For those inclined to dismiss the Times Square jihadi as an “amateur” or with some other words meant to pooh-pooh him as nothing to really have worried about, consider the likely effect had the bomb gone off:
If you wanted to do a lot of damage with a well-rigged car bomb, the junction of West 45th Street and Broadway in midtown Manhattan, where Times Square narrows into an asphalt bottleneck, would be the place to pick. If the bomb planted in a green 1993 Nissan Pathfinder SUV on the evening of May 1 had exploded, here’s what would have happened, according to retired New York police department bomb-squad detective Kevin Barry. The car would have turned into a “boiling liquid explosive.” The propane tanks that the bomb comprised would have overheated and ignited into “huge blowtorches” that could have been ejected from the vehicle. The explosion, lasting only a few seconds, would have created a thermal ball wide enough to swallow up most of the intersection. A blast wave would have rocketed out in all directions at speeds of 12,000 to 14,000 ft. per sec. (3,700 to 4,300 m per sec.); hitting the surrounding buildings, the wave would have bounced off and kept going, as much as nine times faster than before. Anyone standing within 1,400 ft. (430 m) — about five city blocks — of the explosion would have been at risk of being hit by shrapnel and millions of shards of flying glass. The many who died would not die prettily. A TIME reporter familiar with the ravages of car bombs in Baghdad describes how victims appeared to be naked because a fireball melted their clothing onto the surface of their skin.
And, contra the President’s fool of a counterterrorism adviser, the only reason Times Square didn’t come to resemble downtown Baghdad circa 2006 was a combination of the bomber’s incompetence and the alertness of some street vendors and a homeless guy. The Department of Homeland Security and the rest of the security services had nothing to do with it, just as they had nothing to do with defeating the guy who tried to blow up NWA 253 over Detroit. We were lucky and incompetent; he was unlucky and incompetent.
But what happens when the luck turns?
(via Gabriel Malor on Twitter)
RELATED: Tim Cavanaugh at Reason wants DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano fired, unless she can demonstrate some heretofore missing competence.
LINKS: Sister Toldjah on AG Holder’s sudden discovery “homegrown” Islamic terrorism.