Category Archive: bicycle bombs

May
05
2011

Bicycle Bomb Update

On 20 April 2011 I was invited to speak at a conference on “Critical Infrastructure Protection” at the Counter Terror Expo at the Olympia in London. The two vast Olympia exhibition halls were filled with exhibitors selling protection against terrorists: on display were lorry-bomb-resistant barriers and bollards, blast containment solutions, CCTV and covert surveillance systems, …

Continue reading »

Jun
09
2010

Not published in the Guardian

On 3 June Simon Jenkins published a devastating critique of  the “security industry’s” promotion and exploitation of paranoia to expand its domain. It prompted the letter below, sadly not published. So I submitted it to my blog where it was accepted with alacrity. Sir, Simon Jenkins (Not every adult is a paedophile, a terrorist or …

Continue reading »

Jan
27
2010

Bicycle bombs and the fourth policeman: the Freedom of Information Act

Faithful followers of this website may recollect an earlier blog, “Bicycle bombs: a further enquiry and a new theory”, in which I called attention to the fact that, despite the absence of evidence that anyone-anywhere-ever had been killed by a pipe bomb disguised as a bicycle, Westminster police were impounding bicycles parked near Whitehall and Parliament …

Continue reading »

Mar
06
2009

The World Under Assault: Can Science Beat Terrorism?

The above title advertises a Cambridge Science Festival event, (9 March 2009) in which I have been invited to participate.  My answer to the question in the title, will be spelt out in my first PowerPoint slide: “No: because paranoia cannot be cured by CCTV, or DNA databases, or ID cards, or CRB checks, or …

Continue reading »

Feb
07
2009

Risk Management: the Economics and Morality of Safety Revisited

Abstract The introduction to the proceedings of the Royal Academy of Engineering 2006 seminar on The Economics and Morality of Safety concluded with a list of issues that were “worthy of further exploration”. I have  reduced them to the following questions: • Why do moral arguments about ‘rights’ persist unresolved? • Why can risk managers …

Continue reading »

Jan
16
2009

Bicycle bombs: a further enquiry and a new theory

Has anyone, anywhere, ever, been killed by a pipe bomb disguised as a bicycle? I have been pursuing this question since last June with the help of the Internet and the BBC’s Today Programme and World Service. So far the answer appears to be “not yet”; but it remains in the mind of the Westminster …

Continue reading »

Nov
05
2008

Proving a negative and the onus of proof

Two assertions that I cannot prove: ·      No one, anywhere, ever, has been killed by a bicycle bomb. ·      No life, anywhere, ever, has been saved by the life jacket under their seat.  Anywhere is a large place, and ever is a long time. The most one can do is broadcast an appeal for disproving …

Continue reading »

Aug
04
2008

More on bicycle bombs

My bicycle bombs story (see previous blog and comments – http://john-adams.co.uk/?p=122 ) was also aired on the BBC Today Programme and the BBC World Service on 30 July. I still haven’t received any convincingly documented case of a bicycle bomb, in the form of the frame packed with explosives, killing anyone anywhere in the world. …

Continue reading »

Jul
28
2008

Bicycle bombs: a threat to Westminster?

On 25 June I participated in a debate held by the Royal Institute of British Architects “This house believes we should fortify our cities”. Piers Gough and I opposed the motion. In the course of the debate the proposers, Lorraine Gamman and Adam Thorpe, raised the threat of bicycle bombs. After the debate they produced …

Continue reading »