Liquid explosives are liquid BS


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Liberal Gun Nut
August 17, 2006, 06:05 PM
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/08/17/flying_toilet_terror_labs/print.html

Binary liquid explosives are a sexy staple of Hollywood thrillers. It would be tedious to enumerate the movie terrorists who've employed relatively harmless liquids that, when mixed, immediately rain destruction upon an innocent populace, like the seven angels of God's wrath pouring out their bowls full of pestilence and pain.

The funny thing about these movies is, we never learn just which two chemicals can be handled safely when separate, yet instantly blow us all to kingdom come when combined. Nevertheless, we maintain a great eagerness to believe in these substances, chiefly because action movies wouldn't be as much fun if we didn't.
Now we have news of the recent, supposedly real-world, terrorist plot to destroy commercial airplanes by smuggling onboard the benign precursors to a deadly explosive, and mixing up a batch of liquid death in the lavatories. So, The Register has got to ask, were these guys for real, or have they, and the counterterrorist officials supposedly protecting us, been watching too many action movies?
We're told that the suspects were planning to use TATP, or triacetone triperoxide, a high explosive that supposedly can be made from common household chemicals unlikely to be caught by airport screeners. A little hair dye, drain cleaner, and paint thinner - all easily concealed in drinks bottles - and the forces of evil have effectively smuggled a deadly bomb onboard your plane.
Or at least that's what we're hearing, and loudly, through the mainstream media and its legions of so-called "terrorism experts." But what do these experts know about chemistry? Less than they know about lobbying for Homeland Security pork, which is what most of them do for a living. But they've seen the same movies that you and I have seen, and so the myth of binary liquid explosives dies hard.

I read the entire article and it is correct. There are no liquid explosives terrorists could use on a plane. TATP is a solid, not a liquid, and it would be impossible to make a useful quantity of it in the lav.

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Monkeyleg
August 17, 2006, 06:11 PM
What about Tannerite?

orangelo
August 17, 2006, 06:11 PM
Yup, Tannerite you have to mix yourself.

You'd have to hit it with something with as much energy as a 5.56mm to make it go off however.

I got no doubt a thermos or gatorade bottle of the stuff could take down a plane. We used a small bottle on a junk car and it blew the rear half of the car up and the trunk door got stuck in a tree about 20 feet over our heads.

Liberal Gun Nut
August 17, 2006, 06:19 PM
Tannerite is a solid. And yes you do need to shoot it with a rifle for it to go off. Maybe a blasting cap would work. Banning Calistoga water on planes has nothing to do with Tannerite. Getting Tannerite on a plane is no easier than getting, say, TNT on a plane. Nothing new.

This current hysteria is all over LIQUID explosives. The only liquid explosives I could find are blasting slurries, which look nothing like water, are very difficult to discharge, and really no different from TNT or any other explosive that has been around for a long time.

MrTuffPaws
August 17, 2006, 06:24 PM
WHAT!!??!!?? Another case of BS in the WoT???? I am shocked, shocked I tell you. How do you expect us to keep scared and willing to put our trust in our governments as they take away our freedoms if we keep finding out their victories are nothing but made up BS?

ilbob
August 17, 2006, 06:27 PM
I am a bit suspicious of the whole story as stated. I think it is quite possible some kind of liquid was involved in some kind of nefarious plot. The specific prohibition on having a contact lens case full of liquid anything made me wonder what liquid or gel could be stored in a contact lens case and be worrisome enough in such small amounts? The extremely small quantities involved would tend to narrow down the possibilities. I could only think of a couple of things.

I am sort of amazed it took them this long to ban take on bottles of water. Think of what a couple of liters of gasoline could do inside an aircraft. I would not be surprised to see this prohibition permanent.

Liberal Gun Nut
August 17, 2006, 06:28 PM
This liquid explosive BS is another piece of BS designed to make it easy for someone to sell the taxpayers on $1bil worth of equipment that's unable to detect explosives which don't exist.

