Archive for Friday, August 11, 2006

Liquid explosive needs no detonator

August 11, 2006


— It's nicknamed the "Mother of Satan" explosive, it's made from a mixture of readily available and easily concealed liquids, and it's the main reason travelers have been barred from bringing all liquids and gels - from water to shampoo - on airplanes.

Law enforcement sources believe the foiled British terrorists may have been planning to mix the explosive, known as TATP, from three liquids they could have easily smuggled onto airliners in Sprite or Pantene hair-products bottles.

Once mixed, the liquids become a white, crystalline powder that, when dry, is so volatile it can explode with just the slightest friction or other heat source - no fuse or detonator is needed, experts said Thursday.

"It's very volatile. If you tried mixing it on an airplane, you could blow yourself up doing it," said bomb squad supervisor Sgt. Julio Salcido, of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

Equally ominous, the clear liquids used to make TATP, known to chemists as triacetone triperoxide, are not explosive separately. They would not rile bomb-sniffing dogs or set off airport explosive detectors geared for nitrogen-based substances.

A near recipe for the highly dangerous concoction appears in a scholarly article posted on a law enforcement Web site.

Widely used by Palestinian suicide bombers, TATP was the chosen explosive of last year's London transit bombers.


Marion Lynn 7 years, 8 months ago


The little crackerballs that the kids throw onto the sidewalk to annoy us on Fourth Of July contain a small amount of various fulminates.

Dummy me!




Marion Lynn 7 years, 8 months ago

Ok, the type of explosives to which the article refers are called "fulminates".

Fulminates may be sensitive to temperature, light, shock, vibration; even the right frequency of sound waves can set them off.

Some fulminates explode as soon as they are created!

I can think of one fulminate which can quite literally be made from two ordinary household chemicals (No, I won't tell you which ones!) which is so sensitive to shock that a fly landing on it has been known to set it off.

Lighter or "harder" fulminates can be used for many purposes, for example, thte persussion caps used for many years on muzzle loaders contained mercury fulminate; a fairly hard and safe variety.

Nitroglycerine, which can also be easily made at home (Ya gotta be NUTS to try it though!) is temperature, light, shock, vibration and sound sensitive; nasty stuff, that!

Certain readily available chemicals can be added to gasoline which will cause an immediate explosion.

Dynamite is made from nitroglycerine and Fuller's Earth and is very, very stable.

You can burn it, you can hit it with a hammer, you can shoot it with a gun and it will not go off.

Dynamite requires a shock wave of very high speed to detonate it which can only be supplied through the use of a blasting cap or other explosive.

By the way, that business that you see in the movies about "sweating dynamite" is true.

In "sweating dynamite" the nitroglycerine is literally sweating out and if you ever get close to any, back away very slowly.

Don't touch it, don't try to pick it up, don't breathe on it, don't even look at it too hard; that "sweat" is pure nitroglycerine: See above!

TNT is relatively safe, as is guncotton; they are still finding and burning off TNT and guncotton in Egypt left by T.E. Lawrence; "Lawrence Of Arabia" during WW I

Bearing in mind that an explosion is merely a very high speed fire; accelerated combustion, explosions are no fun.

Explosions are loud, tend to do a lot of damage and really hurt if you are close to one.

Do not doubt the descriptions of the planned explosives; there is much more that I could tell you but there are too many mad scientist little kids out there!

I know; I was one!




Kodiac 7 years, 8 months ago


Go find yourself a dictionary instead relying on us to help you with your 3rd grade education. You claimed to have taken science classes but you demonstrate complete ignorance with simple scientific concepts.

Oh ok here you go

"Wait, are they describing "volatile" or are they describing the mixture besides being readily vaporized?"


(physics) evaporating or vaporizing readily under normal conditions

(chemistry) (informal) explosive


gr 7 years, 8 months ago

"It's very volatile. If you tried mixing it on an airplane, you could blow yourself up doing it,"

Wait, are they describing "volatile" or are they describing the mixture besides being readily vaporized?

No liquids allowed. What's next - no solids?


rightthinker 7 years, 8 months ago

Isn't it int'ing that "airline tickets" is right below "explosives" on the the anarchistcookbook site.


Christine Pennewell Davis 7 years, 8 months ago

all you need is a good chem. book no need for the web at all.


powershopper 7 years, 8 months ago

I am glad the LJW has published this article. Jihadists in the Lawrence area will no longer have to visit to get their bomb plans.


one_more_bob 7 years, 8 months ago

Gives "Jolt" cola a whole new meaning.


Ragingbear 7 years, 8 months ago

I beg to differ. The mixture does need a trigger. This usually comes in the form of Mentos being placed into the Diet Soda....


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