Posted: Mon Mar 10, 2008 7:06 pm Post subject: Peter Power's probability, 'a spooky coincidence'
Peter Power says his company Visor Consultants' exercise at the same three tube stations on the same day as the attacks was a coincidence. There is a 7,600 million to one chance that he is telling the truth about his exercise having no link to the attack
so what i propose is to put stats that show how big this number is
ive found this
In 1999, Ms Clark was found guilty of killing her two sons after Sir Roy told the court there was a "one in 73 million" chance that two children in the same family would die of cot death.
Saying "there is a 7,600 million to one chance that he is telling the truth about his exercise having no link to the attack," doesn't make it so.
The Peter Power coincidence is striking to say the least, however the calculation 365x275x275x275 = 7600m, is meaningless.
In fact zimboy69, your example of Professor Sir Roy Meadow illustrates the point,
Giving evidence at the trial of Mrs Clark, Sir Roy told the jury that the chance of two children in such an affluent family dying of cot death was "one in 73 million".
But his claim was disputed by the Royal Statistical Society, which wrote to the Lord Chancellor to say there was "no statistical basis" for the figure.
And Sir Roy's estimate was criticised as "grossly misleading" and "manifestly wrong" by a judge during Mrs Clark's second appeal hearing. - BBC.
I notice there has been some discussion on this topic in another thread. I suggested the calculation below to Tony Gosling a couple of months ago. However, my feeling is that finding a meaningful statisitc is just not realistic.... Better to let the coincidence speak for itself rather than attach unjustified numbers to it.
Quote:
This calculation could be made arbitrarily complicated, depending on how many factors we consider, I think this is reasonably simple and more importantly, prudent.
It is not a reasonable assumption, that each station has an equal probability of attack; why attack West Acton when you could go for Kings Cross? A busy, high profile station seems far more probable. Moreover if attackers are travelling from outside London, they will arrive at a busy, high profile station. It is improbable that they would then travel out to say zone 6.
Perhaps 9 stations (this is very prudent):
Paddington
Euston
Kings Cross St. Pancras
Liverpool Street
London Bridge
Blackfriars
Charing Cross
Waterloo
Victoria
One could also ask what the probability of three Underground station bombs, and three underground station drills. I will ignore this because I haven't a clue, and it is prudent.
Probability of the same stations = ( 3/9 )*( 2/8 )*( 1/7 ) = 6/504.
Probability of getting the same day depends on how often these drills are conducted. By multiplying my 365, we assume that there is one such drill per year, therefore the final probability is
( 3/9 )*( 2/8 )*( 1/7 )*( 1/365 ) = 6/183960.
However if there is one drill per week, the final probability is
( 3/9 )*( 2/8 )*( 1/7 )*( 1/52 ) = 6/26208.
Then again, perhaps a drill of this type is unprecedented, and therefore the odds far longer.
The said stat does not take into account a lot contributing factors e.g. was the attack more likely to take place during the G8? At a certain time of year which made it easier for the bombers? At the busier stations?
And does anyone even know how often these drill take place?
Posted: Sat Apr 05, 2008 11:04 pm Post subject: Re: Peter Power's probability
ian neal wrote:
zimboy69 wrote:
There is a 7,600 million to one chance that he is telling the truth about his exercise having no link to the attack
Nonsense. Showing your lack of understanding of statistics helps no one
The statistical probability in numbers doesn't really matter, however you compute them.
It's an obvious minute chance of resemblance and therefore most suspect
That's all. _________________ http://www.exopolitics-leeds.co.uk/introduction
Posted: Sat Apr 05, 2008 11:58 pm Post subject: Re: Peter Power's probability
paul wright wrote:
The statistical probability in numbers doesn't really matter, however you compute them.
It's an obvious minute chance of resemblance and therefore most suspect
That's all.
Well... if it were obvious, we would be able to compute the probability. The problem is that it is far from obvious! However, I agree, it is most suspect!