I think we should declare victory in the WoT and then quit it. The WoT is a lot more dangerous than terrorism itself.

geekWithA.45
August 17, 2006, 06:44 PM
Sigh.

If we assume the article is right and that TATP isn't feasible for building on an airplane, we cannot conclude that no liquid explosives exist.


Google is your friend.

http://www.google.com/search?client=opera&rls=en&q=liquid+explosives&sourceid=opera&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8

Chawbaccer
August 17, 2006, 06:48 PM
I never handled it, but I would think that nitro glycerin is a liquid. I know that is not what they were planning on making.

Art Eatman
August 17, 2006, 06:53 PM
I'm not even a chemist, but I do recall what a match-head-sized bit of (bleep) would do when dry, back in my high school daze. A container's worth, the size of many shaving cream spray-cans, would definitely do Bad Things when dried out.

Now, if I can recall that little tidbit from 55 years ago, I have no doubt that a real chemist could come up with True Goody.

Art

Eightball
August 17, 2006, 06:56 PM
Even if they did manage to concoct some form of semi-explosive liquid (or explosive, as the case may be), it would seem that all they would realistically need to do is blow out a critical point on the fuselage, resulting in a loss of cabin pressure, and other unpleasant things would happen. I don't think they would plan on blowing up the plane, just blowing it apart enough to where it would crash.

Just because we don't know of any "useful" liquid explosive doesn't mean we shouldn't keep our eyes open for it. Besides.....who thought of using planes as missiles before it actually happened?

DoubleTapDrew
August 17, 2006, 06:57 PM
My BS alarm went off when I heard about the liquid explosives plot.
I understand banning water though...they could bring along some sort of device that extracts the hydrogen from it and create a Hindenburg effect! :rolleyes:
I don't have a problem taking a swig of my water bottle to prove it's water. I do have a problem paying $5 for the same bottle of water once I've gone through security and trying to finish it before you get on the plane.

justashooter
August 17, 2006, 06:57 PM
lots of liquids out there to mix. nitro is very unstable in certain liquid forms during manufacture, after combining inoccuous solutions.

ilbob
August 17, 2006, 07:08 PM
All kinds of very nasty things can be done with stuff that would not be all that hard to smuggle on board an aircraft.

I have no doubt that terrorists have a much longer list than we do of these things.

We tend to not think of things that would get us killed, but they want to die while taking as many Americans with them as they can.

oops!
August 17, 2006, 07:10 PM
I'm a licensed blaster, I use binaries, I use multi- component liquids.
What I know about explosives is from almost 30 years of using many types.
I carried a class 40 license for years(license to manufacture).

Now, you guys better believe it is possible to do.

The only way to stop it would to be to put all passengers in paper suits with absolutely no carry on items. You would probably need to sedate everyone as well.

Snake Eyes
August 17, 2006, 07:21 PM
I'm a licensed blaster, I use binaries, I use multi- component liquids.
What I know about explosives is from almost 30 years of using many types.


And your user name is "oops!". That's funny.

How many fingers do you have left?

ilbob
August 17, 2006, 07:24 PM
Does anyone believe the story as stated?

My guess is some time in the not too distant future we will find out just what the real scoop is.

I suspect a chemical agent.

Brett Bellmore
August 17, 2006, 07:50 PM
Yeah, I'd guess they're a bit more worried about toxins than explosives, actually. Specifically binary nerve gases. You could do a neat job of clearing a plane of all potential opposition in the passenger compartment with just a couple water bottles full of some of the precursors. And only one of the terrorists would have to die to accomplish it, if the rest arranged to be in the "facilities" at the time it was released.

AJAX22
August 17, 2006, 08:13 PM
What about amonium tri-iodide, that mixes from a liquid state doesn't it?

edit --

According to USNews.com they were jplaning on pre-mixing explosive slurries and puting them in soft drink bottles through a hole in the bottom then re-sealing them without tampering with the saftey seals.

http://www.usnews.com/usnews/news/articles/060810/10london_2.htm

Shweboner
August 17, 2006, 08:15 PM
".....who thought of using planes as missiles before it actually happened?"



