Sunday, August 14, 2005

DC bomb hoax Updated!

A device made to look like a bomb was disabled this afternoon after being discovered at the Mayflower hotel in downtown DC. Bomb squad personnel used a water cannon to disable the device. No one is reported injured although 300 people were evacuated here.

I can find no reason whatsoever to place such a device in such a place unless you're looking to run an experiment on how the authorities reacted to it and how fast. I firmly believe this was a "dry run" or a scouting mission designed to show the bomb-makers how, when, how fast, and where law enforcement and first responder teams took action in response to a bomb threat. That's both good and bad, folks. Bad because it allowed them to observe the operation and determine where weak spot are as well as how and where the teams deployed. It might be good because the lesson they may have learned today was that the plan they had in mind - to do this kind of bombing for real - isn't workable. The response of the teams this afternoon might already be serving as a deterrent.

The unfortunate part is we'll likely never know. We can only prepare and be ready to act when called upon.

Update: This is now being reported as a screw-up with a training device. CNN has a report that says the device was accidentally left at the Mayflower by a member of the Secret Service. The device is a training unit designed to assist agents in developing their skills at detection. Looks like it was designed well because it looked like a real bomb. I am extremely glad there was another explanation to this. I would like to suggest that the Secret Service keep better track of their toys, but my relief over it being a simple mistake makes me want to give them the benefit of the doubt.