I notice there has been some discussion on this topic in another thread. I suggested the calculation below to Tony Gosling a couple of months ago. However, my feeling is that finding a meaningful statisitc is just not realistic.... Better to let the coincidence speak for itself rather than attach unjustified numbers to it.
Quote:
This calculation could be made arbitrarily complicated, depending on how many factors we consider, I think this is reasonably simple and more importantly, prudent.
It is not a reasonable assumption, that each station has an equal probability of attack; why attack West Acton when you could go for Kings Cross? A busy, high profile station seems far more probable. Moreover if attackers are travelling from outside London, they will arrive at a busy, high profile station. It is improbable that they would then travel out to say zone 6.
Perhaps 9 stations (this is very prudent):
Paddington
Euston
Kings Cross St. Pancras
Liverpool Street
London Bridge
Blackfriars
Charing Cross
Waterloo
Victoria
One could also ask what the probability of three Underground station bombs, and three underground station drills. I will ignore this because I haven't a clue, and it is prudent.
Probability of the same stations = ( 3/9 )*( 2/8 )*( 1/7 ) = 6/504.
Probability of getting the same day depends on how often these drills are conducted. By multiplying my 365, we assume that there is one such drill per year, therefore the final probability is
( 3/9 )*( 2/8 )*( 1/7 )*( 1/365 ) = 6/183960.
However if there is one drill per week, the final probability is
( 3/9 )*( 2/8 )*( 1/7 )*( 1/52 ) = 6/26208.
Then again, perhaps a drill of this type is unprecedented, and therefore the odds far longer.
um guys i think you missed the point of the post
it was to highlight that the chance of this happening is quite high
Joined: 27 Mar 2006 Posts: 486 Location: Manchester
Posted: Sun Apr 06, 2008 11:04 pm Post subject:
Zennon wrote:
Quote:
And does anyone even know how often these drill take place?
Something perhaps worth a FOIA?
I found it interesting that a London based nurse giving a CPR course regaled to me that about a month prior to 7/7, a live drill of terrorist scenarios was enacted among London hospitals using actors with fake wounds pronounced dead, sitting up on the crash trolley and hurling a lump of plasticine at people to say "'BANG' your dead, you didn't check my possessions as you cared for me".
I found it more interesting to later hear a Manchester CPR trainer regale that the last drill she remembers they did (400+ people focused on an explosion at a supermarket and possibly involving TA volunteers), was about 10 years back and exactly one month prior to the Arndale bombing.
I've asked my nurse neighbours to keep me posted on any future drills they hear of, just incase as it were, as perhaps there is something to it.
I'd say the 7/7 Power's drill is highly suspicious but a likely re-hash by Powers company of the Panorama drill, to the yet un-named clients, who once again, when we discover their identity, will prove to be a cover for other parties elusive.
If 7/7 was a FF then they did indeed learn lessons and tighten their plans and deliberate trails of misleads considerably. If it was a mere coincidence then yes its a big one but numbers that people can pick at dont help either way. _________________ The Peoples United Collective TPUC.ORG
Coincidence of bomb exercises?
By Nicholas Glass Updated on 17 July 2005
image
It began when Peter Power, one time high ranking employee of Scotland Yard and member of its Anti-Terrorist Branch, reported in two major UK media outlets that his company Visor Consulting had on the morning of 7th of July been conducting 'crisis exercises' whose scenarios uncannily mirrored those of the actual attack.
In interviews on Radio 5 Live and ITV News, Power appeared to claim the exercises involved 'a thousand people' as well as a dedicated crisis team whose number was not specified. The consultant described the simulation of 'simultaneous attacks on a underground and mainline station' and 'bombs going off precisely at the railway stations' at which the actual bombings occurred.
Visor's crisis team, Power explained, were planning to practice the switch from what he called 'slow time' thinking to the 'quick time' thinking required by a crisis situation. In the event, they were forced to do so for real. 'Unusual though it may be to stop an exercise and go into real time,' he comments, 'it worked very well - although there were a few seconds when the audience didn't realise whether it was real or not.'
