20 June, 2008

Terror alert linked to alcohol

According to Gulf News, the recent raised terror alert was caused by a conversation between two men in a bar...

"One drunk man told the other in jest: "If someone wants to scare all these people and make them run away, just say there is a bomb. A belt bomb will kill hundreds of them."

The source said it is believed that Britons sitting near the men overheard the conversation and thought it was serious."

more here


DUBAI JAZZ said...

I don't know whether to think that this thing is very funny or just very sad.

secretdubai said...

That is just superb. I can't wait until that reaches the international press.

CG said...

I don't believe it.

nzm said...

CG: neither do I!

For one thing, there's a very high chance that 2 Arab men would speak Arabic to each other, and a lower chance that a Briton who spoke Arabic would be in earshot.

I'm just generalising here - anything's possible, but I don't believe it.

As for what was said, it would have to be a bloody big belt bomb to kill hundreds of people.

If embassies are going to issue high alerts based upon hearsay from a bar conversation, then it's a sad, very paranoid world.

Doubleletter said...

hehe :)

Anonymous said...

Its the silliest frontpage news ever heard......even makes the British Embassy and its nationals look stupid. This news item is probably a ploy by the real estate and investment sector to inject credibility into its already affected value!! I wonder how much Gulf News was paid to publish such a silly joke

Anonymous said...

Most of the diplomats and staff who work for foreign embassies, such as the American or the British embassy, operating in Arab countries can speak fluent Arabic. There are also Britons of Arab origins. So why not to believe it?

rosh said...

DJ: it's funny & super sad. GN, continues to *dig deeper* - set expectations as low as possible :)

Personally, I've attended business get-togethers in the UAE, where people discuss this topic quite openly. Didn't have a warning then?

Abu Dhabi/UAE Daily Photo said...

I don't believe that. Would the UK release an announcement simply based on what one guy overheard in a pub?

What's more tragic is if the AP picks that up from the Gulf News.

DUBAI JAZZ said...

Rosh, the Gulf News reported what they said they were told by a 'Diplomatic Resource'. I am sure such news item of high sensitivity would have been authenticated before it is publish. Imagine what an embarrassment it'd be for the GN should this news rendered false?

Secondly it is possible, just possible I am saying; that the British Embassy is trying to sell the local such scenario so that the revered SIS would not have to blow their deep undercover infiltrator.

The third possibility is that the reported news are actually true.

In all cases, this matter has been handled (or rather mangled) very badly from the beginning….

shorty said...

I like the use of the word 'Britons'

Anonymous said...

Coool :)
Now we can move freely!!! ;)

rosh said...

"Imagine what an embarrassment it'd be for the GN should this news rendered false?"

DJ: whenever they've had anything to report, we've hardly had transparency or sensible reporting from GN or KT. Be it on local stuff like the Wafi rendezvous - or more significant, like US military presence at UAE shores or say, a coup at royal family (80's in shj, which btw never saw light of the day)

...and you know what, honestly, don't care anymore....

Abu Dhabi/UAE Daily Photo said...


Anonymous said...

this is the worst news story i have ever laid eyes on -- no sources, no comment from anyone in a position to know anything, barely even coherent. how did this make the front page of a newspaper?

Anonymous said...

maybe they were all drunk..what a laugh.. God bless the Emirates and keep it a safe haven for all of us, UAEians and visitors alike...

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Dubai Warrior said...

A few Indian sources actually did start picking it up from Gulf News and it's starting to circulate.

Gulf News story is written with such poor line of logic I can't even think that they are that idiotic to come up with it. It must have been fed word for word by low ranking government (probably tourism) officials.

Anonymous, the whole story is incomprehensible. Why would Britons be so stupid so as to mistake jest with serious talk? and what diplomat would risk his career to leak classified information to the local government rag? Most laughable is the structure of the drunk quote itself.

It's this that scares us more, that they are blinding themselves from it rather than becoming alert and taking effective measures.

Dubai Warrior

Anonymous said...

They are probably doing the best they can to keep this place safe...but they dont want anyone to panic cause it will do them no good really in preventing it

rosh said...

True Anon, I agree. All said, UAE has always been one of the safest places ever. I am sure, it shall continue to be so.

That said - GN, sets a new *bar* for itself, with kind of reporting - "beneath pit bottom!"

tenali raman said...

Please, people. You are all speaking in jest. How do I know that? Well, I learn from top class investigative reporters. Bassama Al Jandaly, to be precise.

