Dockless bikes ‘could be used as bombs’

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Ross
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Dockless bikes ‘could be used as bombs’

Postby Ross » Thu Feb 08, 2018 7:36 pm

http://www.news.com.au/technology/innov ... 7c0a8e36df

TERRORISTS have been using “explosive-packed bicycles” to kill dozens of people, says a security expert who believes we are “sleepwalking towards a catastrophe” by allowing so many share-bikes on our streets.

Daniel Lewkovitz, who provides terrorism-related training to NSW police, the security industry and hundreds of other high-risk private sector groups, said Australia now needs to wake up to the danger.

He said there are now more than 5000 of the bikes in Sydney alone and they could potentially carry hundreds of kilos of explosives.

“The hollow frame and carry bag of a bike provides substantial space for explosives and shrapnel to be packed and the metal bicycle itself adds further fragmentation which could cause injury,” Mr Lewkovitz told 2GB.

The concerned expert, who is also chief executive of security company Calamity Monitoring, pointed to a number of attacks in which terrorists have used bikes.

In 2008 in Jaipur, India, nine explosive-packed bicycles were placed around seven locations and exploded simultaneously, causing more than 60 deaths and leaving hundreds injured.

Mr Lewkovitz says there have been dozens of other such attacks globally. He pointed to a 2006 attack in Baquba, Iraq that killed 25 people and twin bomb blasts at Hyderabad, India in 2013 that killed 18 people. He pointed out that English seaside resorts were targeted with bike bombs by the IRA in the mid-90s.

“For decades, the most basic anti-terrorism advice was for the public to beware of suspicious objects left unattended,” he said.

“The proliferation of share bikes, which are left unsecured, can be propped up against buildings and so forth, means that, effectively, a bomb-delivery mechanism can be left in plain sight.

“As opposed to a backpack or a vehicle or a suspicious object or something like that, these are things that won’t even raise eyebrows.

“If a potentially explosive-packed bicycle left in a crowded location won’t be considered suspicious, it’s almost the perfect bomb-delivery system.”

It comes amid calls from politicians in Sydney and Melbourne to crack down on the brightly-coloured bikes.

Yesterday, NSW Minister for Transport, Andrew Constance took aim at the bike companies — saying thousands have been dumped on footpaths and streets.

“They’re disgusting and it’s like dumped shopping trolleys everywhere,” he told 2GB. “We’ve got to get them docked, we’ve got to get them cleaned up because it’s repulsive the way they’re being dumped everywhere.”

However, Mr Lewkovitz is more concerned about the security threat. “I’m not opposed to bicycles, I ride a bicycle and so forth,” he said.

“The irony is, that while these ugly concrete barriers are going up to prevent against vehicle ramming attacks, a well-known terrorist attack technique means that you could literally have a bicycle left propped up against a wall.”

He added that major CBD buildings in cities like Sydney are designed so that unusual objects would stand out like a “sore thumb”.
Some politicians are calling for a crackdown on dockless bikes. Picture: OBikes in unusual places/ Facebook

Some politicians are calling for a crackdown on dockless bikes. Picture: OBikes in unusual places/ FacebookSource:Facebook

“But, you now have a situation where these things, which are not secured, just get left lying around and it concerns me,” he said. “It’s happening right under our nose.”

He says the federal government is “sleepwalking towards a catastrophe” by “ignoring” the issue.

However, former chief of security at Federal Airports Corporation Mike Carmody told the ABC that it would be difficult for terrorists to use a bike frame to conceal explosives.

“There are far more effective and certainly more easier methods to conduct a terrorist attack,” he said. “I’m not saying it couldn’t be done, everything’s a possibility. But if I was to rate it as a threat it would be well, well down the list.”

News.com.au has approached oBike for comment.

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Re: Dockless bikes ‘could be used as bombs’

Postby Cyclophiliac » Thu Feb 08, 2018 9:03 pm

How many decades have car bombs been around for? :roll: Only in Australia could someone make a big fuss about bicycles being used as bombs. 5000 share bikes in Sydney alone? Big deal, there's a hell of a lot more cars there.

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Re: Dockless bikes ‘could be used as bombs’

Postby DavidS » Thu Feb 08, 2018 9:12 pm

Dunno about only in Australia, but certainly only News Ltd could come up with such rubbish.

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Re: Dockless bikes ‘could be used as bombs’

Postby AUbicycles » Fri Feb 09, 2018 12:59 am

I think the entire article is clutching at straws - so many loose arguments are made that I don't know where to start.

The article tries to present the information as credible but each time I dive deeper on quotes and the news-corp facts, the information does not actually support the hypothesis very well.

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Re: Dockless bikes ‘could be used as bombs’

Postby human909 » Fri Feb 09, 2018 7:39 am

It is true that a bicycle could make an excellent bomb. But it is far from the easiest or the most effect. Cutting one up and stuffing it with explosives isn't that hard, but have fun welding it back together. On the small scale far easier to use a regular screw cap pipe bomb, or a pressure cooker.

One the big scale. Cars are pretty damn good and sadly continue to be used often and very effectively in more unstable parts of the world.