Three days after the London bombings, Power was in Toronto for the 15th World Conference on Disaster Management. There, he took part in a discussion panel for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's news discussion programme CBS: Sunday Night, in which he was quizzed again about what the host called the 'extraordinary' conjunction of his company's planned scenarios and the actual events. Power dismissed this as 'spooky coincidence'.
'Our scenario was very similar, but it wasn't totally identical,' he said. 'It was based on bombs going off - the time, the locations, all this sort of stuff. But it wasn't an accident, in the sense that London has a history of bombs.'
To many, this seemed a huge story wilfully ignored by the mainstream media. Online publishers stepped in to add fuel to the fires of indignation. Colman Jones, an Associate Producer on CBS:Sunday Night, claimed in his blog that, while escorting participants from the building, he enquired of Power 'why there had not been more media coverage of this.' 'They were trying to keep it quiet,' Power purportedly responded, with what Jones called 'a knowing smile.'
The rumours spread like wildfire: perhaps something lay behind the 'co-incidence' presented by Mr. Power. Prison Planet, the investigative journalism site which initially drew attention to the Radio 5 Live comments, set the tenor of online coverage in an article entitled 'London Underground Bombing "Exercises" Took Place at Same Time as Real Attack'. Here the authors argued that the simulated attacks were, whether Power knew it or not, intended to act as a cover for the real ones.
Part two of JJ King's report on the exercises that took place on the day of the London bombings.
The 'simultaneous exercise'
'Whether Mr. Power and Visor Consultants were "in on the bombing" [...] is not that important,' their report stated. 'The British government or one of their private company offshoots could have hired Visor to run the exercise for a number of purposes. This is precisely what happened on the morning of September 11th 2001 with the CIA conducting drills of flying hijacked planes into the WTC and Pentagon at 8:30 in the morning.'
News agency Al Jazeera agreed, baldly asserting that 'The London Underground exercises were used as the fallback cover to carry out the attack.'
The background to these startling claims has to be appreciated. The idea that simulations and scenarios were used as decoys for intelligence activity around 9/11 has gained some currency amongst those who decry the 'official version' of events. Occasional reports in the mainstream media have added weight to the speculation.
Associated Press, for example, reported a 'simulated accident', scheduled for September 11th, 'in which an errant aircraft would crash into one of its buildings.' The article reports a spokesperson for the intelligence agency running the simulation, the ultra-secretive National Reconnaissance Office, describing the conjunction as a 'incredible coincidence' - just as Power did.
In the frenzy of linking, cross linking and careless speculation, however, it appears most self-publishers - and Al Jazeera - failed to contact Visor to corroborate their claims. In fact, the 'exercises' he spoke of on Five Live were carried out purely 'on paper', or at least PowerPoint, by a small group of seven or eight executives (Power remains tight-lipped about the client) seeking to examine the impact on corporate decision-making of a potential crisis situation. As Fintan Dunne, editor of BreakForNews.com points out, 'these types of private-sector "risk management" drills never use field staff.
Neither do [such] low-level corporate drills have active involvement of police or other security forces.' The exercise, therefore, was 'in no way comparable to U.S. drills and wargames on 9/11 - which were being run by active-duty security forces in the U.S. military, federal agencies, the FAA and various emergency services.'
As Power explained, the London bombing scenario was in fact one of three explored: another looked at the disruption that might be caused by unruly anti-globalisation demonstrators. In no case was there any real mobilisation of physical or human resources, which makes the case for 'planned' intelligence alibi look awfully flimsy, if not downright silly.
In the light of a brief interview with Power, the 'unbelievable' coincidence of events suddenly seems entirely comprehensible: the train stations targeted, after all, were all in central London -- any planner would pick these amongst a list of possible targets.
