"IED" Found at SF Starbucks


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Cosmoline
January 10, 2006, 01:28 AM
In yet another example of major city police departments viewing their mission as military rather than legal, the SF PD announced that it had found an "IED" in a Starbucks today. Turns out it was a large firecracker in a flashlight. But instead of saying "pipe bomb" they pushed the military term "IED."

http://www.cnn.com/2006/US/01/09/starbucks.bomb/index.html

A Starbucks employee found the device about 1:15 p.m. (4:15 p.m. ET) on the coffee shop's bathroom floor, police spokesman Neville Gittens said.

"If it had detonated, it would have caused damage," Gittens said. "It was what we consider an IED," an improvised explosive device.

The device was not concealed, he said. Gittens would not describe the explosive's appearance.

...

-because apparently the contents were a large firecracker.

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Norm357
January 10, 2006, 01:35 AM
In yet another example of major city police departments viewing their mission as military rather than legal, the SF PD announced that it had found an "IED" in a Starbucks today. Turns out it was a large firecracker in a flashlight. But instead of saying "pipe bomb" they pushed the military term "IED."

http://www.cnn.com/2006/US/01/09/starbucks.bomb/index.html

A Starbucks employee found the device about 1:15 p.m. (4:15 p.m. ET) on the coffee shop's bathroom floor, police spokesman Neville Gittens said.

"If it had detonated, it would have caused damage," Gittens said. "It was what we consider an IED," an improvised explosive device.

The device was not concealed, he said. Gittens would not describe the explosive's appearance.

...

-because apparently the contents were a large firecracker.

IED has been in common usage for at least 20 years with the PDs around here. Things might be different in your neck of the woods.

Norm

cosine
January 10, 2006, 01:43 AM
IED sure isn't common around here. Around here they just say "bomb."

However, I don't know what to say about this. I don't want to say this is the advancement of the militarization of the police, because a firecracker in a flashlight can be correctly described as an "improvised explosive device" instead of a bomb.

Cosmoline
January 10, 2006, 01:48 AM
Given the situation in Iraq, I think "IED" means something more than a small pipe bomb to most people. Maybe it's a regional thing, but I've always heard the term "pipe bomb" used for this sort of device.

PCGS65
January 10, 2006, 01:51 AM
Around here they compare firecrackers to 1/4,1/2, ect. sticks of dynamite and grossly exacerbate the device every time.:fire:

rick_reno
January 10, 2006, 01:55 AM
SFPD no doubt wants to dip their hand deeper into the Homeland Security Money Pot (recently announced).

Zedicus
January 10, 2006, 04:47 AM
Also IED has become a Media Buzzword lately....:banghead:

Firethorn
January 10, 2006, 09:25 AM
Also IED has become a Media Buzzword lately....:banghead:

Yeah, that's pretty much it.

The military uses the term IED to distinguish between improvised explosives and military, factory produced, explosive devices such as grenades, landmines, and bombs. Because of the variety and individualness of IED's, they're considered more dangerous to handle/disarm, so they're generally blown up on location.

The thing is, the police can generally call everything they get a 'bomb' because it's rare that they get something that's not an IED.

Janitor
January 10, 2006, 09:37 AM
SFPD no doubt wants to dip their hand deeper into the Homeland Security Money Pot (recently announced).
Why would they need HS money, when they could simply make explosives illegal?
-

feedthehogs
January 10, 2006, 09:44 AM
"BOMB" is not tactical enough.

I think my wife had an IUD explode once, maybe we can use that.

It would distinguish between military and civilian.

El Tejon
January 10, 2006, 09:56 AM
No big deal, IED="cool guy word"

Coppers want to be cool and talk about how tough they are, have tactical sunglasses and give themselves cool nicknames like "Bad Karma" or "Shadow Killer" or whatever. I could care less.:D

Militree teaches the po-po at their bomb schools. So, they pick up the jargon to confuse us mere civilians.:D

Now, if San Fransico becomes Iraq, the residents of San Fransico will be begging to be put in Abu Grab prison. It's just Castro Street on a Saturday night.:D

buzz_knox
January 10, 2006, 10:25 AM
Why would they need HS money, when they could simply make explosives illegal?
-

Pipe bomb gets construed as a local event ("stupid kids") and the feds aren't interested. IED gets construed as a possible terrorist act and the feds send money. So, using the right buzz words gets you money.

