How much time is enough time to warn of a bombing? Any
warning at all might seem a world away from the surprise of the
9/11 attacks, but in Northern Ireland, it's the custom for IRA
terrorists to alert authorities, allowing evacuation of an area before
detonating explosives. On Tuesday, though, a police chief in Northern
Ireland struck out at IRA members for notifying him under 20 minutes
before an explosion.
"So what would constitute fair warning?" asks AOL News' Theunis Bates
One mine clearance expert says that for a bomb the size of the one in
question--a car bomb driven into a set of gates--it's standard
procedure to evacuate everyone within a 200-meter radius. In a densely
crowded area, and with a limited number of policemen on hand, that can
take a lot of time.
But as Bates notes, the same expert also adds that, "when it comes to bombs in public spaces, there's no such
thing as a fair warning. 'Police and bomb disposal teams are never
going to get enough time ... You simply can't put a figure on
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