Just asking

Are Britain’s police smarter than ours or are the terrorists who attacked London dumber than the ones who attacked New York?

Whichever, it is wonderful that British authorities have captured the terrorists. Let us hope they lead back to the murderers’ creators.

: Commenters point out it’s all those video cameras that helped. Yes. In New York, they’re talking about getting rid of subway conductors on some lines (which always struck me as a waste anyway). Various opponents complained that would hurt security (though most of the conductors I see would be easy to outrun). Mayor Bloomberg’s answer: Video cameras.

Yes, let’s cam New York.

  • They were effective because they expected it with the added bonus of ineffective nutjobs attempting to wreak havoc. Well, all of them are nutjobs but some are intelligently skillful nutjobs.

  • Britain has had four years to create a plan for such an attack. Nobody had a plan on 9/11.

  • Arthur

    Don't you think London's ubiquitous CCTV cameras had something to with it? I have read that the average Londoner is captured 300 times a day via CCTVs. After all, a clear photograph of the perps has to have some impications for police effectiveness? On the other hand, would Americans stand for that kind of panopticon police surveilance?

  • jerry

    Uh, well, uh, duh, the bombs didn't go off, leaving behind lots of evidence, duh. Plus England is known for having sh*tloads of video cameras.


  • jerry

    yah, what arthur sez

  • wadikitty

    Yup — a combination of inept terrorists and the ever-present video cameras.

  • And four years of planning and preparation for such an event! What D.C. Insider said.

  • When I was in London I barely remembered seeing those closed circuit cameras but you knew they were there. It wasn't troubling at all and it actually made you feel safer from not only terrorist but also pick pockets & other various criminals.

    I'd be all for cameras such as those in our American metropolitan areas as long as they are out-of-sight than its possible for them to stay out-of-mind.

  • Um…the terrorists that attacked America on 9/11 are all DEAD — I don't understand how the situation in Britain/Rome today with the capture of the wannabe-terrorists compares to what happened here on 9/11. Or am I not understanding the questions?

  • dfrisme

    I don't understand the question. The terrorist who attacked New York were on the plane's that hit the towers and they are dead. Their leaders are either dead or hiding in Afghanistan. I don't see that there is an opportunity for New York police to catch anyone in this case.

    As for cameras everywhere, there are plenty of cameras in the airports, and I've seen such pictures of most if not all of the 9/11 terrorists.

    I don't really see how cameras protect against suicide bombers. They don't care if their pictures were taken before they do their evil. In fact I could easily see how those blurry video mug shots on the news can bestow upon them a form of martyrdom to their colleagues.

    Cowards like those that hid the bombs and ran away may be deterred by such, but I doubt it. The current crop were stupid enough to leave physical evidence in the back packs with the bombs.

    Britain has long had controversy concerning their overuse of CCTV. Read _1984_ for a worse case scenario of where this type of thing can lead.

    The thing that stands out in my mind about the British police is that they are trigger happy. Putting 5 to 8 bullets into the back of the head of an immobilized, frightened illegal immigrant (or so I've read) is overkill to put it mildly. Also the fact that he was a South American Catholic means that they were likely (but possibly unintentionally) doing inept racial profiling of suspects. And finally, I have read eyewitness reports that questioned the police's assertion that they identified themselves as they chased him down.

    At best, their special armed police units need more training for difficult situations. Perhaps the NY police force could offer them some workshops…

    In any respect, "Shoot To Kill" in such situations is an ill advised policy, as we really don't want the terrorists to start using dead men's switches.

  • David,

    I believe he is referring to the co-conspirators being captured or at least that is my assumption. We're obviously are not dumb enough to debate how the dead we're captured.

  • Geez…people! The cameras can help find co-conspirators and the mastermind's and then link them to other people that might be of interest. It helps tackle the network of radicals by the association factor.

    If three people meet in the Tube and only two bombs explode than the cameras help find the third and determine his role in the bombing.

    For **** sake.

  • jerry

    The terrorists that attacked new york were very smart indeed. Choosing to attack when cheney/chimp/ashcroft/rove were in place meant they could easily escape to Pakistan knowing that the full response would be tax breaks for the rich and an illegal war that would further their own sick purposes.


  • Racial profiling may not be the most humane action but its the most effective. It may hurt feelings but thats life, its not fair. Get a realistic approach.

  • Jerry, do you read what you write?

  • dfrisme

    D.C. Insider:

    Its not a matter of cameas: yes or no. Its a matter of degree.

