• Mariner
    374
    http://www.globalresearch.ca/manchester-berlin-paris-nice-london-new-york-passports-and-ids-mysteriously-discovered-in-the-wake-of-terror-attacks/5592063

    Looking at this as just a piece of data, are there any alternative hypotheses to "the terrorists have an unwritten code of ethics that makes them take their ID to their attacks, so as to not give too much trouble to the authorities?". Let us call this the baseline hypothesis

    Presumably, a terrorist attack is designed so as to be claimed by a terrorist organization, in order to make some statement. In other words, this baseline hypothesis is not 100% tongue-in-cheek. (Ok, it is some 90% tongue-in-cheek).

    The obvious contender against the baseline hypothesis can be called the "general conspiracy theory": The documents are found in order to construct a narrative. (Which narrative is unimportant here -- the focus is on the method, which is why this is a "general" theory).

    I suppose we will never know unless we have personal contact with the personnel in the field doing the job of cleaning up a terrorist attack. I don't know anyone in this capacity, and so I will remain in doubt, for the moment. But I do observe that the general conspiracy theory is more observant of Ockham. Terrorist organizations have many different ways of claiming authorship for an attack; they don't need to leave their ID's for that. On the other hand, finding an ID is by far the easiest and most visible way (the ID can be pointed, handled, shown in TV) to give support to a narrative.
  • Michael
    14.8k
    Most people carry IDs around with them, whether that be a passport or a driver's license. It's a useful (and habitual) thing to have. So I think a different question should be asked; why wouldn't they carry around ID? I suppose the only relevant reason would be if they expected to die and wanted to hide their identity as best they could, but then why would they be worried about that?
  • Mariner
    374
    whether that be a passport or a driver's license.Michael

    I would question this in the case of passports. Driver's licenses (especially when you are driving!), I agree. But passports?

    Anyone has data on the % of people who carry their passports around? My guess would be less than 10%.
  • Baden
    15.8k


    Yes, and it's more like 0.1%, I would say. Take a random sample of 1,000 people and I doubt you'll find much more than one with their passport on them*. Of course, that's the general population, not terrorists. Which leads back to why...

    *Europeans more likely than Americans though since they tend to travel more.

    EDIT: After some unscientific mental sampling I'm going to up that to 1%.
  • BC
    13.4k
    An intriguing mystery. But then, why do terrorists rent cars/vans/trucks using their own credit cards? Why don't they steal somebody else's card first? This would frustrate and slow down the investigation. Too much trouble? Are car/van/truck rental agencies so fastidious about IDs?

    Or is carrying a passport on the day of a scheduled terrorism act a sort of "signature" (like serial murderers who always use the same kind of man's tie to strangle their victims with)?

    Are you suggesting that the police are not actually "discovering" passports on site, but are merely planting evidence, so that they can report progress in the investigation?
  • Thorongil
    3.2k
    An intriguing mystery. But then, why do terrorists rent cars/vans/trucks using their own credit cards? Why don't they steal somebody else's card first? This would frustrate and slow down the investigation. Too much trouble? Are car/van/truck rental agencies so fastidious about IDs?Bitter Crank

    They're planning on dying in the process, otherwise they don't receive the rewards of martyrdom.
  • BC
    13.4k
    They carry IDs with them to help the sky-god distinguish martyrdoms from routine riff-raff die-offs, I suppose. And with 7+ billion riff-raffs to keep track of, most of them no-count infidels, not to mention pigeons, pigs, and penguins, it might get confusing for even omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent sky gods.

    The martyrs are probably over-estimating the reward. I suspect they get some coupons and maybe free samples.
  • Mariner
    374
    Are you suggesting that the police are not actually "discovering" passports on site, but are merely planting evidence, so that they can report progress in the investigation?Bitter Crank

    The police are not necessarily the ones planting the documents. But the salient point is that, given the accumulation of cases, I think it is more reasonable to believe that someone is planting documents than to believe that terrorists are more fastidious than the average citizen.