The 'simultaneous exercise'
Indeed, in developing the London bombing scenario used in this exercise, Power's consultancy drew on the sort of scenario already explored in Osiris 2, a much-publicised major exercise initiated in the City of London to simulate a poison gas attack on the underground. Power further utilised his experience of taking part in Panorama's programme 'London Under Attack', another timely simulation.
And the date? That is indeed coincidence -- but an unbelievable one? 'Every week across the UK there are probably about hundred exercises, tests and simulations going on to get crisis teams familiar with their roles,' Power insists. 'We certainly do this regularly for many clients, the vast majority of them paper-based.'
Given this, the likelihood that one such simulation should fall on the day of an actual disaster is relatively high. Perhaps, who knows, that's the even case with oft-quoted simulations like the NRO's. 'When you hear hooves, think horses, not zebras,' goes the often-quoted popularisation of Occam's Razor.
In the absence of journalistic nous, bloggers would do well to stick by it.
Posted: Sat Apr 12, 2008 1:56 pm Post subject: Re: Peter Power's probability
paul wright wrote:
ian neal wrote:
zimboy69 wrote:
There is a 7,600 million to one chance that he is telling the truth about his exercise having no link to the attack
Nonsense. Showing your lack of understanding of statistics helps no one
The statistical probability in numbers doesn't really matter, however you compute them.
It's an obvious minute chance of resemblance and therefore most suspect
That's all.
True
Therefore demonstrations of statistical ineptitude do no one any favours.
If anyone is going to use statistics they should atleast understand the maths and the assumptions that lie behind the numbers
Power's smarmily chuckling to the CBS's Colman Jones about the media 'trying to keep it quiet' is actually more evidence for his prosecution.
It doesn't matter whether the exercises were 'on paper' or had real links of some sort to the actual locations.
It remains an extraordinary conincidence that Power's exercise took place on the same day and using the same three tube stations. Yes that seems like a big coincidence but Peter Power tries to make light of the fact that the Tavistock Square bus bomb wasn't in his scenario.
Peter Power wrote:
'Our scenario was very similar, but it wasn't totally identical'. 'It was based on bombs going off - the time, the locations, all this sort of stuff. But it wasn't an accident, in the sense that London has a history of bombs.'
The fact is that it IS an extraordinary coincidence. So extraordinary as to be practically impossible it is 275 (the number of tube stations in London) to the power of 3 then multiplied by 365.
A 7.6 billion (thousand million) to one chance.
That figure makes him a liar. And a material witness to the biggest bomb attack on London since the Second World War. It really does seem inappropriate for Peter Power to be so smarmy to our CBS producer friend who was clearly flagging Powers' off-screen comment up to the public as suspicious.
The story of the struggles for justice of the families of people killed by the police.
In 1969 David Oluwale became the first black person to die in police custody in Britain. Many others have died since then. None of the police officers involved have been convicted of these deaths. In this documentary, the families of these victims ask "Why not?"
This is a blow by blow account of the relentless struggles of the families as they find out how they lost their loved ones in extremely violent deaths at the hands of police officers.
Each family is met with a wall of official secrecy and the film documents how they unite and challenge this together. The documentary uses powerful exclusive footage filmed over a five year period and witnesses the families pain and anger at the killings. It documents the fight to retrieve the bodies for burial, the mockery of police self-investigation and the collusion of the legal system in the deaths.
The film asks why an accused killer in a police uniform is not judged by the same standards as the rest of society.
I N J U S T I C E documents the horrific loss of life at the hands of the state and it's attempts to cover up these killings. The British police have been responsible for hundreds of deaths and have walked free.
Joined: 25 Jul 2005 Posts: 17267 Location: St. Pauls, Bristol, England
Posted: Sun Apr 13, 2008 12:30 am Post subject:
Why is it absurd?
Unless mathematics has entered the postmodern 'flat earth news' world as well as journalism it's just logical captain.
You can say it's irellevant and make a case for that but it certainly isn't absurd.
