While it may seem like an April Fools joke, this story appears deadly serious. News outfits NPR, The Washington Post, CNN, Reuters, The Guardian and others are all reporting that The CIA was involved in a training drill that actually involved putting plastic explosive on a school bus. It seems that they left a big chunk of it there to be later found by a mechanic. Here’s some coverage from The Washington Post:
How the CIA managed to leave explosives on a special-needs school bus — without noticing
By Moriah Balingit, Greg Miller and Emma Brown April 1 at 8:17 PM
“Briar Woods High School, a half-hour drive from the CIA’s headquarters in Northern Virginia, might have provided an ideal training ground for the agency’s bomb-sniffing dogs. Its labyrinthine hallways and voluminous classrooms are home to something that can wreak havoc for the canines: polished floors, which cause dogs to slip and lose their focus as they hunt for explosives.
That was one reason the school, which educates nearly 1,700 students in Ashburn, played host to a CIA dog team for a training exercise while students were on spring break last week, according to the Loudoun County school system. But the choice to go to a public school for the quiet exercise has led to an only-in-Washington embarrassment for the elite spy agency, which left explosive material behind in the engine compartment of a school bus that then shuttled special-needs children for two days this week.
A mechanic discovered and removed the explosive putty — which county Supervisor Koran Saines (D-Sterling) said was the demolition explosive C-4 — during a routine bus maintenance check Wednesday. Until then, no one noticed that it was missing.
That the CIA was using live explosives and lost track of them in a place where children and teachers spend their days has raised concerns among parents about the use of a school facility for such kinds of law enforcement training. It also illuminates the fact that local authorities and school systems feel obliged to prepare for scenarios that once seemed unthinkable, such as gunmen firing at schoolchildren and bombs hidden on buses.
Loudoun County schools spokesman Wayde Byard described the material as “putty-like,” and the CIA said the material “is very stable and insensitive to physical shocks,” descriptions that are consistent with plastic explosives, which require special detonators to set off. Saines, who was briefed on the mishap Wednesday by county personnel, said county officials confirmed that it was C-4.”
This is pretty disturbing information, but could there be more to the story?
This thread on Reddit has some information from military veterans that adds a little more detail. Comments by those who had used this material suggest it was probably Semtex instead of C-4. The description of the material as putty-like suggests it was not C-4. Both types however, need some kind of pressure and heat to set it off, and no charge was found with the material. Knowledgeable comments suggest a blasting cap or similar charge would be needed.
But what if the material was intentionally left, perhaps for someone else to retrieve and use for another purpose, or to repack it with a charge? For one thing, it shows a very inefficient inventory control by the CIA. Even if it was only a portion of the material used that was recovered, the amount should have been noticed.
Secondly, this could have been used in a sting, where someone is set up as the patsy to take a fall, get arrested and scare the public while the arresting agency gets the publicity. This happens over and over. Most of the FBI’s thwarted terrorist events are of idiots that the FBI has recruited and entrapped.
You know, after a certain point the “incompetence theory” just doesn’t hold water. Some of these drills have piggybacked directly on actual terrorist events. On 9/11 alone, there were at least 5 drills going to practice for actual hijackings and planes hitting the Pentagon, etc. The 7/7 London subway bombings had drills for the same bombing that occurred on the same day. The recent San Bernadino shootings were preceded by active shooter drills in the very same building.
Here’s an article with a partial list of similar events:
The scenario goes something like this: Drills are carried out to replicate an actual attack. This is cover for the actual attack when it happens. Agencies and first responders are distracted and confused. Is this the drill, or an actual event?
That is exactly what happened on 9/11. NORAD air defenses were purposefully blinded by their own drill and mock attack. No aircraft were available to respond to the actual event. It worked flawlessly. Grand theater, resulting in thousands of deaths.
We will never know if the bus-bomb was intentionally left there. None of the reports say anybody was disciplined, fired or even named. But if buses start blowing up we should take another very close look at this news story.