There is much excellent news coverage of the attempted car bomb on Times Square yesterday, so I won’t go into it here. I would like to make just one point: The only reason a lot of people weren’t hurt or killed was the incompetence of the bomber.
The NYPD is reputedly excellent in everything they do, and their response was efficient. But neither they nor anyone else can protect against the unexpected. They were not aware of this bomb until it had already been set off. Fortunately, it was a dud.
Even when these attempts are duds, as in this case, they cost us lots of tax money and hassle, in terms of our response, and when the terrorists are apprehended, in legal fees. This counts as damage, just as much as actual damage from a bomb does.
Working in our favor is the fact that the terrorists seem to be fairly incompetent as a rule. The shoe bomber, the underwear bomber, and now this car bomber all failed in their primary missions due to their own incompetence.
That is kind of an odd trend for people in the blow-up-and-kill-people business, isn’t it?