It's the sort of statistic Mr. Power and a jury would hear from a statistician being cross-examined on the 'coincidenc' if we had a decent court in this land hearing the case for Mr. Powers' prosecution.
mr freedom wrote:
For the love of god Tony, stop repeating that absurd calculation! It doesn't make Peter Power a liar, it makes you look foolish.
Joined: 25 Jul 2005 Posts: 17267 Location: St. Pauls, Bristol, England
Posted: Sun Apr 13, 2008 1:29 am Post subject:
What's wrong with the assumptions?
The only thing wrong is if Peter Power is lying. In the 7/7 interviews he clearly states his exercise is on the same day at the same three tube stations which everybody now knows.
And the maths?
Will you please explain your version of the statistics of the likelihood of an attack on the same day of the year at the same three tube stations?
I mean, is there any point is just saying 'that's absurd' about such an important life-threatening issue? You have to have a bit of flesh and bone to back up your empty assertion.
And I suppose the Injustice film about the deaths of Londoners in police custody with their murderers, dressed in police uniforms still walking the streets is 'absurd' too.
What are the chances that an exercise such as peter power's could occur on the same day as July 7 and involve the exact same 3 stations?
The odds depend on
1) How many such exercises are carried out in a 'typical year'
2) When calculating the odds of the same 3 stations being used, what allowance is made for the increased probability that stations in the inner zone are more liable to be choosen than say cockfosters.
Even then the correct calculation (if all stations had equal chance of being choosen and if typically there were only one such exercise a year) would be 6 times lower.
This is undoubtedly a 'remarkable' coincidence that demands answers to obvious questions such as who was the client and the exact nature of the exercise, but the odds IMO are unknowable or at best a very rough estimate
I mentioned the Power video to a friend who is new to all of this, and he came up with the perfectly sensible observation of "couldn't the terrorists have used the drills as a window of opportunity to strike, if they had somehow infiltrated the planning ?".
So what do other people think about this - could the "terrorists" have found out about the drills, and used them as a chance to strike, thereby demolishing the argument about "it must have been an inside job because the coincidence of choosing the same stations was so remote".
Joined: 10 Dec 2005 Posts: 2017 Location: Croydon, Surrey
Posted: Thu Apr 24, 2008 9:34 pm Post subject:
onetruevoice wrote:
I mentioned the Power video to a friend who is new to all of this, and he came up with the perfectly sensible observation of "couldn't the terrorists have used the drills as a window of opportunity to strike, if they had somehow infiltrated the planning ?".
So what do other people think about this - could the "terrorists" have found out about the drills, and used them as a chance to strike, thereby demolishing the argument about "it must have been an inside job because the coincidence of choosing the same stations was so remote".
Opinions, please !
Why on earth would real terrorists synchronise their attacks with drills......when heightened security would reduce the chances of their mission being successful?
I mentioned the Power video to a friend who is new to all of this, and he came up with the perfectly sensible observation of "couldn't the terrorists have used the drills as a window of opportunity to strike, if they had somehow infiltrated the planning ?".
So what do other people think about this - could the "terrorists" have found out about the drills, and used them as a chance to strike, thereby demolishing the argument about "it must have been an inside job because the coincidence of choosing the same stations was so remote".
Opinions, please !
yes your friend is perfectly correct that this could be a plausible explanation. The twerrorists 'infiltrated the planning' of the exercise.
but I wonder how such a think would be possible?
How do the 'twerrorists' know there is an exercise? Who would know about such an exercise? I know let's ask who the client was who had contracted the exercise? And while we are asking what was Peter Power's and the client's role once the exercise 'went real time' ?
Why would twerrorists acting independently of the planners of the exercise choose to synchronise their attacks to co-incide with this exercise? How would this help the twerrorists?
Maybe there is nothing to this and it is all just one great big HUGE coincidence, but it is only reasonable to expect PP to provide a bit more info so we can get to the bottom of this. No?