HighVelocity
January 10, 2006, 10:37 AM
If the Unibomber were to start today, everything he built would be called an IED by the press.
The acronym IED will be this years WMD for the press. It's always got to be something. :rolleyes:


edited to add: We've got to ban Starbucks! It's for the children.

bogie
January 10, 2006, 11:11 AM
And remember that a homemade "firecracker" can blow your fool hand off... Or blow up a perfectly good portapottie... I've got a friend who made up a stash of Knob Creek Firecrackers, and never used 'em - I figure sooner or later we'll have a stump to get rid of...

1911 guy
January 10, 2006, 11:42 AM
Some of you have, in my opinion, hit the nail on the head. Nobody wants to be a cop to do something for a community anymore, it's gotten to be all about the tacticool stuff. Dealing with the cops after several break ins at my shop, the older cops manage to do a good job and spend twenty, sometimes more on a police force. Many are known by name in the streets they work. Most of the "new guys" are image driven and gotta have the latest gadgets, yet never get around to actually doing anything. The hip terminology is just an outgrowth of that attitude.

El Tejon
January 10, 2006, 12:23 PM
1911, to me it's more amusing than anything else. Sort of like the chubby guy with the goatee at the carbine class who has all sorts of "operator" gear on and speaks in the cool guy jargon from his SEEL Team 37.5 days.:D Younger brothers monkey their big brothers, same with cops. No big deal.

However, I guess there is a point where that lingo is a reflection of something much more disturbing, e.g. wearing masks and pointing guns at people as during the Beltway Sniper case.:eek: :uhoh:

carlrodd
January 10, 2006, 12:30 PM
No big deal, IED="cool guy word"

Coppers want to be cool and talk about how tough they are, have tactical sunglasses and give themselves cool nicknames like "Bad Karma" or "Shadow Killer" or whatever. I could care less.:D

Militree teaches the po-po at their bomb schools. So, they pick up the jargon to confuse us mere civilians.:D

Now, if San Fransico becomes Iraq, the residents of San Fransico will be begging to be put in Abu Grab prison. It's just Castro Street on a Saturday night.:D

you should write for saturday night live. they need some fresh air right now.

carlrodd
January 10, 2006, 12:42 PM
1911, to me it's more amusing than anything else. Sort of like the chubby guy with the goatee at the carbine class who has all sorts of "operator" gear on and speaks in the cool guy jargon from his SEEL Team 37.5 days.:D Younger brothers monkey their big brothers, same with cops. No big deal.

However, I guess there is a point where that lingo is a reflection of something much more disturbing, e.g. wearing masks and pointing guns at people as during the Beltway Sniper case.:eek: :uhoh:


hey it even happens in the military. in our squadron, we had a new, week-old LT who was on the phone, probably talking to mom about how "haj likes his mortars". meaning that he had experienced a mortar attack at the hands of iraqis. like his mom knows who the hell "haj" were, or what a mortar was for that matter. it's silly to try to impress people. better to keep quite and just observe. not to mention how goofy it looks when you abuse lingo as a new guy. the cool people are always on to you(currently looking over shoulder):uhoh:

yucaipa
January 10, 2006, 12:44 PM
I bet Feinstein & Boxer are hot-footin-it over (as I type) to the DHS demanding that Ca. receive another 100 million in federal funds. :D

1911 guy
January 10, 2006, 12:54 PM
Hey, I resemble that remark!

Old Dog
January 10, 2006, 01:52 PM
Nobody wants to be a cop to do something for a community anymore, it's gotten to be all about the tacticool stuff.
Most of the "new guys" are image driven and gotta have the latest gadgets, yet never get around to actually doing anything.Ah ... maybe in your neck of the woods you've encountered a few guys who give you that impression. But you've provided a gross generalization here. Yeah, there's a lotta guys wanna be "operators" instead of officers or deputies ... but, being from a family of cops and having served as a reserve in a couple departments, I don't see this nearly as much as some on this forum would like to believe ... Then again, maybe it's a regional thing. We've got pretty low-key law enforcement up here, and most of the guys I know here are sincere professionals pretty respectful of the citizens they serve (and many actually take that aspect seriously, hard as it may be for y'all to believe).

