Unsurprisingly, given the generally accepted lameness of the UK’s would-be terrorists, nobody even bothered to argue with my assessment that if the police’s evidence against Andrew Ibrahim is accurate, he’s a schoolboy dilettante with fuck all in the “explosives worth bothering with” stakes.
The teenager has been accused of possessing Hexamethylene Triperoxide Diamine, also known as HMTD, which is an explosive organic chemical compound. He has also been accused of possessing, among other items, two home-made vests, a quantity of ball bearings, a quantity of air gun pellets, a quantity of nails and screws, wired circuitry, batteries and electric bulb filaments.
Now, homemade HMTD is almost completely fucking useless, since it either doesn’t work at all or explodes while you’re still carrying it (properly made HMTD hasn’t been commercially available for years for related reasons), and creating it requires the chemistry skills of a half-trained ape. And as far as the other items go, anyone could get hold of them given half an hour’s shopping time.
Given all that, then if he is guilty, I’m actually vaguely impressed the rozzers managed to nick Mr Ibrahim (and once again, it’s very good evidence that if anyone was planning anything serious against the UK that required non-trivial explosives and an actual conspiracy of people, they’d already be in jail…). Perhaps the years of utterly pointless raids on home MDMA and LSD labs have actually provided “watch out if person X buys chemical Y” skills that are vaguely transferrable – if so, this may well be the only positive consequence of the War On Drugs…
[for the avoidance of doubt, I do think it's a good thing that Mr Ibrahim is on trial, just as I'd prefer it if anyone accused of saying that they were going to kill me, and then firing an airgun at me from 100 yards away while blindfolded in the fervent belief that it would do me serious harm, were to go on trial...]