Probabilty of Peter Power's Terror Drill Happening by Chance
Peter Powers claimed to have been conducting anti-terror drills at the same three tube stations as actually got targeted – on the same day, at the same time, by chance. How likely is that? There are 275 tube stations in London, and so here the sum is
3/275 x 2/274 x 1/273
or around one in three million. Then let us suppose, for the sake of argument, that two anti-terror drills are conducted per annum in London. If Power picked the correct day by chance for his exercise, that adds on a further 2/365 improbability factor, making a probability of chance occurrence of 1 in six hundred million (600,000,000)*.
Power explained how he happened to be conducting the anti-terror drill at the same time of day:
‘...at half-past nine this morning we were actually running an exercise for, er, over, a company of over a thousand people in London based on simultaneous bombs going off precisely at the railway stations where it happened this morning, so I still have the hairs on the back of my neck standing upright!’
The Madrid bombs went off at 07.30 am and the 9/11 plane crashes happened at 08.45, while the Bologna train bomb of 1980 went of at 10.30 am, so one could take the view that terrorists are likely to choose this rush-hour time of the morning. Morning rush-hour could appear as an ‘expected’ period for train bombs to go off. Peter Power cited a time of 9.30, about half an hour after that which was being reported. Arbitrarily, we add in a very minimal factor of two for the likelihood of this time-of-day proximity.
This gives us an overall, best-estimate of over one in a billion. One could argue for a reduction of this value on the grounds that outer-London stations are less likely than the central London stations to be chosen. But, that’s a slippery slope: one could argue conversely that it is highly unlikely that Muslims would have chosen Edgware Road and Aldgate stations, given that these areas have notably high Muslim populations. Let’s just leave our equal-probability assumption unaltered, and that gives the likelihood of Peter Power’s statement at one in a billion.
* If Staraker is correct that terror-drills don't happen on weekends then this would reduce the odds. But I suggest its up to him to check that out on the basis of past terror-drills.
Joined: 13 Sep 2006 Posts: 2566 Location: One breath from Glory
Posted: Wed Oct 14, 2015 5:49 pm Post subject:
Another scenario is that the actual perpetrators hijacked the drills. This might suggest inside knowledge of the drill times and locations. _________________ JO911B.
"for we wrestle not against flesh and blood but against principalities, against powers, against rulers of the darkness of this world, against wicked spirits in high places " Eph.6 v 12
Joined: 25 Jul 2005 Posts: 17267 Location: St. Pauls, Bristol, England
Posted: Fri Mar 25, 2016 11:22 am Post subject:
Nailing down Peter Power's 'spooky coincidence'
When on Sunday 10th July 2005 'security consultant' Peter Power appeared on Canadian CBC TV to discuss the previous Thursday's bombings in London he used the term 'spooky coincidence' to describe the shock he experienced. He'd realised, with a jolt, that three real bombs had gone off at the same three tube stations being used in an 'exercise' he was conducting that day. But just how 'spooky' was that 'coincidence'?
Working this figure out shouldn't be difficult but it has appeared to be. Perhaps the waters have been being deliberately muddied in the bigger 'game theory' scheme of things?
Indeed the perpetrators and their chums see controlling the historical record as a game where anyone telling the truth can be 'gamed out of existence' by Psychological Warfare officers both civilian (Strategic Communication Labs) and military (Brigade 7/7).
So lets start from the basics again.
Rolling a six with a die gets exponentially less likely the more times you roll it. You work out the probability of getting a specific number on a die multiple times using 'powers'. That is a little number 2, 3 etc just after the number and above it. The chance of rolling a six twice is not 6 x 2 = 12 to 1, but 6 x 6, or 6 to the power of 2, thats 36 to 1.
Ie 6 to the power of two or three etc. depending on how many times you roll the die will give you the probability of getting a six every time, depending on how many times you roll it.
Now lets imagine a tube station die with 275 different sides, one for every tube station in London.
You don't work out the probability of rolling a specific number on a 275 sided dice three times by multiplying 275 by three giving 825 to 1. No. It's 275 to the power of three, which is 275 x 275 x 275. Which equals roughly 20,800,000 to 1.