And hey, "IED" does sound more serious on the evening news than "pipe bomb." Around here, the news says pipe bomb, you figure high school boys experimenting ... Now, IED -- that says terrorist.

sm
January 10, 2006, 02:30 PM
El Tejon's Posts +1

Not to mention "jargon" does well with Media - Sensationalism Sells.

Today little Johnny abraded his patella ... <gasp! horrors! newsbimbo just going on>

Just tell me the kid skinned his knee.

I used to get tickled when a Retired SWAT buddy of mine and I would be out and about...We are going to get a bite to eat and then go shoot. "Honey, we are going to eat and go shoot, need anything on my way back in?"

Guys at the range were teaching HIM about cool guns and "I called my old lady to tell her I was taking a 10-8 - or whatever".

His word for bomb...as he knew a bit about this..."bomb".
"Yeah Joe, send the dumb robot to get the bomb...we are watching for activity on the wherever."

Range : So old timer what are shooting?

"A gun, first a blue one then I might shoot a stainless one" :D

50 YARDS with a handgun , revolver or semi...groups tight!

Team Walrus shooting shotgun patterns at 5 yds with cool factor handguns.

But hey it sells...Marketing sells Media, panic, cool-factor...allows one to buy skill and targets.

I grew up Civil Defense drills and we did these and discussed what to do if we [kids] found a blasting cap.

So one day downtown, construction going on I see something funny. I walk to corner and get the Cop that walked the beat. "Officer, come with me - I think I see something like a blasting cap".
So we walk back and I pointed thru the plywood holes they had for folks to see stuff being built. He calls in, Fire Dept guys were called, and a Construction Guy goes over...looks, and this blasting cap is indeed NOT live...just the same it was one.

No big media deal, no big deal with Police or Fire Dept. Just stuff falls off at times. "Thanks kid" . "Your Welcome...can I see it?" :) I got to hold a blasting cap not live. Neato. :D

Times have changed for sure - they just did not go into Panic mode everytime something happened, and folks were Responsible for themselves.

Zedicus
January 11, 2006, 05:04 AM
Nobody wants to be a cop to do something for a community anymore
Realy? that must mean that most of the members here are all Nobodys then....
(Not Meaning to Flame, just pointing out a bad choice of words :) )

The Media and there Buzzwords is somewhat like a Small Child that Learns a New word, and Said word proceeds to be used to death for at least a few days.....

odysseus
January 11, 2006, 05:08 AM
Interesting to see this thread. I too found it weird that of all the serveral times I have seen this in the news, only once on CNN when it happened I heard it was a firecracker inside of a plastic flashlight. Now I cannot see any comments, other then no comments will be made about the device.

If it is just as simple as that, calling it a pipe bomb is a stretch. I find that the rush to sensationlize an event seems to go beyond the realm of media often, and many commen people don't understand the difference.

1911 guy
January 11, 2006, 06:16 AM
But I am saying that, in my experience, the police I have dealt with fall into two camps usually divided by age. Those over forty or so tend to be community minded and courteous whether they're responding at your request or to your speeding, etc., while the vast majority of those younger tend to be gung-ho types with no regard for how their actions affect community perception or interpersonal reaction during a call or stop. After all, they're cops and you're not. As far as regional, this is my observation in Ca., Va., Nv., N.M., and Oh. If you live in an area with effective and low key law enforcement, apreciate it. Not everyone is so lucky.

odysseus
January 12, 2006, 05:20 PM
Yep, just as I thought. Whole lot of people hitting the "panic button" a little too easily, and name dropping "IED" in front of CNN.

------------
SAN FRANCISCO
Starbucks 'bomb' found to be harmless
Preliminary tests apparently find no explosive material
Jaxon Van Derbeken, Chronicle Staff Writer

Thursday, January 12, 2006

San Francisco authorities are no longer sure a device found in a Starbucks bathroom -- which they characterized for two days as a potentially lethal bomb -- had any explosive material in it after all, and they say the man who left it may never be charged.

On Wednesday, agents of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives analyzed residue left behind after police blasted the device with a water cannon to render it safe.

Results of the test have not been released, but preliminary checks revealed no explosive material, according to authorities who spoke on background.

