The Anonymous Widower

Shooting Down An Airliner Is So Easy

With the tragic loss of Malaysian Airlines flight MH 17 over Ukraine probably to a missile fired from the ground, it made me think about what sort of missile was used.

I found this article on the American Popular Science web site. The article says this.

Early information comes from an advisor to the Ukrainian interior minister, Anton Gerashenko. In a Facebook post he says the plane was “hit by a missile fired from a Buk launcher.”

So what is a Buk  launcher? The system is described on Wikipedia. The operators of these missiles contain some of the usual suspects. So one battery getting into the wrong hands can do a lot of damage.

Now it’s been done once, the odds must have shortened about another idiot following the lead.

We obviously don’t have to worry about Buk launchers in the UK, as I don’t think it would be easy to get the system through the Channel Tunnel.

But there are many man portable systems that if you could get near enough to an airliner would severely damage it and make it incapable of flying. But even smuggling in something like a Russian Igla to a launch point might be difficult. But there are a long list of operators, who aren’t always the most friendly of countries.

I’m no expert on the deployment of missiles such as the Igla, but I do wonder if one could be launched through the cut-away roof of something like a Range Rover. Obviously, the exhaust from the missile wouldn’t do the occupants of the car much good, but the launch could probably be triggered by a simple remote system controlled by a mobile phone.

All you would need to do, is park the vehicle at the end of the runway outside the perimeter fence of an airport, where the planes go over at a couple of hundred metres or so.

And of course it’s very convenient that many airport authorities provide large long term car parks in just the right place. Long term car parks should be well away from the airport, if they exist at all.

The last variable I’ll throw into this post, is beware the innovator. If we believe reports, like this one, terrorists will develop all sorts of devices to down an airliner. So could they develop simpler weapons to shoot down an airliner, as it’ll be much easier than smuggling a bomb onto an aircraft.

July 18, 2014 Posted by | Travel | , , | Leave a comment

Boys With Be Boys

There is a lot of speculation in the media, as why Muslim men are flocking to fight in Syria and Iraq.

Was it ever any different?

Go back to the Middle Ages and it was rape and pillage in the Crusades or with Henry the fifth, and later it was piracy with Drake and Grenville.

Nelson And Wellington were not short of volunteers and in Victorian times, it was all about Empire building, with a small personal fortune thrown in, if you were lucky!

Perhaps the nearest parallel to that of Syria and Iraq today, was the International Brigades of the Spanish Civil War. Many of those who fought in the Brigades or openly supported them went on to be important figures in later life.

You could also argue that both the First and Second World War was an outlet for many men, who had an excess of testosterone.

I also remember a General, saying that the Falklands War did a lot of good for Army recruitment.

I am a pacifist or more likely a coward, but we shouldn’t be too quick to condemn those, who go to fight in Iraq and Syria.

The ones we should condemn are the countries and arms dealers, who are giving the likes of the odious President Assad, the weapons they are using to kill their own people.

June 24, 2014 Posted by | World | , , , | Leave a comment

She Blew The Bloody Door Off!

Echoing the classic Michael Caine line from The Italian Job, Margaret Goodwin has shown our intrepid boys how to do it, as reported in the Telegraph.

But she was only using rhubarb chutney!

As I write various would-be terrorists are experimenting with their mothers’ chutney recipes.  It has been reported that in some places, rhubarb is now in short supply!

July 6, 2013 Posted by | Food | , | Leave a comment

The Spirit Of London

This bus has been around in various guises, but whilst waiting for a 38 to come home, it passed the stop.

This report on the Stagecoach web site, gives details of its refurbishment after an arson attack.

 

 

June 10, 2013 Posted by | Travel | , , | Leave a comment

Mark Steel On The US Gun Lobby

I found this thoughtful article by Mark Steel in the Independent.

His logic may be faultless, but he comes to a series of hilarious conclusions. This paragraph is typical.

Or it could be that there’s a rule that the capture of a dangerous criminal is only a victory for America if the criminal can be portrayed as not American. Because if you’re going to go on a killing spree in America, you should at least have the decency to be American. There must be some people saying: “It’s a disgrace. These Chechen lunatics are coming over here taking our lunatics’ jobs.”

On the other hand most people, who’ve read what he says agree with him.

April 26, 2013 Posted by | Sport, World | , , | Leave a comment

The Bombers From Central Casting

You shouldn’t laugh at bombers, as what they aim to do could be serious. But this team from Birmingham, who have just been found guilty could be part of the plot of Four Lions.

They have given comedians enough ammunition to last for quite a few gigs.

I particularly liked the part, where they raised money from street collections and then lost it by speculating on the Internet in various financial products.

February 21, 2013 Posted by | News | , | 3 Comments

Is David Cameron Satanic?

It has been reported that Anjem Choudary has called David Cameron satanic.

Quite frankly, David Cameron is one of the least satanic prime Ministers we’ve had.  I suppose though, he shares with John Major and Margaret Thatcher, no outspoken religious views, which must make him satanic to some.

Choudary was on BBC Radio 5 this morning and Phil Williams asked if he was on benefits. He refused to answer. Judging by the texts read out on the program,  Choudary doesn’t have much support.

Let’s hope it stays that way and we can file him and his movement in the same dustbin as those of the Far Right.

Surely though after another atrocity in Pakistan yesterday in the centuries-old feud between Sunni and Shia Muslims, Islam needs a few men of peace with vision. On the subject of the rivalry between the two parts of Islam, read this.

February 17, 2013 Posted by | News | , , , , | Leave a comment

Frank Gardner On Risk Profiling

Frank Gardner has written an article about  risk profiling software for the BBC web site. He writes it with respect to terrorism, but buried in the article is this piece.

He says South Korean Customs, which have bought the programme, report a 20% higher detection rate of illegal goods.

That is just good use of data mining software, to identify the source of illegality.

There are so many applications for this type of software, such as in healthcare, road safety, crime, product failures from televisions and vehicles to large projects, that generally all we will see is a much better lifestyle.

Only in a few areas will there be any cause for concern about human rights.

November 21, 2012 Posted by | Computing, Health | , , , , | Leave a comment

Indians Execute Mumbai Gunman

The Indian authorities have executed the lone surviving gunman from the Mumbai attacks of November 2008. It’s reported here on the BBC.

I am against all forms of judicial killing, whether they be after a fit and proper trial in a Court of Law or not. So I will not condone what the Indians have done.

Remember that these attacks in Mumbai, were just after I visited the city and stayed at the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel in the city.  How many of the staff, that attended so well to my friend and myself died in the attack?

But even being that close to an attack, doesn’t make me change my view on the death penalty.

November 21, 2012 Posted by | News, Travel | , , , , | Leave a comment

Abu Qatada Is A Joke

The only people who take such as Abu Qatada seriously are the police and the government. And a very few of his supporters!

He should be treated as the silly joke he is and only mentioned in the media, when he turns up in Court on a serious charge.

The phone-in on BBC this morning, just gives his extremist views the oxygen of publicity.

The one positive thing we could do is allow intercept evidence to be used in all Court cases. My late wife felt it would have helped a lot in some of the more grizzly divorces she did.

November 13, 2012 Posted by | News | , | Leave a comment

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