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Re: Dockless bikes ‘could be used as bombs’

Postby jindydiver » Fri Feb 09, 2018 8:15 am

This is just a regurgitation of a similar rubbish article from last year. It was stupid fearmongering then just as it is now. Bikes are parked all over our cities now, have been for many decades, will be for decade hence even if the fearmongers manage to have share bikes banned.

https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/rende ... 8442a847e9

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Re: Dockless bikes ‘could be used as bombs’

Postby No_Jedi » Fri Feb 09, 2018 1:52 pm

Yes, this issue was addressed by Media Watch last year.

http://www.abc.net.au/mediawatch/transcripts/s4760652.htm

On the basis of this piece, I bought the book - Playing by the Rules: How Our Obsession with Safety Is Putting Us All at Risk. Well worth a read.

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Re: Dockless bikes ‘could be used as bombs’

Postby Jmuzz » Fri Feb 09, 2018 2:22 pm

It is a valid concern for the political security industry, an assassination risk VIP shouldn't be going near an unknown bicycle, shouldn't be going near a trash "empty" beer bottle either. Their path does need to be swept for explosives.

I'm sure any serious VIP security would roll bike share bikes 20m+ away from the planned walkway. And I doubt parliament house security will be ok with anyone parking a bike or leaving any object at the front door.
Even in China, a million bikes in all directions most pro bike country around, but they have checkpoints for Tiananmen square and tourist hotspots and subways, no bikes allowed.

For day to day life it's a non issue. A bomber will use the long established bag or car method.

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Re: Dockless bikes ‘could be used as bombs’

Postby Bunged Knee » Fri Feb 09, 2018 3:07 pm

Slow news day and it wants more clicks.

Not a really big explosives as motor vehicles do have more devastating power to maim and kill.
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Re: Dockless bikes ‘could be used as bombs’

Postby diggler » Fri Feb 09, 2018 9:33 pm

Any bicycle could have a bomb, not just share bikes. At least share bikes record your name. Explosives can be left in a garbage bin anyway Hilton hotel style.
Motorists hate cyclists and cyclists hate the motorists and the pedestrians hate the bikers and everybody hates the trucks.

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Re: Dockless bikes ‘could be used as bombs’

Postby London Boy » Fri Feb 09, 2018 10:11 pm

human909 wrote:It is true that a bicycle could make an excellent bomb. But it is far from the easiest or the most effect. Cutting one up and stuffing it with explosives isn't that hard, but have fun welding it back together. On the small scale far easier to use a regular screw cap pipe bomb, or a pressure cooker.

One the big scale. Cars are pretty damn good and sadly continue to be used often and very effectively in more unstable parts of the world.

Yes, and I remember the truck bombs the IRA and others used to use in the 1970's through to the end of the 1990's. Barrel of laughs those. Not.

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Re: Dockless bikes ‘could be used as bombs’

Postby Mulger bill » Wed Feb 14, 2018 11:44 pm

Some sub editor owe someone a favour?
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Re: Dockless bikes ‘could be used as bombs’

Postby AdelaidePeter » Thu Feb 15, 2018 9:59 am

This is stupid on so many levels. Besides what everyone else has mentioned, it's not even news. It first came up a few months ago, and got a smackdown on Media Watch http://www.abc.net.au/mediawatch/transc ... 760652.htm . Even the rebuttal by Federal Airports Corporation Mike Carmody at the end of the article, is taken from that Media Watch episode. The only thing new is that it got an airing on Alan Jones' radio show.

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Re: Dockless bikes ‘could be used as bombs’

Postby 10speedsemiracer » Thu Feb 15, 2018 2:21 pm

..and empty stubbies can be used to make Molotovs, and over-cooked Sth Melb dim sims can be used in catapults, and candy canes can be used as shanks, and rolled-up copies of National Geographic can be used as batons etc etc.

Anything's a weapon if you use it that way.

Personally, I'd more worried about the aged pensioner shopping jeep

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Re: Dockless bikes ‘could be used as bombs’

Postby RobertL » Thu Feb 15, 2018 2:55 pm

10speedsemiracer wrote: rolled-up copies of National Geographic can be used as batons


I remember reading somewhere that Mussolini's brownshirts would go out with large daily newspapers. Rolled up, they make an effective weapon - but if the police stop you then you are just a guy with a newspaper.
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Re: Dockless bikes ‘could be used as bombs’

Postby WyvernRH » Thu Feb 15, 2018 9:15 pm

10speedsemiracer wrote:..and empty stubbies can be used to make Molotovs, and over-cooked Sth Melb dim sims can be used in catapults, and candy canes can be used as shanks, and rolled-up copies of National Geographic can be used as batons etc etc.
Anything's a weapon if you use it that way.
Personally, I'd more worried about the aged pensioner shopping jeep


Hmm, very true. As someone who only just missed out on being on the short end of an IRA 'Pram' bomb I have to agree. Look out for those Cabbage Patch dolls in strollers... :cry: Bicycles are just one of many 'normal' items that can be subverted - dumb article....

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