July 07, 2005
London Terrorist Attack
I'm sure everyone has heard by now about the terrorist attack on London mass transit (Two BBC stories; Reuters is inaccessible.) I have always thought London would be better prepared for terrorist attacks after its experiences with the IRA in the 1980s and 1990s. I can't tell whether the low numbers of casualties we're hearing so far is a result of that preparation, British stiff-upper-lippedness, or suppression of news to avoid hysteria.
On September 11, most of the little net.community Chuck and I belong to got online to check in and make sure that everyone was OK. This time, it's no different. Here's hoping that the casualties are as few as possible, the bastards who did this--not just the bombers, who are probably dead, but the ones behind them--are caught and punished, and that London gets back to normal as soon as possible.
Today I'm thanking $DEITY that neither my husband nor I take mass transit to work here in the metro New York area.
I'm Ginger, I'm Chuck's blog-mother, and I post intermittently on my own blog, Perverse Access Memory. Chuck and I have been trading news snark for many years on blogs and mailing lists, but not as many as Matt and Ellen and Chuck have.
Posted by Ginger Stampley on July 07, 2005 to Around the world
I have been in London for both business and vacation in the past five years, and I distinctly remember visiting all of the areas that were attacked today. In fact, I used the Edgware Road tube station as a daily starting point on my first trip since it was the station closest to my apartment (I rented an apartment for 10 days on my first trip) . King's Cross is one of the main stations in the Tube system, as is Liverpool Street (both stations are connected to train terminals akin to Grand Central Station or Penn Station here in NYC.)
One of the interesting things I remember about the Edgware Road area is that the storeowners are mainly Arab or Pakistani. Many of the store signs are in English and Arabic. It just shows that the idiots that are behind the bombings have no regard for anyone's life.
I think the IRA bombings in the 1970s and 1980s helped out in this situation, as did the experiences from 9/11. Also, keep in mind that the London Underground trains are smaller than those in NYC and thus carry fewer people. I also think the congestion fee also reduced the casualties in Russell Square since there were fewer cars on the road (The city of London introduced a 5 pound a day fee for driving in the central London during the business day. Fines start at 40 pounds for failing to prove you have paid the fee).
Amazingly, my colleagues in the London office carried on as if it was business as usual.
We need to invent a portable appliance to detect portable bombs. Everyone can buy it and caryy it like a cell phone. That will send a really good message to any suicide bombers.