    Every airport and train station is crawling with cameras. These can probably be justified. Every connivence store I've been in lately has a camera installed by the owner. Not sure it stops many robberies (armed robbers by and large are not our best and brightest) but it probably helps to catch some of the perps.

    The question is, do we really want cameras _everywhere_. For example, the local school system where I live is thinking of installing cameras in the hallways. This is not a high crime area. In fact I can't think of a case of violence in our schools. So why the mad rush towards Big Brother? Even in cases like Columbine or Ft. Smith I doubt if the presence of cameras would have made any difference.

    Do we want to be a watched society, or do we want to be a free society.

    There is a famous quote, often attributed to Ben Franklin that goes, "Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."

  • The cameras did NOT stop the bombings….only helped catch those that did NOT go off. I was in London two months ago and FULLY aware of cameras and security people ALL over the city and in shops! AS well, seemingly MOST Londoners on the street with id tags habing around their necks….to get into their office buildings, I was told. Next things, required "chip" in the neck, as cats and dogs "wear" to be found if lost? 1984 galore! Frankly if a chip in a purchase needs de-ed, what happens to its trace factor? Your shirt may well, accroding to some IT people, telling YOUR story this very minute.

  • dfrisme

    D. C. Insider:

    In this case, if there was indeed racial profiling, then it resulted in a little more than hurt feelings. And it certainly was not effective. Definitive and sadly final, perhaps, but not effective. What caught these bastards was their own stupidity, and thank goodness for that.

  • Good point, dfrisme. I commend you for being concerned. Strange that you mentioned Fort Smith, I used to live there. You were referring to Fort Smith, Ark?

    In the school I went to in ____________ we had cameras in the hallways and our school was very small. In many cases though it protects the school against lawsuits by parents that believe their children are "angels." It has very practical uses in the school system besides the obvious malignant type.

    It really isn't about temporary security because even after terrorism is conquered which could be decades from now, we will still have many uses for these networks of cameras to guard against and have an offensive strategy to reduce petty crime, murder, prostitution, etcetera. I know it must sound outrageous at this time in history but this is the way of the future.

    I understand your concern over big brother and I share that concern. There must be a balance and regulations that have yet to be seen because D.C. hasn't provided legislation sufficent enough to tackle the privacy concerns.

    Even as a watched society we will be free because our freedom is valued by the people that will be watching us, our fellow citizens in uniform. Police will watch the cameras.

    Please respond, this is an interesting debate/conversation of the concerns.

  • dfrisme,

    The tailing of the man that was shot was based on places of interest they were watching because of links to terrorist activity.

    Yes, it did hurt more than feelings but that was a result of an officer pulling the trigger.

    Racial profiling is inhumane but never should they shoot a person unless 100% sure that he is going to cause harm.

    Sorry, my fault. I didn't articulate that…….

  • Although I still believe profiling is a nescessary preventive method. A sad one, ofcourse, but nonetheless effective.

  • Note: Not effective against suicide bombers ofcourse.

  • It probably was effective against Reid though.

  • They were most likely suspicious before he tried to light it because most people profile without intention.

  • I'm not a moron just because I'm southern.

  • dfrisme

    D.C. Insider:

    If you are from Ft. Smith, then I'm a good 100 miles more Southern than you…


  • dfrisme

    D. C. Insider:

    Yes I was referring to Ft. Smith, AR. I knew people involved in that incident.

    My point was that cameras don’t really make the students safer, but it does make them feel like they are in a prison and that their community doesn’t trust them.

    If a community or school has a high crime rate, then maybe cameras can be justified, but I know of several schools in high crime areas where order is maintained by competent school administrations and concerned parents.

    In many cases, cameras are not a solution, but a placebo for lazy administrators and security personnel. It show, they think, that they are “doing something” when in fact the cameras really have no effect.

    In the case of a school, I would much rather have concerned parents and teachers (with police backup of course) maintaining order instead a soulless, unblinking camera with no one watching but a security VCR. The former shows the students that someone cares and the latter shows only that someone wants to be able to assign blame after the fact.