Well, Tom Clancy wrote a very similar scenario in "Debt of Honor" about 10 years ago. (A fully fueled passenger jet crashes into the capitol bldg. in DC)

Oh yeah, I think the Japanese called it "Kamikaze"


not a new concept.

Double Naught Spy
August 17, 2006, 08:37 PM
LGN, apparently you will believe just about anything you read. Consider putting less trust into articles from online political articles, or just political rags that open with citing the Bible.

I liked this quote from the article,

Or at least that's what we're hearing, and loudly, through the mainstream media and its legions of so-called "terrorism experts." But what do these experts know about chemistry?

Who is Thomas C Greene? Is he a terrorism expert? Is he an explosives expert? He is part of the media about which he is critical and he cites his own "experts" on the matter at hand.

From http://www.apress.com/author/authorDisplay.html?aID=254
Thomas C. Greene is associate editor of The Register, the leading independent IT news daily, where he has been a senior editor and columnist for 5 years. Tom covers cybercrime, computer and network security, and Washington politics and legislation related to information technology.

The guy is an editor and columnist for an online information technology rag that has been around since 1998 according to their archives. He doesn't pass his own scrutiny for writing on the topic.

rbernie
August 17, 2006, 08:43 PM
He doesn't pass his own scrutiny for writing on the topic.
That's probably true, but it doesn't answer the only relevant question on the table - is he wrong in his assessment?

Liberal Gun Nut
August 17, 2006, 08:58 PM
My point on this is not that there is no threat, but rather, the threat isn't from some mysterious liquid explosives. Taking away water bottles is almost irrelevant. I agree with Oops! on this. The only way to prevent people from getting explosives on a plane is to strip them, give them paper clothes, and sedate them for the trip. Hysteria over water bottles is as stupid as the previous hysteria over nail clippers. There's nothing you can do, folks! But in this case, they will use the current hysteria to sell a billion dollars worth of unnecessary equipment, and airlines will complain about how many passengers they have lost so they'll get another billion dollar check from the taxpayers who are so fed up they don't want to fly anymore.

The idea of people getting on a plane and synthesizing TATP is absurd. It is impossible. It is as stupid as the idea of people getting on a plane and setting up a machine shop and manufacturing an Uzi. It can't happen.

There are plenty of stable and undetectable SOLID explosives that they can get onto planes, and now we have a hysteria over non-existant liquid explosives. I guess it's easier for them to claim victory over something which doesn't exist.

Btw, there are liquid explosives. Nitroglycerin being the most obvious one. It looks nothing like water. A small container of it could blow a big hole in a plane. A big hole in a plane will not necessarily bring it down, but it might.

There are solid explosives which will not trigger the standard nitrate detectors. The most obvious is potassium perchlorate based explosives. A terrorist could conceal this in his shoes, on his body, internally, etc, and could get enough onto a plane to rip a big hole in it.

My point is, there is a real danger, and the current hysteria over water bottles is distracting us from it.

mete
August 17, 2006, 09:03 PM
Hollywood likes binaries because the can't count higher tha TWO !! ... If you want to blow up a plan just take a DELL laptop computer on board ....Do they still sell alcohol on board ? that's flammable !

ilbob
August 17, 2006, 09:05 PM
That's probably true, but it doesn't answer the only relevant question on the table - is he wrong in his assessment?

Which assessment? He made a bunch of off base assertions, and downright deceptive statements. he also brings up a couple very good points.

First, you've got to get adequately concentrated hydrogen peroxide. This is hard to come by, so a large quantity of the three per cent solution sold in pharmacies might have to be concentrated by boiling off the water.

It is not all that hard to get it already in a much more concentrated form. Why waste time distilling H2O2 when you can get it already in a more convenient form?


So the fabled binary liquid explosive - that is, the sudden mixing of hydrogen peroxide and acetone with sulfuric acid to create a plane-killing explosion, is out of the question. Meanwhile, making TATP ahead of time carries a risk that the mission will fail due to premature detonation, although it is the only plausible approach.