    The question of why are they planting documents is probably worthy of different answers depending on the case. One explanation, which I usually prefer, is bureaucratic ass-covering. But there are others, ranging all the way up (or down) to manipulation by governmental agencies.

    It is at least quite strange (to mention one of the cases listed in the link) that the US authorities knew the Manchester guy before the UK authorities did.
  • BC
    13.4k
    It is at least quite strange (to mention one of the cases listed in the link) that the US authorities knew the Manchester guy before the UK authorities did.Mariner

    I thought that that was a result of a 'leak' of information that was supposed to have been kept confidential and wasn't.

    Yes, this is an interesting question.
  • Thorongil
    3.2k
    Because they want to die, they know it doesn't matter that they carry ID or pay for a truck with their own credit cards.
  • Mariner
    374
    Because they want to die, they know it doesn't matter that they carry ID or pay for truck with their own credit cards.Thorongil

    This is an argument for they having the same rate of "passport carrying" as the average citizen, but it appears they have a far higher rate.
  • mcdoodle
    1.1k
    It is at least quite strange (to mention one of the cases listed in the link) that the US authorities knew the Manchester guy before the UK authorities did.Mariner

    That isn't the general view. The general view is that the US authorities published the name first, but that they obtained the name from UK sources who didn't want it published.
  • Mariner
    374
    That isn't the general view. The general view is that the US authorities published the name first, but that they obtained the name from UK sources who didn't want it published.mcdoodle

    A good example of the difference between a narrative and a fact. The fact is that the US authorities divulged the name of the suspect mere 3 hours after the explosion. What you call "the general view" is a story to explain this. It may be true. But the fact remains curious in its own right (so curious that it demands a narrative to explain it).
  • Wayfarer
    21.4k
    I don't think it's an 'unwritten code of ethics'. I think they carry their passports because they're mobile, on the move, and if they don't blow themselves to bits, they might need them to cross the nearest border. Also they habitually carry passports or other ID because they're just the kinds of people who are likely to be stopped by the authorities and having it on them lessens the possibility of being taken into the police station for questioning.
  • Michael
    14.8k
    Yeah, because what else would it be? That fake passports are being planted by right-wing nationalists to frame foreigners and Muslims? Given that the article linked to is from a conspiracy site and authored by a man who believes that "9/11 was a United States government conspiracy to start the Iraq War and enable a 'new world order' to help corporate interests"1, it's pretty clear that this discussion is rooted in nonsense.

    1 https://www.vox.com/2015/5/20/8631295/osama-bin-laden-bookshelf-conspiracy-theories
  • Wayfarer
    21.4k
    I wrote my answer on the assumption that they're not fake ID's - that the question was about 'why do they leave their ID's', not 'who is planting fake data'. That is the question I answered.

    The other point is: maybe they take pleasure in knowing that their identities will be divulged after they've committed their atrocities. Serial killers do likewise. It gives them a sense of vindication.
  • Mariner
    374
    it's pretty clear that this discussion is rooted in nonsense.Michael

    Must be great to know so much about the world that strange phenomena do not inspire doubt. This kind of knowledge is really fun if it allows one to dismiss facts based on their provenance.
  • mcdoodle
    1.1k
    A good example of the difference between a narrative and a fact. The fact is that the US authorities divulged the name of the suspect mere 3 hours after the explosion.Mariner

    I don't think this is established as a fact. Do you have a mainstream news source that accepts the timing cited in your conspiracy theorists' blog? It doesn't look like it's been fact-checked, and the report it quotes isn't time-stamped online.
  • Mariner
    374
    Oh well, Google is your friend if you were not following the news at the time. Is the Guardian ok? First link on the google search:

    https://www.google.com.br/search?client=opera&q=manchester+terrorist+identification+us+authorities&sourceid=opera&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8
  • BC
    13.4k
    There is something fishy about the site. For instance, there is a screed about the Charlottesville business being linked to Clinton and Obama:

    The events in Charlottesville took place days after an earth-shattering Disobedient Media report broke into the mainstream, unequivocally and finally debunking the baseless Clinton-Obama argument that it was Russian hackers who interfered in the 2016 American election...