  • dfrisme

    D. C. Insider:

    What stopped Reid was fellow passengers becoming alarmed when he tried nervously, and with much theater, to light a rather obvious fuse coming out of his shoe. I would become alarmed in that situation regardless of the individuals nationality… :)

  • dfrisme

    As far as racial profiling goes…

    I worked with a young black woman a few years back, who lived in one of the nicer subdivisions in the city. She worked the night shift and was often driving home late. She was constantly being harassed by police for, as she put it, DWB (Driving While Black). Several times they tried to pick her up for prostitution. They didn’t get much traction with this charge, as this very proper and moral young lady was living in that neighborhood with her parents, her father being a very well known local minister. Yet this happened several times…

    Racial profiling is no substitute for local, neighborhood police, who know their citizens and who understand who they really work for.

  • tonynoboloney

    The cameras in London certainly helped in identifying the perps. But what seems most effective in capturing the terrorist was the aggressive and decisive methods used by the London cops. If watching MSM is any indication it looked like they cordoned off whole sections of streets evacuating citizens from their homes, then when they had a captive audience they used stun-grenades and tear gas on whoever refused to leave the buildings. All the while other police detectives milled through the crowd asking the evacuees telling questions about who was most likely to be causing the mayhem and inconvience. I’m sure much valuable information was gathered with these tactics. You’d be surprised how much useful information can be garnered when people feel vunerable. Not to mention Scottland Yards use of captured cell phones (the terrorists communications tool of choice). As I have stated in other posts, these terrorists are not an unbeatable foe as long as we are willing to hunt them down like the dogs they are. With each terrorist episode we gain invaluble experience on how to deal with these vile scum.

  • dfrisme:

    Waldron, Ark?

    Anyways, you make very valid points. So, I disagree but somewhat agree with you at the same time. Its always nice to see a fellow Razorback that is into politics. (I hope your a fan of UA)

    P.S. I no longer live in Fort Smith. Beautiful city though, excluding the northern part of the city where the drive-by’s happen. I went to a boxing gym in the northern part, rough part of the city, let me tell ya……

  • GSR

    The CCTV’s are invaluable tools for this type of crime (war) fighting. If we are truly at war with radical Islam then the camera’s are one tool in an overall stragegy. Random searches are a “feel good” but ineffective method of preventions and detection – get the cams up and running in NY, Boston, San Francisco, etc. The London results have proven CCTV’s effectiveness.

  • kat

    France is hunting down their scum and expelling them. Britan and USA should follow France’s lead–get rid of the garbage before they can harm anyone. It’s time to get tough with terrorist trash.

  • What’s not being mentioned is that Britain has over 30 years of dealing with internal security issues, directly as a result from IRA attacks on public transit systems, among other atrocities.

    While 9/11 may have accelerated their security measures, they’ve acquired hard – won experience relating to these types of attacks for over a generation at this point.

  • kat

    {Are Britain’s police smarter than ours or are the terrorists who attacked London dumber than the ones who attacked New York?} The terrorists are dumber if the rants of their teacher are any indication of intelligence. This top cleric is obviously none too bright. I’ve always believed terrorists are trained in mosques.
    {Mohammad Naseem, the chairman of the city’s central mosque, called Tony Blair a “liar” and “unreliable witness” and questioned whether CCTV footage issued of the suspected bombers was of the perpetrators.
    He said that Muslims “all over the world have never heard of an organisation called al-Qa’eda”.}
    And you expect me to believe anything these guys say. Talk about moonbats.


  • kat

    “Suspected London bombers ‘dopey,’ former Scotland Yard officer says”

  • J-NJ

    Here is a typical conservative headline: “Kerry wants to change the war on Islamic terrorists into a law-enforcemen effort”

    I may be late to this discussion, but I have read much about how ‘understanding’ terrorism and treating terrorism as a ‘law enforcement’ rather than military problem is a symptom of liberals and not conservatives. This attitude belittles the work of our hard working officers and their efforts. Perhaps UK has a better appreciation of this than US.

    Karl Rove’s recent comments that we need not make any effort to ‘understand’ terrorism and should instead ‘prepare for war’, seconded by Bush’s press secretary as a correct assessment of Bush’s point of view, show the difference between US and British approaches.

    In fact, law enforcement would have stopped 9/11 if properly applied. Even an invasion of Afghanistan pre 9/11 would not have stopped those 19 horrible men who already lived and worked in America.

    I’m curious which British city the US conservatives would propose bombing with F15s, since military action is the preferred direction. Leeds? London? Perhaps start somewhere unrelated, following the Iraq model of attacking unrelated issues?

  • Our police are not known for their brilliance of mind. They started off by shooting a Brazilian electrician as he was running for his train.

    Fortunately the failed bombers were even more stupid. We were so lucky when those bombs failed to go off. They even left some ID in the bags.