I think this particular scenario is probably not realistic. that does not mean all others are not. Its not as if this is the only potential explosive that is liquid.

while crystalline white powders would be banned instead, if anyone in charge were serious about security

A good point. I might add that any fine powder is a good candidate for banning on a flight.

For some real terror, picture twenty guys who understand op-sec, who are patient, realistic, clever, and willing to die, and who know what can be accomplished with a modest stash of dimethylmercury.

One guy with a soda can of this stuff could really ruin your day.

BIGJACK
August 17, 2006, 09:22 PM
I am a Chemical Engineer (retired but still remember a little). There are so many liquids that could be mixed that would cause a plan to "come down" not just from the explosion but from the vapors. Hell a coke bottle bull of something as common as gasoline lit off inside a pressurised cabin would do the trick.:neener:

BIGJACK
August 17, 2006, 09:24 PM
Oh yea, I forgot to mention that its getting close to mid-term election time. Gotta remind the people somehow, that we are at war.:cuss:

Demiurge
August 17, 2006, 09:34 PM
Saying that there are no components in liquid and/or gel forms, that when mixed together will explode, is nutty....

ConstitutionCowboy
August 17, 2006, 09:37 PM
How hard would it be for someone to make the entire cabin of an airplane into an aerosol bomb, with two or three terrorists running the length of the cabin dispensing the fuel into an aerosol mist and setting it off with a match or a spark from a piece of flint? Got any explosives experts here who can comment on such a scenario?

Woody

If you want security, buy a gun. If you want longevity, learn how to use it. If you want freedom, carry it. There is nothing worth more than freedom you win for yourself. There is nothing more valuable than the tools of the right that make it possible. B.E.Wood

Geno
August 17, 2006, 09:48 PM
Art:

I recall in my H.S. chemistry class, our teacher drying the oil off of a match-head-sized piece of (bleep) and dropping it into water. A few seconds later whizzzzzz, fizzzzz, spark, smoke and ka-boooooomers, shattering a 1" (1 inch) thick glass container. One of the strangest thing I had ever seen. He told us that when he and his chemistry buddies were in the university, they used to flush it down the toilets. He then went on to become a demolition expert for the Army. He was pretty wild!

Gene

:D

NukemJim
August 17, 2006, 09:59 PM
As far as stripping people naked or having them go naked to stop a terrorist it would not work.

There are enough natural cavities in the human body to carrry a payload enough to destroy plane. If the natural cavities are not enough it is not difficult to implant large packages in the human body with extremely basic medical procedures.

Even if you sedated everyone ( impossible to do safely considering numbers involved ) I'd bet someone could figure out a way for an implant to detonate in a timed fashion (Someting dissolving/thawing/being moved down GI tract for timing mechanism).

If I am understanding the current procedure you go through security wait in the "sterile" area and get searched again prior to boarding the plane. If this is correct. (anyone flying recently please jump in I'm going on news accounts:barf: )Then TSA is admiting it has lost control of the "sterile" area where the gift shops and food/drink vendors are otherwise there would be no need for another search.

NukemJim

Tokugawa
August 17, 2006, 10:08 PM
Yeah and when we make the airlines absolutely impossible to smuggle anything onto, some wack job with a surface to air missle will simply shoot it down. Or bomb a mall. Or something. We are a nation of soft ,softer and softest targets.

Liberal Gun Nut
August 17, 2006, 10:37 PM
Yeah, the "sterile" areas are a joke. They take appart the passengers' bags to make them feel "secure", but what are they going to do about all the concessions? Can they take apart every package of food that comes in? There are tons of food, shipped in on big trucks every day to the concessions in the "sterile" area that probably get little or no scrutiny. Bruce Schneier calls the passenger searches "security theater" because that's what it is. They might as well not even have the checks.

And yeah, let's say the do the ultimate in security. Every passenger is stripped naked and given a lethal injection before being wheeled onto the plane. No luggage of any kind is allowed; just dead naked bodies. Oh and we give them all a CAT scan before they go on. Couldn't get any more secure than that, right?

