LONDON - Police in London's bustling nightclub and theater district on Friday defused a car bomb that could have killed hundreds after an ambulance crew spotted smoke coming from a Mercedes filled with a lethal mix of gasoline, propane and nails. Hours later, police confirmed a second explosives-rigged car was found nearby.
The first car bomb, found near Piccadilly Circus, was powerful enough to have caused "significant injury or loss of life" at a time when hundreds were in the area, British anti-terror police chief Peter Clarke said.
Clarke said Friday evening that the second car — another Mercedes — was originally parked illegally in same area, but had been towed from the West Eng to an impound lot near Hyde Park.
"The vehicle was found to contain very similar materials to those that had been found in the first car," he said. "There was a considerable amount of fuel and gas canisters. As in the first vehicle, there was also a quantity of nails. This like the first device was potentially viable."
The discoveries came just ahead of the second anniversary of the July 7, 2005, suicide bombings that killed 52 people on three London subways and a bus.
"We are currently facing the most serious and sustained threat to our security from international terrorism," Britain's new home secretary, Jacqui Smith, said after an emergency meeting of top officials.
When it comes to terrorists, there's no method to their madness. It's just madness. Madness and rage.
What stands between you, your loved ones, and the gruesome carnage and blood of car bomb shrapnel?
It's certainly not the consciences of the bombers. They left those behind long ago.
It's your prime minister or your president, depending on where you live in the world. It's Scotland Yard, the FBI, and similar agencies. It's your local police. It's your soldiers in uniform. It's citizens like you who are quick to observe and report. Its courts and judges who have the courage and foresight to imprison terrorists and to detain enemy combatants for as long as it takes -- entire lifetimes if necessary. It's media who have the courage and decency to stand on the side of what is right, instead of lending moral support, aid and comfort to the forces of terror, chaos and murder.
We will need all of these and more in this continuing war.
But are you war weary already?
Sorry, but there is no time out. Even periods of respite are an illusion, for these enemies use such lulls to prepare for more attacks.
There is no alternative but to be strong and fight for your safety, the safety of your community and your country, and for Western civilization itself. Islamic terrorists are enemies of all that you hold dear. They value your life less than that of a housefly. They cannot under any circumstances be allowed to gain any toehold in the Western world.
Update:A Blog for All has updates and details of the London car bomb investigation.
Benoit took four months off from work in 2006 for undisclosed personal reasons, McDevitt said.
"He was feeling depressed, that kind of thing," McDevitt said.
In the days before the killings, Benoit and his wife argued over whether he should stay home more to take care of their mentally retarded 7-year-old son, according to an attorney for the WWE wrestling league.
The child had a rare medical condition called Fragile X Syndrome, an inherited form of mental retardation often accompanied by autism.
Sure, drugs, steroids and alcohol may all have played a part.
But this is the first insight I've seen into the likely motive: An unwillingness by Benoit to stay home more to take care of his mentally retarded son.
To me, it's reminiscent of Andrea Yates' drowning of her five children. Sure, you can make excuses -- and her defense lawyers successfully did -- but the bottom line was that it was a lot of work for Yates to care for five young children at a time, including home schooling.
I think in both cases depression and rage played a part -- but the motive of escaping from the demands of child-rearing was quite possibly the same.
It's almost impossible to fathom how somebody can be so self-centered and devoid of conscience as to kill their own family members because they are in the way. And yet it happens. Susan Smith, who let her boys drown because they were in the way of a hoped-for affair, is another example.
This is so far removed from the world in which most of us live that it is hard to believe. Yet we need to be aware.
As someone who waited a while to have children, I realize every day what a blessing children are.
But some forget. They forget how blessed they are.
Unrest Grows Amid Gas Rationing in Iran "No dictator, no invader, can hold an imprisoned population by force of arms forever. There is no greater power in the universe than the need for freedom. Against that power, governments and tyrants and armies cannot stand." J. Michael Straczynski