    Massive court victories by Judicial Watch calling for emails from Clinton’s aides around the 2012 Benghazi attack, and others pertaining to the handling of the infamous “Comey memos” the DOJ failed to turn over following former Director James Comey’s departure, have party leadership in a state of utter paralysis as various scandals unfold and the party descends into free-fall...

    There is also this weird ad on the site:

    tumblr_ov28moEIyF1s4quuao1_400.jpg

    I have every intention of rewinding my hose.
  • Mariner
    374
    There is something fishy about the site.Bitter Crank

    No disagreement from me on that. But the facts listed there remain (and are verifiable, at least at a general news level). The narratives offered there are not nearly as interesting as the curious facts listed.
  • Wayfarer
    21.4k
    finally debunking the baseless Clinton-Obama argument that it was Russian hackers who interfered in the 2016 American election...

    ...hackles rising.......

    Very suspicious about that 'Global Research' site and who is behind it. I don't know, and don't want to know, but whoever it is, has very deep pockets, judging by the professionalism and depth of material on it.
  • BC
    13.4k
    That's one of the things about the site -- it's an odd mixture of conventional and conspiratorial writing.
  • Wayfarer
    21.4k
    Rational Wiki note on Global Research https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Globalresearch

    mind you there's an element of pot-calling-kettle-black, but still.....
  • Wayfarer
    21.4k
    Sorry I blew up your thread @Mariner.
  • Mariner
    374
    Nah, threads are not personal fiefs. And this one had served its purpose (of musing out loud about something curious).
  • mcdoodle
    1.1k
    It surprised me that I felt personally offended by your posts, Mariner. I felt peripherally touched by the Arena bombing because I passed through Victoria station where it happened an hour before the bomb went off, and was privy to a lot of the local reaction afterwards. It seemed weird to me that someone faraway would isolate some conspiracy theory out a tragic event with an official narrative that I - often a sceptic about official narratives - felt happy to accept. And then that person far away would comment in passing that I might not have followed the press at the time - whereas I'd followed it avidly. These conspiracy theories seem to me to derogate from the suffering of the people involved, and the intense engagement of hundreds of people in trying to resolve the causes of such an event, for the sake of an intellectual game. But I quite see that thinking that is partly a reflection of my feeling affected by the bomb - a few hundred metres from where an IRA bomb went off 21 years ago.

    There's still a sad little shrine at the foot of the steps up to the still-closed Arena, I passed there on Thursday night.
    vrc7ung333uz6r9j.jpg
  • Mariner
    374
    These conspiracy theories seem to me to derogate from the suffering of the people involved, and the intense engagement of hundreds of people in trying to resolve the causes of such an event, for the sake of an intellectual game.mcdoodle

    It is one way to look at it.

    But another way is to consider that the immense suffering of those personally involved in it, and the recurrence of similar events in different times and places, leads people -- even people from so far away and still untouched by "standard terrorism"* -- to become interested in it and to notice anomalies, and to muse about them. In other words, what you call conspiracy theories is far from derogating, it is actually a way of honoring the suffering of the people involved. These events are so important that we want the truth, and will not accept inconsistent narratives -- the bar is raised for them. If you'll examine cases of conspiracy theories, you'll see these two common traits:

    1. The event being explained is an emotionally-charged event
    2. There is an official narrative, with some inconsistencies.

    Now, inconsistencies do not falsify any narrative. The fact that some narrative has inconsistencies is to be expected when dealing with human events. There is a gradation of "tolerance", though. People will accept inconsistencies in a minor, page-24-buried story that has little emotional charge that they won't accept in stories of terrorist attacks.

    I think that the search and analysis of inconsistencies in official narratives can only do good for the body politic, by the way. We, as societies, would certainly do better with a more scientific approach to situations like this.

    * note, though, that the printed media in Rio de Janeiro has just declared our situation to be that of "war" and is instituting "war departments" in local coverage.
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