A 50 cal MG in the flight path could still take the plane down and I know for a fact that the approach areas in a lot of airports have enough space for a guy with an MG to do his work. And when a major airport is busy there are often half a dozen planes on approach. A guy with a 50 cal could probably get two or three of them. So even if you used my security procedure above (stripped-naked bodies + lethal injection) it still wouldn't be secure.

Missiles are hard to get but 50 cal MGs are easy.

Art Eatman
August 17, 2006, 10:43 PM
Doc2005: Ya mean the stuff ya store in kerosene? Eons ago, a student at TAMU took a small chunk that was wrapped in a kerosene-soaked paper towel and flushed it.

That became known as the night A&M lost its head.

I used to do that with M80s.

:), Art

Waitone
August 17, 2006, 11:02 PM
We used wax paper.

ConstitutionCowboy
August 18, 2006, 01:12 AM
It's the old, "Flush-the-cherry-bomb-down-the-toilet-and-force-the-girl-in-the-girl's-room-stall-on-the-other-side-of-the-wall-to-call-home-for-a-clean-change-of-clothes" trick.

I remember it well.

Woody

I plead the 5th.

carpettbaggerr
August 18, 2006, 01:24 AM
Thing is, whatever they're afraid of in the cabin will still be allowed on the plane. Just in the cargo hold.

Remember Lockerbie? What difference does it make if they're worried about nitro, slurried explosives, or alkali metals?

psyopspec
August 18, 2006, 03:04 AM
LGN, I think it's important to question what's reported in the press, but in this particular case I'll believe the man who was a manufacturer and seller of liquid explosives more readily than I will another member of the media.

Mr.V.
August 18, 2006, 03:19 AM
but I do recall what a match-head-sized bit of (bleep) would do when dry

Wait...I'm confused...did my mom forget to tell me that sodium is a bad word?

Mr.V.
August 18, 2006, 03:22 AM
Also, if the FAA is worried about terrorists generating toxic gasses, they should start by banning airline food.

silverlance
August 18, 2006, 03:36 AM
dimethylmercury.

acquaintance of my cousin's was working with that stuff. a single drop fell off of her pipette, landed on her latex glove. burned a hole through her latex glove right away, burned through her skin, and entered her bloodstream.

within minutes, she was dead.

very deadly stuff. specially made gloves, i'm told, only buy you time.

cuz works for columbia univ's chem dept. i asked him, "so how do you handle this stuff safely?"

"simple! REFUSE TO HANDLE DIMETHYLMERCURY, no matter how much your boss pressures you to do so... ."

....

HERE'S A THOUGHT.

what if the terrs didn't really plan on blowing up any planes all along? what if the plot was real, but the guys caught were just poor sots given essentially a suicide mission? what if the real, the REAL objective of the terrs was to effectively cripple part of our economy, without actually killing anyone and incurring minimal political disfavor ?

sun tzu would have appreciated the prudence of such an effective strategy.

Autolycus
August 18, 2006, 04:17 AM
Originally Posted by BIGJACK:

Oh yea, I forgot to mention that its getting close to mid-term election time. Gotta remind the people somehow, that we are at war.:cuss:

Bigjack, I would buy you a beer for that if I could. You hit what I believe is the real reason we are being reminded of the war on terror.


I think that this is the real reason why TSA is making up these nonsense issues up. I understand they could blow up a plane. How far are we going to take this nonsense? When will they start to require travel passes? When will you need to request permission to travel? Its going to get worse before it gets better.

Valkman
August 18, 2006, 05:46 AM
Hopefully they'll just ban passengers. Every time something happens on a plane it gets traced back to a stinkin' passenger! I say remove them all and everything will be safe, and much faster too. :p

brerrabbit
August 18, 2006, 07:20 AM
One of the recipes used for making glass reflective if done wrong produces a liguid explosive that will self detonate. I am not naming it or the chemistry involved but just saying that a binary explosive is very realistic and possible. Other very nasty weapons are also likely possible I reasonably believe

I agree with the ban.

