Monday, July 02, 2007

Idle threat of the week

The terror threat -- being a threat -- has always been a natural for the panel of judges to consider when deciding Idle Threat of the Week. But, despite our expertise in threats of all sorts, we always tread lightly when it comes to terrorism.

Partly, this is because it is very hard to get a proper gauge on a terror threat's veracity -- or lack there of -- when almost all discussion of it is soaked in politics. And, partly, because fate is tempted when you officially pass judgement on something, potentially, so grave.

But, at its heart, the Idle Threat of the Week is an assessment of what has happened in the previous seven days, not necessarily a harbinger of the future.

That in mind, and now that British authorities have linked the Glasgow quasi-bombers to the London non-bombers, the panel was forced to brave the murky waters and risk karmic retribution by considering the actions of these bumbling conspirators.

The terrorists, using an odd mix of surprisingly luxurious automobiles and pitifully low-end incineration techniques, managed, despite rigging three separate cars with explosives and getting them to crowded areas, to kill no one and cause very little property damage. In fact the only injury was to one of the terrorists, who set himself on fire, and then suffered the indignity having his burning body publicly extinguished as his plan went up in smoke.

And so we have been forced, reluctantly, to award the London/Glasgow "bombers" Idle Threat of the Week for June 25 to July 1. We would now advise that the general public avoid proximity to any member of the panel for at least the next couple months.

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