08-18-2006, 11:03 AM #1
Exactly what the terrorists were trying to pull off!
Good article. Harder than it appears.
A classic example of the gap between more complex reality and the simplified version presented on TV.
BINARY EXPLOSIVES.... Here's what Time had to say last week about the mechanics of the airline bombing plot:
Their plan was to smuggle the peroxide-based liquid explosive TATP and detonators onto nine different planes from four carriers....
[According to the FBI,] "TATP was popularized as a main charge explosive in suicide bombs used by Palestinian terrorist groups."
Ramzi Yousef, who was convicted in 1996 for plotting to simultaneously bomb up to a dozen U.S. commercial airliners flying in the Far East, had manufactured TATP detonators....More recently, British shoe bomber Richard Reid tried to detonate his device with TATP as the initiator.
In other words, TATP is dangerous stuff. But the airline bombers weren't planning to take TATP aboard their flights. They were planning to take its liquid precursors on board and then mix them together while the plane was in the air. That's why we're not allowed to pack gels or liquids in our carry-on bags anymore.
So: just how easy is it to mix up those precursors and blow up a plane? The Register's Thomas Greene provides would-be terrorists with their marching orders:
Don't forget to bring several frozen gel-packs (preferably in a Styrofoam chiller deceptively marked "perishable foods"), a thermometer, a large beaker, a stirring rod, and a medicine dropper.
You're going to need them.
It's best to fly first class and order Champagne. The bucket full of ice water, which the airline ought to supply, might possibly be adequate — especially if you have those cold gel-packs handy to supplement the ice, and the Styrofoam chiller handy for insulation — to get you through the cookery without starting a fire in the lavvie.
Once the plane is over the ocean, very discreetly bring all of your gear into the toilet. You might need to make several trips to avoid drawing attention. Once your kit is in place, put a beaker containing the peroxide / acetone mixture into the ice water bath (Champagne bucket), and start adding the acid, drop by drop, while stirring constantly. Watch the reaction temperature carefully. The mixture will heat, and if it gets too hot, you'll end up with a weak explosive. In fact, if it gets really hot, you'll get a premature explosion possibly sufficient to kill you, but probably no one else.
After a few hours — assuming, by some miracle, that the fumes haven't overcome you or alerted passengers or the flight crew to your activities — you'll have a quantity of TATP with which to carry out your mission. Now all you need to do is dry it for an hour or two.
The genius of this scheme is that TATP is relatively easy to detonate.
But you must make enough of it to crash the plane, and you must make it with care to assure potency. One needs quality stuff to commit "mass murder on an unimaginable scale," as Deputy Police Commissioner Paul Stephenson put it. While it's true that a slapdash concoction will explode, it's unlikely to do more than blow out a few windows. At best, an infidel or two might be killed by the blast, and one or two others by flying debris as the cabin suddenly depressurizes, but that's about all you're likely to manage under the most favorable conditions possible.
There's more at the link. The good news is that it will make you feel a little more confident about the safety of flying overseas. The bad news is that it will make you feel a little less confident about the terror announcements of our national governments. Caveat emptor.
08-18-2006, 11:56 AM #2
Has anyone thought maybe this was a test to see how we would react and how long before we became lax again? Or maybe a diversion so that we are looking the other way when something really happens?
08-18-2006, 12:42 PM #3
I gather from reading this artical, that it would be impossible to convert the raw materials they supposedly planned on using, to an effective explosive device while on a flight. If this were true, (I have no idea if it is) It now appears this plot, uncovered by Britain, presented about as much danger as some of the other recently "discovered terrorist plots" by our own government. I'm referring to those that were admittedly only in the conversation phase and posed no immediate danger, if any danger at all.
Just like the nursery rhyme about the Big Bad Wolf, it you cry too much, no one will believe you when the real danger is there. I'm beginning to wonder if the government is trying too hard to show the public what an excellent job they are doing to prevent us from terrorist strikes. Could the real reason be to put a few feathers in the cap or the current administration?
Just another thought....carry on luggage along with passengers shoes, clothing etc, is thoroughly searched prior to boarding. Now no liquids are allowed along with the other previously banned items. Just think how easy it would be for women to conceal non metal items, like a vile of liquid, in their vagina. Men (Shibby??) might be able to uncomfortably do it too! If there really is a valid threat, shouldn't these areas also be checked ? Imagine the public outrage this would cause. But if these liquids DO (????) pose a serious threat and we are commited to preventing planes from falling out of the sky, shouldn't all preventative measures be taken ???
Food for thought
08-18-2006, 12:50 PM #4
Well put Richard. This is definitely a discussion for conspiracy theorists everywhere.
In the meantime, I will be sure to keep my bags and orifices empty! Shibs - lol.
08-18-2006, 02:20 PM #5
How come we never hear of the real threats that are stopped? Back in 2001 or 2002 navy seals covertly sank a ship out in international waters because it had radioactive material that was going to used for a dirty bomb. I can't remember if I read about it or saw it on a discovery like channel, it was interesting none the less.
08-18-2006, 03:44 PM #6Originally Posted by way2fast
08-18-2006, 04:11 PM #7
I'm not suggesting anything, let everyone makeup their own minds. I have no idea if the info posted about the liquid "bombs" is factual. Maybe it's the press who jumps on trivial matters and blows them out of proportion as was done in reference to the prior 2 discovered "plots" before the liquid one.
Anyway, junk food tastes great !!
08-18-2006, 04:23 PM #8
BUT then again, **if the info on the liquids used to make bombs is accurate,** and the Brit and U.S. government "knew" these possible terrorists were only planning to use that mixture, they should be accused of trying to put a scare into the public. THEY WOULD have known (not SHOULD have known) it would be all but impossible to make those chemicals bring down a plane. Now if they were thinking nitroglycerin, the fear would be justified.
08-18-2006, 04:30 PM #9
Uhh, yeah, whatever... I get it WE are the enemy.
I like Bush, think he's doin a great job and would gladly vote for him again like many others. Plant a terrorist or two while you're at it.
You're right tho, media has a field day with this stuff...
08-18-2006, 04:32 PM #10Originally Posted by _Lurker_
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