vehicle's owner by now.

This dude went to a lot of trouble for nothing...and if he thought he wouldn't be caught on camera in a place like Times Square then he didn't do a lot of research or reconnoiter. Let's all be thankful we had an incompetent boob this time. Chances are we won't be so lucky if there is a next time.

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