That's just the tube stations.
Then we have the days of the year on top of that for the exercise and the bomb attack to coincide.
That's a simple 365 to 1 chance - multiplied in.
Which brings us up to about 6.6 billion to one.
Yes, there will be other considerations such as drills at weekends and lonely tube stations nobody wants to bomb, but that figure is the baseline on which the case for the prosecution of Peter Power rests.
6.6 billion to one
Spooky indeed....
In all this minutiae its easy to lose the bigger picture that Peter Power via the BBC's Mike Rudin, a somewhat tarnished path, has told us his spooky drill was commissioned by Reed Elsevier. The Dutch firm which describes itself as 'multinational based in London', were also the organisers, until 2007, 2 years after the 7/7 London bombings, of the world's biggest arms fair. London's annual DSEI, ExCel Arms Fair,
And by the way if anyone has a video copy of the Canadian CBC TV 7 July 2005 broadcast where Power mentions the 'spooky coincidence' please do share it with us all as that specific clip seems to have entirely disappeared off the internet.
Spooky......
Reed Elsevier 7/7 drills: 'spooky coincidence' Peter Power Visor Consultants on CBC
I have revised this figure because it appears that Peter Power makes no claims about the bus bombing.
it's actually quite a bit less but still a lot, a lot, a lot.
275 x 275 x 275 x 365 = 7,600 million to one.
TonyGosling wrote:
With 275 stations, three bombs, 2013 bus stops and 365 days in the year I calculate a probability of one in a little over fifteen million million that Peter Power is telling the truth.
That is
One in 15,000,000,000,000 or
One in 1.5 x 10 to the power of thirteen
How disturbing it would be to bump into Peter Power on the London Underground. I'm not sure he sould be approached.
Tom Secker wrote:
Different calculations and resultant probabilities have been proffered by others involved with the 7/7 case. Journalist Tony Gosling has offered two different numbers: 6 billion to one, and 7.6 billion to one.
During a PressTV debate on 7/7, self-styled conspiracy debunker David Aaronovitch challenged Gosling over his claim of probability. Gosling replied, ‘I sat and worked it out. 275 tube stations times three multiplied by 365 days of the year.’
Unfortunately for Gosling, even if this were an appropriate method to calculate probability, it doesn’t produce anything close to 6 billion to one odds. 275 x 3 x 365 = 301,125. Gosling was also making the assumption that every station is an equally likely target, and that every day is equally likely to see an attack. He also assumed, incorrectly, that there is at most one attack and one exercise per year.
Firstly let me say that the chances of this happening by coincidence are indeed very long and hence this exercise is suspicious
Secondly it serves no one's interests to exaggerate the odds. Indeed it serves our purposes to underestimate the odds and to make conservative assumptions so on this basis let me try
Although there are over 200 tube stations, it is safe to assume terrorists and those planning a terrorist exercise would only choose busy, central London stations. Being conservative, let's say there are 40 such stations
The odds of all three stations being selected are
3/40 x 2/39 x 1/38
Then there are the odds that the exercise using the same stations should happen on the same day as the actual attack
Well there is no way to tell but let us speculate (again probably being conservative) that back in 2005 consultants/advisors such as Mr Power were running such desk based exercises for clients once every week in London. Not that Mr Power ran such exercises every week but that someone was doing so in London once a week.
So my guess based on these assumptions is around
70,000 to 1 which let's face it is humongously long odds and certainly worthy of people's questions.
BTW Aaronovitch is wrong in his maths as well since if we were to use all 270 stations the odds of the 3 stations being selected is 3/270 x 2/269 x 1/268 (i.e. just over 3 Million to 1) and not 3 x 270
You cannot post new topics in this forum You cannot reply to topics in this forum You cannot edit your posts in this forum You cannot delete your posts in this forum You cannot vote in polls in this forum You cannot attach files in this forum You can download files in this forum