The arithmetic of terror

This is what life has come to: When news of the foiled London terror plot came out, I tried to parse today’s date: August 10 over there is 10/8/06. So I continued that string and wondered whether I should avoid being in a New York tunnel at 12 or 4.

  • Angelos

    Wow, who knew that Lieberman losing would cause such a fuss.

    Terra Alerts! They’re not just for October anymore.

  • The digits in 10/8/06 add up to 24. I wonder if Jack Bauer (Keifer Sutherland) is involved somehow?

  • Jeff, using your cipher, you might want to avoid drinking Dr. Pepper:

  • Check out Doc Searls’ experience with being stuck at Logan this AM:

  • Bloomberg said that the NYC police have know about the plot for months, yet in the UK they have shut down the airports and are having people tossing their shampoo bottles into the trash.

    So, if they have know about it for months, why the panic?

    Something doesn’t add up (as usual).

  • T.

    According to the media lately, global warming is supposed to be the more immediate threat. What is this terrorism of which you speak?

  • A.

    It is quite interesting that you did no such calculations when some bombs went off in India. I guess having a few dead hindus along with some muslims does not fit in with all your talk about a war on “western” civilization. Hmmmmm interesting indeed.

  • Mumblix Grumph

    I think this was supposed to happen on 8/22/06.

  • penny

    Something doesn’t add up (as usual).

    Most likely Bloomberg.

    It is quite interesting that you did no such calculations when some bombs went off in India.

    Oh, come on, Jeff’s omission isn’t unreasonable. It’s becoming hard to keep track of all of the places that Islamofascism targets. Let’s see, even if their biggest grievance Israel never existed, they have terrorized their non-Muslim neighbors in Nigeria, Darfur, Indonesia, the Philippines, India…..and anywhere they share a community with non-Muslims.

    Those of us that seriously see this evil in a global context, which would require opening your eyes and connecting the dots, grieve for all of the victims.

  • A:
    Pardon me for caring whether I am going to die. To quote Jon Stewart: I am not your monkey.

  • Kat

    Terrorist supporters will say anything to change the subject to India, global warming, conspiracy theories about shampoo and things not adding up, etc. Let’s talk about anything but those pondscum muslim terrorists.

  • j


    ….well, uh…

  • Kat:
    Could you define “terrorist supporter”. Could you give an example of such people (aside from fellow terrorists)?

    As far as I can see there are two groups of people in the west:
    1. Those who want to eliminate the terrorist theat and think that the US (and UK) are doing a good job.
    2. Those who want to eliminate the terrorist theat and think that the US (and UK) could be doing a better job. Many of this group think that a change in majority party is the best way to improve the security efforts. Others think that the present admin needs to re-evaluate its efforts but should stay in office.

    Where do the “supporters” fit into all of this?

  • The real arithmetic of terror is that we will continued to witness these atrocious acts as long as we stay the course:

    Jami Miscik, CIA deputy associate director for intelligence, expressed the consensus view that bin Laden recognized how Bush’s heavy-handed policies – such as the Guantanamo prison camp, the Abu Ghraib scandal and the war in Iraq – were serving al-Qaeda’s strategic goals for recruiting a new generation of jihadists. “Certainly,” Miscik said, “he would want Bush to keep doing what he’s doing for a few more years,” according to Suskind’s account.

  • Kat

    Robert–I should have said a terrorist’s tool.

  • Peter

    Regarding Kat’s August 10 comment: Perhaps “A.” should not have been so offensive in his comment, but to dismiss the July 11 train bombings in India as an attempt to change the subject is nonsense. It was a coordinated attack againt multiple targets, much like the 9-11 attacks, the Madrid bombings, and the London bus bombings. And like the airplane attacks that were just thwarted.

    September 11 in NY and Washington, March 11 in Madrid, and July 11 in Mumbai. It’s not unreasonable for someone to think that the search for patterns ought to begin there.

    I think that I understand where Jeff was coming from in his original post, but I wouldn’t put too much stock in the numbers game.

    Perhaps if all the bombings connected to al Qaida took place on the 11th of the month, I’d think differently, but looking over the long list of terror incidents from 2000 onward, I don’t see a pattern. Instead, I see a lot of random dates from which it is possible to pick a few that seem to make some sort of pattern.

    For instance, the attack on the USS Cole took place on October 12, 2000, and the Bali bombing happened on October 12, 2002. A bombing in Saudi Arabia, aimed at US expats, took place on May 12, 2003, but I’m still not buying the significance of the number 12.

    I don’t know if we’ll ever know why September 11 was picked as a target date. It’s easy for us to think that there must have been some reason that date was chosen. I suspect that the attack was supposed to happen within a window of time, and the 11th was picked because clear skies were forecast several days in advance.

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