Boom-stick
August 18, 2006, 08:11 AM
Oh yea, I forgot to mention that its getting close to mid-term election time. Gotta remind the people somehow, that we are at war.

That is the only reason this whole mess is kicking off.
On our side of the pond it's so B'liar can appear as our
saviour ..........again:cuss:

When this happened last time, they stationed TANKS outside of Heathrow airport.
Pure PR BS, what the hell is "TANK" gonna do against terrorist bombers:confused:

AtomSphere
August 18, 2006, 08:22 AM
Alkaline Metal and Water from the plane?

Heard it makes a big BOOM!:eek:

Demiurge
August 18, 2006, 08:58 AM
:what:

Hmm, 9/11 did happen, and it was fanatical Muslims that did it. They want to do it again, and they have tried. We're at war with these scumbags that don't have a uniform. Now all of a sudden nearly 5 years after 9/11 when the governments of our nation, and of our allies abroad tell us that a terrorist attack has been foiled it's politically motivated? A stunt? Something that didn't really happen?

Well if that doesn't sound like a grassy knoll conspiracy theory I don't know what does. It's almost like the kooks trying to tell me that planes didn't slam into the WTC despite what I saw with my own to eyes, and listened to with my own two ears.

It's why God gave us two of each, and only one mouth. So we could watch and listen twice as much as we talked.

It's gotten to the point where nothing short of a series of attacks on this country by an outside enemy will wake the sleeping lot up. One would have thought 9/11 would have been that call, but unfortunately our 30 minute sitcom driven society has slipped back into instant gratification mode and they're subscribing to the next best thing.

:banghead:

LAK
August 18, 2006, 09:09 AM
Oops!The only way to stop it would to be to put all passengers in paper suits with absolutely no carry on items. You would probably need to sedate everyone as well
Right; and in order to raise the safety of those in the terminals - not throw all the striiped items together into trash bins for "collection".

Explosives disguised in appearence and or consistancy to other things have been around since before WW2. During WW2 the OSS and other organizations played around with all kinds of interesting things.

Which regarding Al Kidya and the other ongoing "threats" further begs the question; who's kidding who? Someone(s) is not telling the truth about much of anything from the start in this so-called "war".

------------------------------------

http://ussliberty.org
http://ssunitedstates.org

Jim Watson
August 18, 2006, 09:14 AM
Terrorism does not require death and destruction every time there is a plot. Just the threat and the reminder does damage, some of it self inflicted in poor responses to that threat.

buzz_knox
August 18, 2006, 09:26 AM
It's amazing that the fact that the apparent inability of the terrorists to achieve their goals is being taken as evidence that said terrorists didn't exist.

Dr. Dickie
August 18, 2006, 09:40 AM
"Alkaline Metal and Water from the plane?

Heard it makes a big BOOM!"




Sodium is pretty good (very reactive and sufficent amount with containment could go boom), potassium is even better, but overall not very good as an explosive. You could do better with simple HCL and aluminum.
I heard peroxide mentioned on one news report, an oxidation source (albeit at laymen concentrations not that good), there are much better and easier sources.
Now 30%+ peroxide (commmerically available), yeah you could so something with that (although I am an analytical chemist, like most chemists I was into explosives as a kid:D ).

karaya
August 18, 2006, 10:18 AM
"Police sources told The Times that the plot by Islamic extremists would have involved a version of triacetone triperoxide (TATP),which was used for the 7/7 bombings that killed 52 passengers on the London transport system last year. The plot is thought to have involved taking several liquids or a gel form of explosive on board flights with other material and then assembling a bomb in the aircraft lavatories."

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2-2318431,00.html

TATP itself is not a liquid, but soluble in many liquids (acetone, ether, hexane and benzene).

TATP could be made by simply mixing two common chemikals in the presence of an catalyst but experts doubt if this is possible in an aircraft lavoratory.

Zero_DgZ
August 18, 2006, 10:30 AM
Liquid explosives aren't BS at all.