Earlier, police had described the device as a quarter-stick of dynamite inside a flashlight casing and said it could have killed or dismembered someone. It was found Monday afternoon at the Starbucks at 1401 Van Ness Ave., prompting authorities to evacuate the store and an apartment building above.

Some authorities suggested Wednesday that a small blast heard when police turned the water cannon on the device -- first thought to have been caused by explosive material -- was in fact the result of high-pressure water hitting flashlight batteries.

Late Tuesday, police arrested 44-year-old Ronald Schouten on a drug charge and said they were looking at whether he was the person who had left the device in the coffee house.

On Wednesday, investigators said Schouten had told them he had found the device on the street and thought it might come in handy for self-defense. They said they believed him.

"He said he just found the thing, somewhere downtown -- it was not far away (from the Starbucks),'' said Lt. Dan Mahoney of the special investigations detail.

Sgt. Neville Gittens, a police spokesman, said that Schouten's account -- which he did not elaborate on -- was "plausible and consistent'' with other evidence in the case and that Schouten had no "terrorist or anti-Starbucks agenda.''

When he was arrested on Van Ness Avenue two blocks from the Starbucks, Schouten was wearing the same clothes as a man shown in surveillance photos taken Monday afternoon at the Starbucks, police said. Investigators had described that man as a person of interest in the case.

Schouten appeared briefly in court Wednesday in an unrelated cocaine possession case. Superior Court Judge Lucy McCabe rejected his public defender's request to divert Schouten to a drug treatment program and ordered him to return to court Friday.

The public defender, Mary Mallen, declined to comment on the Starbucks matter.

Schouten is also facing possible charges in an unrelated burglary, police and prosecutors said. Evidence in that case apparently was found on Schouten when he was arrested Tuesday. The burglary happened Monday, the same day the device was found at Starbucks.

Police said Schouten had walked into the Starbucks at about 1:15 p.m. Monday, asked for leftover coffee grounds and then gone into the bathroom after getting a key. He returned the key and left.

Schouten was apparently living at the Interfaith Council's roving winter shelter before his arrest, according to people who knew him.

In 2004, he lived at the Mission Hotel on South Van Ness Avenue until being evicted for failing to pay his rent, hotel general manager Carlos Mendoza-Hernandez said. He said Schouten was not dangerous.

"You wouldn't think he would hurt a fly,'' Mendoza-Hernandez said. "He told me he was a person who suffered from anxiety."

"He's very scared of people," Mendoza-Hernandez said. "The whole time he lived here, he never hurt anybody.''

azredhawk44
January 12, 2006, 05:26 PM
Sort of like the chubby guy with the goatee at the carbine class who has all sorts of "operator" gear on and speaks in the cool guy jargon from his SEEL Team 37.5 days.

Isn't that SpacemanSpiff?:neener:

Uh-oh, I hope that doesn't offend anybody!:uhoh:

Master Blaster
January 12, 2006, 05:29 PM
Earlier, police had described the device as a quarter-stick of dynamite inside a flashlight casing

So the thing inside was a cardboard wrapped Nicad or lithium ion rechargeable battery(cardboard sleeve is to prevent shorts against the metal casing.

Rechargeable Flashlight= IED :rolleyes:

Carl N. Brown
January 12, 2006, 06:41 PM
And how much did this useless panic over a cardboard wrapped battery
mistaken as a improvised explosive device cost the taxpayers?
(Not to mention all the idle time on watercooler and internet chatter?)

MrTwigg
January 12, 2006, 06:56 PM
When you're selling newspapers or ad space for the TV network you have to catch and hold peoples attention.

A "firecracker in a flashlight" could come from a couple of mischevious high school kids. Neither important or glamorous. :(

Now an "IED" conjures up an image of turbaned terrorists :eek: sneaking in with a 120mm howitzer shell and wiring it up to a "black box" for detonation.

Whaddya think will sell more newspapers ? ;)

carebear
January 13, 2006, 01:46 AM
The things I built at 11 from dismembered model rocket engines and hardware store parts were in fact pipe bombs. A little cannon fuse or using electric rocket igniters and they were command detonated. Improvised timers? No problem.

I am still a bit uncertain why it is a big deal?

