The Car Bomb: From Belfast to Baghdad

Belfast on 21 July 1972 will always be remembered as a black day for those covering the history of the troubles in Northern Ireland.  This is the day on which the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) set a precedent which even today is the curse of all urban conflict: the deadly car bomb. The use of remote car bombs is still a phenomenon which conflicts around the world have failed to overcome, and with good reason.  All that is required for an ideal car-bomb environment is roads and traffic.  Wherever we need to go, whatever place we need to stop, be it a place of work or a busy airport or train station -- there is always that street or road we can't avoid. And twenty-first-century conflict has moved car bombs to center stage.  They are the pedestrian's worst nightmare, the terrorist's best weapon.  They can bring civilian life to a near-halt, they can cause unprecedented economic damage, and they can take a whole city hostage. Car bombs are...(Read Full Article)

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