Friday, November 3, 2006

Frighten Everybody! It Seeped Into The Ground -- Harmlessly

Late last month I blogged about a supposed terrorist threat in Australia, where some ammonium nitrate was found to be missing from a train. The main point of that item was to question the use of fear-mongering headline on a story which seemed to have an innocent explanation -- indeed, a story which the police themselves had said bore no link to terror.

As The Sydney Morning Herald has reported, Australian police have been doing their homework, and once again they have confirmed their previous explanation.

No terrorism link to missing ammonium nitrate: police
Fears that terrorists stole 400 kilograms of potentially explosive ammonium nitrate from a NSW goods train are unfounded say police investigators, who say most of it has seeped harmlessly into the ground.
Fertilizer. Seeped into the ground. Harmlessly. How scary.
Assistant Commissioner Kaldas said it appeared that, when the thief or thieves broke into the container, much of the ammonium nitrate spilled out onto the track and ground.

"We are reasonably confident at this stage that if anything was stolen it would have been a very small amount and that the majority of the material that is missing has in fact either seeped into the ground and the surrounding area or was left within the truck," he said.

"There is no evidence to suggest that there was any terrorism link to it and there is absolutely no evidence to suggest that that particular commodity was targeted by those who broke into that area."
I suppose we can all breathe again ... until the next bogus scare.