Coincidences and simulations – again.

According to Channel Four report, exercises held in London just before last weeks terrorist bombing “uncannily mirrored” what actually happened here. An article in Prison Planet even argues that these exercises were intended as a cover for “small compartamentalized government terrorists” who actually carried out the attack. Yes, well…

An earlier post on Simulation – the weblog referred to the coincidence of simulations with the 9/11 attacks in New York.

Prison Planet notes this too, but draws conspiratorial conclusions of its own:
“The Anglo-American establishment that controls the military-industrial complex of the West has been caught over a hundred times carrying out bombings and other terrorist attacks around the world to further their corporate aims and to blame their enemies”.

Even Channel Four news, reporting a dicussion on CBS involving a consultant involved in the London exercise, Peter Power, adds:
“To many, this seemed a huge story wilfully ignored by the mainstream media. Online publishers stepped in to add fuel to the fires of indignation. Colman Jones, an Associate Producer on CBS:Sunday Night, claimed in his blog that, while escorting participants from the building, he enquired of Power why there had not been more media coverage of this. They were trying to keep it quiet, Power purportedly responded, with what Jones called a knowing smile.”

Colman Joness blog seems to be off line at the moment (insert rumour of sinister significance of that here….) but the fact is that:
(a) there are a great many civil disorder exercises held. (Run a Google Alert if you dont believe me.) It would be odd if a real incident did not coincide with a simulation somewhere – though the London coincidence does seem to have been unusually close.
(b) exercise organisers, like terrorists, think of plausible scenarios. The terrorists ask what they can successfully achieve, and what will cause the greatest impact. The scenario writers go through the same thought process, trying to put themselves in the terrorists minds. There is a finite number of scenarios.

In my own consultancy practice, designing simulations based largely on major industrial safety issues, weve also had a fair number of coincidences, when our scenarios happened for real shortly afterwards. I like to think it reflects well on our choice of scenario, and ability to spot vulnerable points. We are certainly not secretly trying to sabotage our clients!

In the case of the London exercises, there is an entire industry devoted to anti-terrorist preparation here.

See Bruce Sterlings weblog for a good example of the security industry at work in the US.

Theres at least one blog devoted entirely to counter-terrorism.

Incidentally, the whole incidnet showed blog tchnology and moblogging at its most effective: see Boing Boing for examples.

A more interesting question would be how well all this preparation and simulation is actually working.

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