Hope my friends are all ok, and have a chance to read their e-mail soon. And reply to it...
Larry Bond (co-author of Red Storm Rising) wrote an interesting, if somewhat overparanoid and intense, techno-thriller called "Enemy Within" (1996).
It is illustrative of what a small, well resourced team of terrorists could do in an ideal scenario to a modern society (although the prevalence of cell phones and street cams would change things somewhat). Reality would have more things go wrong though, the illusion of the hypercompetent special forces type is nice, but unreal, and actual terrorists are even less likely to be hypercompetent.
I'm figuring the claim it was al Quaeda is correct, and am wondering if there is any truth to the blog speculations that al Zawahari videos are the code triggers. Could have been worse, I would not be surprised if the UK police roundups of suspected aQ cells did not disrupt a bigger planned attack earlier.
The London bombings need not involve a lot of people, someone with the expertise who received (from a foreign source?) a few pounds of plastic explosives could have done this. Looking at the locations and timing I suspect it would have been possible for one person, or team of two people, to have planted all the bombs (if they were suicide bombers, then clearly not so). But as few as 2 to as many as 10-12 people would be adequate.
Makes the question of what the aQ are planning regarding the continental US more disturbing. I would not be surprised (I would be dismayed and angry) if aQ attacks US transport or infrastructure targets inside the continental US within the next 3-6 months. I hope not, I fear they will.
Great. Terror works, it is scary.