Stratfor on the Phoenix Serial Flashlight Bomber

Interesting.

Posted on June 26, 2012 at 6:39 AM • 17 Comments

Comments

JeremyJune 26, 2012 7:23 AM

Profound insight: "...it is likely that the bombmaker will attack again -- serial bombers usually do."

Erm... yes. That's what makes them serial.


JesseJune 26, 2012 8:26 AM

What a crappy report, I gotta get in on this "intel gathering" scam. the unabomber was not motivated by "a fear of technology" it was by a concern about *people like those who run and do business with stratfor* abusing technology to exert grossly undue influence over people's lives. Which they do. No wonder they want us to think he was "just a nutty luddite". And I've read some of his stuff, including the first third of this manifesto. BTW did you know he is still alive? I think so anyway.

JesseJune 26, 2012 8:36 AM

" urged by international terrorism cases" my ass. Urged by the ruling class so they can build the infrastructure they want to use as a fence against the social unrest they anticipate, and also by the terrorism-hysteria they manufacture for their own purposes, as an excuse to start various wars etc....

KevinJune 26, 2012 9:33 AM

Jesse, are you honestly railing against advances in forensic science? Personally, I am all for the advancement of solving violent crimes.

BillJune 26, 2012 9:46 AM

When did IED and bomb become interchangeable? I thought an IED required the reuse of military ordinance.

Fred PJune 26, 2012 10:06 AM

@Bill - IED = Improvised Explosive Device.
I think it's just an acronym for a non-military standard bomb. While one could use military ordinance in a non-standard way and have it classified as an IED, I think virtually any homemade bomb is an IED.

B-ConJune 26, 2012 11:51 AM

My guess is that we'll be seeing a flashlight ban here soon.

After public backlash, they will concede and allow "only those small flashlights that take no more than two small batteries". Police will be ordered to confiscate flashlights that are too big.

There will be debate as to the effectiveness of banning flashlights, and whether size is relevant. There will be an elderly woman who has her flashlight taken from her and then trips and falls and injures herself. Bloggers around the world will take up her cause for reasonable flashlight use, but a plethora hot-headed shallow-thinkers will retort with "so you approve of terrorism?"

Millions of flashlights will be confiscated in total, and a few police officers will be found taking some of them home for personal use. Stores will start to sell "approved" size flashlights that are too small to be useful in the long term, but still at inflated prices to capitalize on people's need to "just get something I can use".

Hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not millions, will go into overseeing the flashlight restrictions, and public officials will be reassure the public that it's for their safety and the money is being spent to keep them safe.

Meanwhile, the bomber will wake up one day, note a story about the ban in the newspaper, and switch to using walkie-talkies.

Unless, of course, Phoenix city officials have more sense in them than the administrators of one of the Department of Defense's most expensive agencies.

Carl June 26, 2012 12:13 PM

...allow "only those small flashlights that take no more than two small batteries"

Nah. Gotta ban those easily-concealed 'pocket rockets' designed to illuminate indiscriminately.

WaelJune 26, 2012 12:41 PM

@ Fred P

I tend to think that IED is an abbreviation, and not an acronym. If you can pronounce it then its an acronym. Examples would be RADAR or NATO. FBI is an abbreviation, not an acronym, and so is IED - unless you can pronounce IED (eeeedeeeee). The difference between an abbreviation and an acronym is not always clear, and also debatable. And I am sure Clive Robinson will tell you that these rules do have exceptions ;)

Anonymous2June 26, 2012 12:57 PM

...are you honestly railing against advances in forensic science? Personally, I am all for the advancement of solving violent crimes.

Be careful what you wish for. There's the idealistic goal of finding the guilty party. Then there's the real life goal, where folks just want to be able to convict the guy they claim did it irregardless of any actual guilt.

Remember bullet lead compositional analysis evidence? How about genetic testing with a 1 in 1600 match chance, a local population of 7 million, but only previously convicted felons in the database?

Ever tried to prove your innocence? It's quite difficult, even when you have an alibi that's been captured on video!

Fred PJune 26, 2012 1:28 PM

I'm not an English major; the below is all my understanding:

All acronyms are abbreviations - so you'd be correct in that IED is an abbreviation. Whether it is an acronym or not depends on the definition of acronym that you use - while colloquially, acronym is commonly used for any set of letter abbreviations, some dictionary definitions limit acronyms to the definition you describe, whereas others also include initialisms (such as IED) as being acronyms. Now that you've made me aware of the issue, I'll consider changing my usage of "acronym".

So feel free to mentally replace my questionable use of "acronym" in the prior post with either "initialism" or "abbreviation".

mcbJune 26, 2012 4:28 PM

So, the Phoenix Flashlight Bomber is making Phoenix the safest place in the world to misplace your flashlight? "It ain't my flashlight, I ain't picking it up, you pick it up!"

About the best solution to this IED spree is for the bomber to screw up his learning curve while experimenting with stronger devices and come to the ER waving bloody stumps. Problem solved.

WaelJune 26, 2012 6:54 PM

@ Fred P,

Are you related to Nick P by any chance?

Here is one for you:

AAAAAAAAAA

American, Austrian, And Australian Anti Acronym And Abbreviation Abuse Association

I did not have time to put more A's into it.
:)

GweihirJune 26, 2012 9:35 PM

Well, there is really no reason to get riled up about this person. The intent cannot be to cause serious injury and calling this a "bomb" is just stupid. Probably just a medium-sized legal firecracker in there, something I could have rigged up like this when I was 12.

Wzrd1June 30, 2012 6:32 PM

I am very curious as to what agency is B-Con's "Department of Defense's most expensive agencies".
I suspect that he's badly mistaking one department as being subordinate to the DoD, as in the DHS.

As for an IED, the key is Improvised Explosive. It can be ANY explosive, home made, commercial or military that is built by an individual or group. Even the military occasionally uses IED's for some demolitions, where the explosive used wasn't originally built for the purpose used (such as removing explosives from claymores and using it for demolition).
The opposite would be commercial explosive devices and military explosive devices used as designed (artillery shells being fired from an artillery gun, NOT detonated under a roadway.)
Examples of IED's would be roadside bombs in Iraq and Afghanistan, which used either artillery shells or mortar shells, an improvised detonator and propane tanks to generate a large flame into the blast, causing further damage/injury.

MikeJuly 18, 2012 8:37 AM

Jesse the unabomber is still alive. He is currently serving a life sentence in a supermax prison.

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