See, such a big scare created by a clueless British Embassy that listens to hearsay from two drunk people who overheard (or thought they overheard, what two other drunks were saying to each other--entirely in jest, of course), all set right by a brilliant piece of investigative reporting.

The key phrase here is: "in jest".

Now if Bassama Al Jandaly hadn't uncovered that, we would all have still been scared shitless. In steps the investigative reporter, who zeroes in on the "source" (we protect our sources, like Al Jazeera does), who then admits the original conversation between the two Arabs was "in jest". The Embassy having issued a terror alert, how did the "source" come to know that the converation was in jest? After all the two scare-mongers who reported it thought it was serious. The Embassy thought it was serious. So how did they find out it was in jest? Did they catch the Arabs, who then went on to explain it was in jest? Whatever. A big hand folks, for our reporter, who cleared everything up. Now all can go back to being normal.

P>S> There's something fishy here, actually. How could two Arabs have been drinking? Do Arabs drink? Now that's a bad habit, and we all know that bad habits are alien to our culture. They do jest, of course, because jesting has never been proven to be a bad habit. In fact, it can be a good habit, especially if one is talking about a belt bomb. In such a case, it is better to be jesting than serious.

It is my qualified opinion that the two jesters were not Arabs. They were people of an alien culture, dressed as Arabs, quaffing down evil liquors in order to bring a bad name to Arabs. Ah, now it begins to make sense. This would explain the conversation about the bomb. After all, even if Arabs were jesting, they would never jest about serious subjects like this which could easily be misinterpreted. I think we have enough material for another front page story here.

We need the equivalent of the Pulitzers here, or people like Bassama Al Jandaly will go sadly unrecognised.

(P>P>S> Just in case I am wrong, and the two jesters were in fact Arabs, then they were indeed jesting. Poor misguided souls. They must have taken a wrong turn and quite unexpectedly ended up in the bar, where, being tired and thirsty, they asked for a drink. Fully expecting to receive camel milk, imagine their surprise when they were served some bitter, coloured water. Never again will we come to this inhospitable place, they thought, at which point they experienced a strange sensation, as though their minds were being taken over. Suddenly overcome by a feeling of being free and frivolous, they began jesting with each other. The rest is Pulitzer Prize winning history).

DUBAI JAZZ said...

Rosh, what do you mean you don't care? you do not wanna hear my reply?

You do sound random sometimes don't you?

The difference between me and you is that I am prepared to accept that anyone of the three scenarios I listed could be possible. You on the other hand just want to blame it all on the Gulf News.

You know what, as far as I am concerned, the Gulf News has more integrity than a foreign intelligence agency.

tenali raman said...

' "Imagine what an embarrassment it'd be for the GN should this news rendered false?" '

...and pray, who would do that?

...has GN ever been embarrassed?

...are they capable of it?


Truly, my friends, you are living in Paradise.

Jeopardy question (you have three seconds to answer):

What four letter word, pluralised by the addition of the letter 's', usually precedes the word 'Paradise' when referring to a great deception...?

rosh said...

DJ: my comment was toward GN, supposed *explanation* on how terror alert came about, not toward you. Of course, I want to hear your view, am sure I shall disagree :)

"You know what, as far as I am concerned, the Gulf News has more integrity than a foreign intelligence agency."

There, disagreed :)

Ah DJ, perhaps it's 'casue I've been with GN since its inception, perhaps can read through an attempt to BS readers. They've done this several times in the past you know (tenali's comment made me laugh, actually :) So that said, I don't care if GN says, it was drunken men or camels talking or transvestite gossip. Seriously the GCC's leading newspapers, sucks!

That said, I do agree, 2 scenarios, you've put forth, could be possibilities.

DUBAI JAZZ said...

You are right, you've been following the Gulf News longer I have.

Maybe my faith in the Gulf News is a subliminal hope that nothing bad is going to happen!

rosh said...

DJ, bro, we both agree nothing bad is going to happen. My beef is with GN. A place like UAE needs better journalism - not some lame ass lala land kiddie story, don't you think?

Dubai Warrior said, "A few Indian sources actually did start picking it up from Gulf News and it's starting to circulate".

This is what concerns me. UAE is largely made up of people who buy into this kind of stuff.

What's worse - being mentally prepared (no matter how remote the possibility) or buying into GN's story?

Anonymous said...

teneli ramam

Man terrific imagination..
keep it up!


Anonymous said...

Planted story to discredit US and British intelligence services and stop investors pulling out their cahs from UAE. And Gulf News swallowed it hook, line and sinker.

Anonymous said...

Hey Tenali
I fainted...
Krishnadeva Raya

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