Politics & Policy

Terror Train

Madrid attack reminds the world there's a war out there--everywhere.

If you’re wondering how the Islamist terrorists got enough explosives to kill 198 Spaniards and wound 1200 more, many maimed for life, here’s a dispatch from the daily news report of Radio Free Europe which may be an answer.

According to the Czech Republic news agency, CTK, Czech police seized “hundreds of tons of imported, military-grade plastic explosives and detained two men on weapon-trafficking charges on March 10.” The police, no doubt sensitive to protocol, failed to identify the country from which the shipments originated but a Czech newspaper spilled the beans: The country is Sweden and the shipment was 328 tons of explosives. 328 tons! Might have blown up all of Madrid for all I know.

The Czech daily, Mlada Fronta Dnes, further reported that the suspected seller was supposed to have destroyed the explosives but instead exported them–but to whom? Who needs 328 tons of plastic explosives? The newspaper doesn’t say. It adds that the alleged buyers of the 328 tons of plastic explosives “were two Czech businessmen who intended to reprocess the explosives for resale.” But to whom? Al Qaeda, or intermediaries? We know who the buyers are, I assume, but who were the end users? And more, who in Sweden is making plastic explosive and how could 328 tons get loaded onto to a vessel unobserved, without anyone asking questions?

Anyway, not to worry. The “businessmen” now under arrest are going to be tried under Czech law as well as under the 1991 Montreal Treaty prohibiting weapons trafficking. Have a good day.

Arnold Beichman is a Hoover Institution research fellow and author of Anti-American Myths: Their Causes and Consequences.

Members of the National Review editorial and operational teams are included under the umbrella “NR Staff.”

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