The front page declaration that Britain faces a 90% chance of a terrorist attack by May 2005 is remarkable. Was that the beginning, middle or end of May?

The managing director of a forecasting firm knows where and what terrorist are up to does he? The death of bin Laden, Sunni extremists - it's a wonder he didn't predict the Madrid event.

The statement that terrorists were unlikely to transport high value weapons to the UK is incredible.

We can't even stop illegal immigrants let alone a bomb being imported. In any event the "terrorists" who bought half ton of ammonium nitrate didn't seem to have much trouble just utilising home grown produce.

I suspect that when they consider hi-jacking chemical or fuel trucks the risk might increase to April or even NOW.

The philosophy of fortune telling should be based on Donald Rumsfeld's famous statement - "we don't know what we don't know because we don't know what we don't know we don't know".

The belief that 9/11 was not possible on 9/10 was as worthless as any prediction today. The risk is with us today, the hazard may have catastrophic consequences and lowering risk preparedness based on guesswork or limited information may result in catastrophe.

I have to wonder what was the objective of the statement. Was it to convince the reader that professional risk assessors have a better chance of survival, or that we should enjoy our time while we can?

Oh yes the usual statement regarding statistical analysis when that 10% chance happens is "well it was statistically not likely". It's like saying that the risk of total loss of the Twin Towers was not likely.

Jeff Charlton

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