October 31, 2005

Sundry updates

A couple other updates on stories I've posted on in the past:

Iraq Cas plot
Academic colleague Marcin S. sends in this scatterplot of U.S. fatalities in Iraq. Self-explanatory, really... the trend has been consistently and undeniably upward.


Two SA-18 missiles are still unaccounted for after a thwarted European terror plot, the Telegraph is reporting. The SA-18 isn't quite as effective as the SA-16 that is replacing it in military service (the missile that started the Rwandan genocide by shooting down the presidents of two countries), but it is considerably more dangerous than the SA-7s and SA-14s we've seen in airport missile attacks thus far. This is the first credible report of truly dangerous missiles in terrorist hands in a Western country. It should be noted though that a rash of arrests that busted up this group and compromised their effectiveness (to the point which we haven't heard from them since) was three years ago. Some time ago, I predicted the first truly successful shootdown of a jetliner from a major passenger air carrier, if one ever were to occur, would happen at a major non-Western airport (like Delhi's) and would involve SA-16s or SA-18s fired in pairs at a jet on takeoff. I'm standing by that.


The late unlamented Canadian terrorist-in-chief Ahmed Khadr was named in a successful civil suit by the widow of an American soldier killed by Khadr's teenaged son in Afghanistan. Khadr's own widow and family continue to reside in Canada... it's unclear how their circumstances might be affected by this judgment, if at all. Khadr's son remains in Gitmo. The judgment, which cites the terrorist for "failing to control" his son, sounds like an interesting thing to blame a terrorist for.


Lastly, Canadian journalist and author Michael Friscolanti is on tour this week, promoting his new book, Friendly Fire: The Untold Story of the U.S. Bombing That Killed Four Canadian Soldiers in Afghanistan. Friscolanti's coverage of the incident and resulting military hearings and inquiries didn't win me over at the time, but the little bit I've managed to read so far indicates that he's produced a solid account of what went on here. I may post a fuller review at a later date.

Posted by BruceR at 12:53 PM