Oooooh pipe bomb, evacuate the city... :rolleyes:

odysseus
January 13, 2006, 01:52 AM
The things I built at 11 from dismembered model rocket engines and hardware store parts were in fact pipe bombs. A little cannon fuse or using electric rocket igniters and they were command detonated. Improvised timers? No problem.

I am still a bit uncertain why it is a big deal?

Funny you mention that. I am not that old, but I am old enough to not be confused as a college student. Anyway, it's funny to talk about what we did as kids and teens, and how different it is today. We burned, blew up, and shot at with all kinds of different things (whatever was around) more than we should have. I have blown bricks and bricks and cases of high powered fireworks and rockets through my youth. Police back then just yelled at you and confiscated. I packed tons of m100's and stuff under my bed as a kid. All of it in good fun. Some of the fun would certainly have led us into some jail and expulsion from school if I were young like that these days. I was lucky and maybe a little smart enough not to go too far and hurt myself or anyone, some close calls though. It's all very different for the youth of today.

Jim Diver
January 13, 2006, 02:52 AM
Turns out it wasnt even that much... It was really corroded batteries inside a flashlight....

This from Fox news.

gc70
January 13, 2006, 03:44 AM
It sounds like the media was practicing its normal terminology-du-jour routine. And before anyone says the police spokeperson was tossing around IED, remember that most "spokespersons" (for government, business, or otherwise) are usually media types.

BTW, would the Vienna-sausage-can mortar several of us made in high school qualify as an IPD (improvised projectile device)?

Sleeping Dog
January 13, 2006, 09:11 AM
I just heard the end of this on the radio.

All this fuss was because some hapless bloke left his flashlight in the can?

All that media, police, bomb-squad, homeland security, yadda-yadda?

wow. :rolleyes:

Jim Diver
January 13, 2006, 12:00 PM
Look! In the StarBucks!!

Its a bird!

NO!

It's a bomb!!

NO!

It's a flashlight??!!??:neener:

TexasRifleman
January 13, 2006, 12:03 PM
I just heard the end of this on the radio.

All this fuss was because some hapless bloke left his flashlight in the can?

All that media, police, bomb-squad, homeland security, yadda-yadda?

wow. :rolleyes:

God no wonder the City of SF outlawed handguns, they might not have even known what one was if they saw it..... Good Grief......:banghead:

Art Eatman
January 13, 2006, 02:14 PM
odysseus, did you know that the ID of a '54 Pontiac driveshaft is the same as the OD of a beer can? Cut off one end; drill a hole near the other end, and apply an acetylene torch. After some amount of time, "Strike!"

A little water in the beer can extends the range. From my buddy's filling station, we could reach about three blocks past Sunrise Blvd in Fort Liquordale.

Creating more ammo was a puredee joy and pleasure.

:), Art

agricola
January 13, 2006, 02:34 PM
FWIW this remains one of the IRA's favourite methods of putting bombs in areas where they can hurt people - one of their splinter groups last attacks on the mainland was a bomb in a torch that blinded a teenager. They have also used cones, bicycles and many other mundane objects to blow stuff up - as anyone who has parked their bike on Whitehall and came back to find it "stolen" can attest to.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/1258125.stm

Appreciate it wasnt on this occasion, but thats not to say it doesnt happen.

Carl N. Brown
January 16, 2006, 01:19 PM
I guess what irked me most about this was the huge media panic
over a non-story; they could very easily have waited for a final
word from the bomb squad and what it checked out to be.

I keep losing respect for the media and News Alerts.

Daniel T
January 16, 2006, 04:24 PM
I am so glad the police are protecting us from flashlights. It helps me sleep easy at night.

Cosmoline
January 16, 2006, 06:29 PM
My brother used to make pipe bombs with his friends. Everyone set off M-80's on the 4th. It wasn't considered anything out of the ordinary. Now adays that sort of thing will get hard federal time. Every decade we're becoming more and more like Agricola's homeland.

carebear
January 16, 2006, 06:42 PM
It's all part of the "this stuff is too dangerous for you peons" specialization crud getting pushed on us from every direction.

People with a lick of common sense can use most common explosives quite safely. Throw in a little formal instruction or good reference material and the only danger, then as now, is to the stupid.

It is, in fact, rocket science in a way, but basic rocket science ain't that hard.

:rolleyes:

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