The attempt on Stormont had the potential to be life threatening, even if it looked farcical at the time. The devices were real enough, and witnesses reported that the bag was smoking at the time. One thing missed out of many of the early reports though was that Stone himself is a virtual cripple these days, which is one obvious reason why he got caught in the revolving doors (another metaphor for our arthritic Peace Process?). But, Liam Clarke reports, he was less intent on sowing mayhem than just getting back into jail. It seems he had four paramilitary squads on his tail at the time.