Homemade, Cheap and Dangerous

Old Jul 12, 07, 5:40 pm
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Homemade, Cheap and Dangerous

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...070401814.html
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Old Jul 12, 07, 6:09 pm
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"TATP wields about 85 percent of the explosive power of TNT and can be made in a kitchen or bathroom. A dime-size amount of the explosive can ignite a fireball the size of a basketball."

And one still needs time and temperature control to create TATP.

"In crystalline form, TATP looks like powdered sugar and is difficult to detect in airports; security officials need to examine an exposed surface with a swab kit or other tester to determine its presence."

See that Kippie? The word "x-ray" is copiously absent from the explosives detection method.
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Old Jul 12, 07, 6:10 pm
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Having read the article, it raises some interesting points - one of which seems to refute our own government's assertions that TATP is a liquid explosive only found in the shampoo bottles and toothpaste tubes of dangerous passengers.

Since it can be carried in crystalline form, it can be smuggled virtually undetectable. So remind me why we're confiscating shampoo and hair gel?

If explosives can be made from such common sources, it sounds to me like the general public needs to start accepting that there is some risk involved with life in a free country, stiffen up and deal with it. There is no way to plug all the holes in this block of swiss cheese, only mitigate risk.
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Old Jul 12, 07, 6:30 pm
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Keinan said he often carries a small sample of the volatile compound in his carry-on luggage when he flies -- just to test airport security. "Nobody ever stops me," he said.
I am absolutely shocked that he has been getting away with this.
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Old Jul 12, 07, 7:38 pm
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I'm not sure whether to post this here or the 'guess what I found' thread, but I wanted to reference a post I made a couple months back regarding a machine available TODAY for a very reasonable price that can scan for and detect the presence of explosive compounds and other chemicals (including TATP) from substances inside closed containers - including things like water bottles, shampoo bottles, toothpaste tubes, etc. etc.

As long as the scanner can see it, it can scan the contents inside the containers.

Why isn't this technology part of a holistic scanning system which combines explosives detection and x-ray analysis?
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Old Jul 12, 07, 7:49 pm
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Originally Posted by bocastephen View Post
I'm not sure whether to post this here or the 'guess what I found' thread, but I wanted to reference a post I made a couple months back regarding a machine available TODAY for a very reasonable price that can scan for and detect the presence of explosive compounds and other chemicals (including TATP) from substances inside closed containers - including things like water bottles, shampoo bottles, toothpaste tubes, etc. etc.

As long as the scanner can see it, it can scan the contents inside the containers.

Why isn't this technology part of a holistic scanning system which combines explosives detection and x-ray analysis?
Good question. Even that FAM someone posted about a month or so ago was asking for this.......
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Old Jul 12, 07, 8:18 pm
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Am I the only one around here old enough to remember the Anarchist Cookbook?
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Old Jul 12, 07, 8:21 pm
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Originally Posted by birdstrike View Post
Am I the only one around here old enough to remember the Anarchist Cookbook?
No, you're not the only one.
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Old Jul 12, 07, 8:29 pm
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Originally Posted by birdstrike View Post
Am I the only one around here old enough to remember the Anarchist Cookbook?
Nope. I remember it. I also remember it was chock full of bomb-making advice that was atrocious.
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Old Jul 12, 07, 8:39 pm
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Originally Posted by law dawg View Post
Nope. I remember it. I also remember it was chock full of bomb-making advice that was atrocious.
That is true. In my high school library there were also chemical formularies that contained info on making everything from toothpaste to TNT.
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Old Jul 12, 07, 9:04 pm
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Originally Posted by bocastephen View Post
I'm not sure whether to post this here or the 'guess what I found' thread, but I wanted to reference a post I made a couple months back regarding a machine available TODAY for a very reasonable price that can scan for and detect the presence of explosive compounds and other chemicals (including TATP) from substances inside closed containers - including things like water bottles, shampoo bottles, toothpaste tubes, etc. etc.

As long as the scanner can see it, it can scan the contents inside the containers.

Why isn't this technology part of a holistic scanning system which combines explosives detection and x-ray analysis?
This technology is not part of a holistic scanning system because such a system would not require large numbers of government screeners, the shoe and water carnival, and other highly visible measures to impress Ma and Pa Kettle. Also, technology does not vote, in contrast to government employees. Remember, Kabuki security and workfare are the main features of TSA, not actual effective security.
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Old Jul 12, 07, 9:09 pm
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Originally Posted by birdstrike View Post
That is true. In my high school library there were also chemical formularies that contained info on making everything from toothpaste to TNT.
Anyone who has taken Organic Chemistry could probably synthesize explosives. The important criterion for aviation security should not be a search only for things. Virtually any object can be used as a weapon. A person bent on destruction and terrorism can use almost anything to injure people. A #2 pencil is not homemade, but it is cheap and dangerous in the hands of an evildoer.
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Old Jul 12, 07, 9:11 pm
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Originally Posted by birdstrike View Post
That is true. In my high school library there were also chemical formularies that contained info on making everything from toothpaste to TNT.
Last I saw, though, Wikipedia's WikiBooks have had synthesis instructions of various explosives which were fairly accurate (for the ones I've any experience with, anyway--I'd never touch TATP, so I can't verify their instructions for it).

My high school chemistry teacher did have a huge volume of various synthesises, and IIRC, it did include several explosives and even a few organophosphate compounds.
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Old Jul 12, 07, 9:28 pm
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Yep, the point is there is nothing new here, except to DHS who apparently has no one in its employ who had even a modicum of curiosity as a child.

Consequently they exhibit a childlike surprise when they find this information being distributed.

Comic books(!), for gods sake, used to contain ads for firework making supplies.

The really clever kids would also order chick-u-bators to ensure a constant supply of nitrates.

My annual corporate export control class always reminds me that a #2 pencil can be a munition as defined by ITAR.
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Old Jul 12, 07, 9:40 pm
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Originally Posted by birdstrike View Post
Am I the only one around here old enough to remember the Anarchist Cookbook?
Required summer reading in college, here.
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