If you just wanted to carry a jug full o' boom onto a plane all you'd have to do is whip up a batch of <Art edit: "Stuff" :)>. I can buy all the ingredients for it at my local hardware store, and the process isn't very hard to carry out at all.

<It's an> explosive just like the TATP mentioned earlier in the thread, but it's room temperature form is quite liquid. It's also more shock stable than TATP, but I still wouldn't want to go carrying around a bottle of it in my pocket.

As a primary explosive, I have no doubt whatsoever that a liter or two of that stuff could punch a hole in an airplane, and give everybody in it a splitting headache. I'd doubt you'd be able to swat the plane right out of the sky with it, but if the terrorists chucked it into the cockpit or something they could probably take the plane out of control.

<Art comment: I'm less worried about terrorists than about teeny-bopper idiots who might get ideas.>

AnthonyRSS
August 18, 2006, 10:40 AM
Or bomb a mall. Or something. We are a nation of soft ,softer and softest targets.


It is impossible to stop everyone intent on doing bad things. It doesn't necessarily mean our nation is soft. You have to get what you can, and accept the fallibility of human nature. It happens.

Anthony

bogie
August 18, 2006, 11:34 AM
Liquid explosives? Doubt it. Liquid accelerant? Hey, would you like to be in an oversized bus, 35,000 feet in the air, and someone starts pouring everclear, or even gasoline, naptha, whatever, and throwing matches?

EOD Guy
August 18, 2006, 11:48 AM
There certainly are binary liquid explosives in which two non-explosive components are mixed to make the explosive. They have been around for years and I used some over 20 years ago while in the Army. I wouldn't call the components harmless, though. I can't remember the name, but I seem to recall that one of the componets was pretty nasty.

dfaugh
August 18, 2006, 12:05 PM
There are any number of liquid explosives that could be created easily, using readily available materials. Most wouldn't be classified as "high explosive" but on an airplane, it would take much.

Linux&Gun Guy
August 18, 2006, 03:28 PM
On site synthesis of any explosive seems foolish but this in no way means there are not practical liquid explosives.

The organic peroxides such as TATP or MEKP as an obvious choice - TATP of course is a solid at STP but like people have said it is soluble in many solvents. MEKP is a true liquid organic peroxide. I don't know where the heck the media is getting the idea bleach is used in the synthesis. It's simply the ketone itself with H2O2 and the H+ ion.

Then trinitrated glycerin, methyl nitrate, ethyl nitrate, tetranitromethane, EDGN ext.

Then you have mixes like nitromethane with an amine or some sort of oxygen based explosive and just about any explosive that can be disolved and detonated in a solvent.

Making explosives ON THE PLANE is retarded but the idea of a liquid explosive isn't. And then you have PBX cast RDX in the form of hard colored plastic looking like a kids toy or a thick walled coffee mug(like from a tourist shop) or just about any shape you can imagine.

Zero_DgZ
August 18, 2006, 03:54 PM
You could make MEKP or TATP on the plane easily enough. If the terrorists weren't watching your solution temperature to prevent runaway (they were planning to blow up the plane anyway, right?) you could synthesize a prodigous amount of the stuff in a very short time.

One of Many
August 18, 2006, 03:58 PM
The triacetone triperoxide (TATP) that has been mentioned, is a solid precipitate from the mixture of acetone and hydrogen peroxide with an acid catalyst. Wikipedia has instructions for making this stuff, and it is very dangerous to make, requiring cooling to control the process and prevent explosions during the mixing.

But since we are discussing the idea of terrorists mixing this stuff on a plane, in order to destroy the plane, would they care if it exploded during the mixing process? Would the premature explosion of the mixture produce an explosion of the same intensity as the completly precipitated and dried crystaline solid?

Another explosive involving hydrogen peroxide uses methyl ethyl ketone, insteard of acetone. This produces a liquid (MEKP) that is explosive. The production of either (TATP or MEKP) of these explosives appears to involve a substantial amount of equipment, in addition to the liquid ingredients, and quite a long time to process into an explosive.

