10 Jan. 2007

A furore broke out a couple of weeks back when it emerged that the Australian military had some ordinance unaccounted for, basically rifles and 'rocket launchers', namely the shoulder-held anti-tank type, not the vehicle-mounted, artillery type.

Then they arrested some Arabs in Sydney allegedly in possession of some of the rocket launchers.

Now, it would seem, they're trying these men as terrorists on the basis of evidence that allegedly says these men were planning to use said rocket launchers to blow up parliament and a 'nuclear place'. This latter description obviously doesn't indicate an advanced level of planning, but presumably refers to Lucas Heights, the only nuclear facility in the vicinity of Sydney.

The obvious problem with this plan is that these weapons are designed to knock out tanks, not destroy buildings. Nuclear facilities are built to be very hard to destroy, and it's highly dubious whether any more damage could be done with such weapons than homemade explosives. Indeed, homemade explosives could be vastly more devastating. The rocket launchers allow one fire from a distance, but their accuracy is such that this would amount to taking ineffectual pot-shots, which may serve to terrorise and perhaps also kill and maim, but would have no usefulness in such dastardly schemes.