Tuesday, July 20, 2010

FBI: Had Times Square Bomb Detonated Properly, Mass Casualties Were Assured

The FBI has conducted tests using the same basic design in Faisal Shahzad's failed Times Square bomb in rural Pennsylvania and came to the conclusion that the City dodged a huge bullet. As the NY Post reports:
Had he built the Times Square device the way he had originally intended to, terrorist Faisal Shahzad, would have turned his SUV and nearby vehicles into a fatal spray of razor-sharp fragments and transformed building windows into glass guillotines hurtling to the streets, cutting down hundreds of people walking by.

The results were discovered after feds composed the type of bomb Shahzad set out to make -- with the exact components he had initially intended to use -- and exploded it in Pennsylvania last month.

"It would have been the biggest thing ever to happen in this country since Sept. 11," another source said.

"It definitely would have been bigger than [the 1995] Oklahoma City" bombing of the federal building that killed 168 people, the source said. "There would have been a lot of casualties."
The main reason the bomb didn't detonate properly was that Shahzad substituted cheaper and more easily obtainable materials for the ones that he originally hoped to use.

That's both reassuring and troubling. It's reassuring that the components to make a truly devastating bomb aren't easily obtainable. It's troubling that he still nearly managed to carry off the bombing to devastating consequences.

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