Final Word from Tuesday, April 1, 2014

The death on New Year's Day of Palestinian Amb. Jamal Al-Jamal remains a mystery, even after a statement yesterday by the Czech police. The police reported that the explosion did not occur inside the safe, and it based this partly on an "investigative test," which a reasonable person would understand to mean a controlled detonation in a safe of the same design. Nor was the explosive device meant to protect the contents of the safe, according to the police, based on the opinions of unnamed experts. The police have now ruled out almost all the possibilities - terrorism, assassination, and accidental detonation when opening or rigging the safe. That leaves only one real option. Jamal just happened to be messing with a bomb in his bedroom while standing near a safe. Are we really supposed to believe in such a coincidence? Far more likely, it seems, is that Jamal was reinstalling a booby trap after having had the safe delivered to the new embassy. But the police have ruled out this possibility. Should we believe the Czech police, or common sense? [Czech Republic Džamál Muhammad Džamál Palestine]

Glossary of difficult words

controlled detonation/explosion - an intentional explosion taking place under arranged circumstances;

to rig something - (in this context) to assemble and adjust something to make it ready for operation;

booby trap - a concealed explosive designed to kill or injure anyone who touches or manipulates it.

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