London was hit with two aborted car bombings last week and the central airport at Glasgow, Scotland was damaged by what appears to have been a suicide-car bombing attempt gone awry (thankfully).
Obviously, these events have been covered in-depth by the major new services, although the most detailed coverage is available from the BBC (http://www.bbc.com/). In what can only be called errors, due to the “fog of terrorism” or the ineptitude of the press, almost every piece of news coverage had major mistakes while reporting on this event.
First, most U.S. television networks got the location of the first London attempted car bombing correct. Unfortunately, the second car was parked between the first car and Trafalgar Square. Most networks reported the second car as being found in an impound lot along Park Lane next to Hyde Park. Yes, the car was examined at the impound lot, but it had been towed from where it was found on Cockspur Street, just down from where the first car was found on Haymarket.
Next, the terrorism chief of Scotland Yard indicated that the first car was loaded with gasoline, propane cylinders and numerous boxes of nails, while the first was found with gasoline and propane, but no mention of nails, which was not what was reported by the news services.
Of course, the location of the first bomb was next to the Tiger Tiger nightclub. If you would believe the press, because it was ”ladys’ night” the place was packed. Why it had 2,000 – no make that 1,700 – no make that 2,400 – no make that less than 500 revelers by the time it was sifted through. What is interesting here is that 1700 seems to be the best “guess” of the maximum size of crowd that the nightclub could contain.
Finally, if you were listening to the reports of the car bombing at Glasgow airport, you would have heard that the vehicle was a Land Rover. This lasted for several hours, even though the profile of the vehicle showing through the flames was not that of any model of Land Rover. Ah, it was a Jeep.
Not that any of these errors changed police procedure or really mattered to most listeners. What is important is that if you are traveling away from home and there is an incident, it will be hard to get “useful” news about the event while it is unfolding.
Our advice is to focus on local source for news (for example, the BBC had the most accurate and updated coverage of the attempted car bombings in London). We advise you to consider curtailing local touring immediately after any incident that occurs in a town you are visiting (we assume the people who thought the second car bombing in London was near Hyde Park got quite a surprise when they tried to visit Trafalgar Square that day). Or to put it another way, for those of you in London this week, the fact that the British raised their terror rating system to the highest level, should be taken as a recommendation to be vigilant and careful.
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