Tuesday, March 30, 2004

BBC NEWS Terror suspects held in raids


Police have seized half a ton of ammonium nitrate fertiliser, in a self-storage warehouse near Heathrow Airport. Further action resulted in eight arrests. Those arrested are apparently all British. (What was that about fighting a war on terrorism in Iraq?) The stuff in question is a old favourite in the terrorist kitchen. Mixed with diesel or something similar and provided with a small quantity of something stronger as a detonator, it is an effective low explosive. The legality and cheapness of the ingredients mean that, although the power by weight is low, quantity can easily make up for it. Practically every terrorist group has used it at some time in the past, especially the IRA.

Now, I seem to remember suggesting on this blog that self-storage is a weird and alien phenomenon. I wait for David Blunkett to announce new restrictions on them... Curiously enough, I noticed a business-page share tip the other day for a self-storage firm. (Full disclosure, and Ranter investment advice: it was Lok'n'Store plc.) Apparently, "there is roughly 14 times as much self-storage space per capita in the United States, so the only obstacle to growth appears to be finding suitable sites". Quelle horreur!

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