Update: Some say it was only a tanker driver that flipped a cut out switch ... (May be the sky is not falling. Sorry.)
One of the sites that I am following, always with a little knot in my stomach is Global Guerrillas by fellow Futurist and friend John Robb. He is a military trained fighter pilot and has lead start-ups to success, which probably is the reason for his contrarian viewpoint.
When I heard about the London Blast today I immediately thought that this fits into John's systems disruption scenario:
It consists of simple attacks (using ad hoc weapons) on critical nodes of infrastructure -- oil, gas, electricity, water, etc. These attacks, if properly targeted, can cause cascades of failure that sweep entire systems.
Is this the start of such a tactic in Europe? Here John's post from today (attention European notation of date DD/MM/YY or is it military date?):
7/12/05: Zawahiri video posted to the Internet: "I call on the holy warriors to concentrate their campaigns on the stolen oil of the Muslims, most of the revenues of which go to the enemies of Islam. The enemies of Islam are exploiting such vital resources with incomparable greed, and we have to stop that theft with all we can and save this fortune for the nation of Islam."
11/12/05: The Bruncefield Total/Texaco oil depot northwest of London exploded. The explosion was so intense, there is very little likelihood that any cause will be found. 400 tankers offload everyday at the facility which stores 4 million[*] gallons of gasoline, diesel, kerosine, and aviation fuel. As one of the top 5 facilities in the UK, it supplies 5% of the country's energy needs.
Currently the media claims it was an accident, and I so hope that they are right. It looks like some concerted effort is in place to keep the story on low profile. How would you otherwise explain that, although this is the biggest explosion in peacetime Europe, and the fire is still burning, probably with toxic gases all around, the front pages on BBC, CNN, New York Times and the Washington Post barely if at all mention it? I made some screen shots.
High time to get John Robb over here for a global guerillas Future Salon :-)