Other binary explosives use toxic components such as hydrazine.

I think it is highly unlikely that a terrorist could actually make an explosive during the flight, using the small cramped space available in the porta-potty sized restroom on the plane.

It would appear to be more likely that an explosive liquid be smuggled onto the plane, than be created on the plane. Highly sensitive liquid explosives that do not require an explosive initiator, would be likely to explode before being placed on the plane, so some type of initiating device (blasting cap or other) would also have to be smuggled on board for the less sensitive explosive.

I suspect that the information that the government has made public is intended to deceive the public; the actual nature of the explosive material, and how it would be placed on the aircraft and detonated, is information that we do not need to know, and if made public, might tempt other people to try in a copycat crime.

The government saying that the attempt would be made with TATP may even be intended to sucker wannabe terrorists into blowing themselves up, while trying to create this homemade explosive the Palestinians have nicknamed "Mother of Satan". That nickname is apparently due to the difficulty in creating it, without having it explode during the process. Once it has been sucessfully created, it still poses extreme risks, since it is sensitive to heat and pressure, and may self detonate just from its own weight.

I am very sceptical about this whole reported 'binary explosive mixed on aircraft' story. I think it is deliberate misinformation provided to the public, and the motive for that misinformation is unclear.

TallPine
August 18, 2006, 04:00 PM
Also, if the FAA is worried about terrorists generating toxic gasses, they should start by banning airline food.
New (addtional) question for airline counter clerks to ask: "Have you eaten any Mexican food in the past 24 hours?" ;)

Though I still want to know how I would know if someone had put something in my luggage without my knowledge ........ :rolleyes:

buzz_knox
August 18, 2006, 04:01 PM
I am very sceptical about this whole reported 'binary explosive mixed on aircraft' story. I think it is deliberate misinformation provided to the public, and the motive for that misinformation is unclear.

An alternative explanation is that the story is true, and that the material was a binary liquird explosive similar to Astrolite but possibly in a less-detectable form. The confusion might arise from the gov't not wanting to discuss the exact nature of the material, and the various talking heads (even those in the gov't) speculating in the vacuum caused by the lack of hard information.

EOD Guy
August 18, 2006, 05:09 PM
An alternative explanation is that the story is true, and that the material was a binary liquird explosive similar to Astrolite but possibly in a less-detectable form. The confusion might arise from the gov't not wanting to discuss the exact nature of the material, and the various talking heads (even those in the gov't) speculating in the vacuum caused by the lack of hard information.

Thanks, Astrolite was the name I was trying to think of.

Soybomb
August 18, 2006, 05:11 PM
Who cares? We can't keep people from smuggling weapons and drugs into prison, its impossible to do it on airlines unless there's body cavity searches. Lets be honest if you're planning to blow yourself up I'm sure you can find a creative place to hold your explosives where they won't be found. Keeping me from drinking a soda on the flight does nothing but annoy me.

mike101
August 18, 2006, 05:17 PM
I was just watching MSNBC (3:50 PM est). I just caught the very end of a piece about a plane, bound for LA from New York. The plane had to turn around and go back to NY because a couple of passengers had managed to get aboard with "LIQUIDS":eek: I saw it too late to get the details, so I'm going back to the TV.

TheArchDuke
August 18, 2006, 05:17 PM
"Besides.....who thought of using planes as missiles before it actually happened?"

The Japanese.

Siderite
August 18, 2006, 05:19 PM
silverlance,
as a chemist in training, I just wanted to correct some of the information on dimethylmercury, since we covered the case in our safety training class. The person in question is Karen Wetterhahn of Dartmouth, verifiable here: http://www.dartmouth.edu/~toxmetal/HMKW.shtml

Descriptions of the events can be found here (or by googling her name):
http://www.denison.edu/collaborations/naosmm/topics/dartmouth.html

As the case details bear out, it was several months before she lapsed into a coma and then died of the mercury poisoning, not several minutes.

shell70634
August 18, 2006, 06:16 PM
If you've ever been on the inside of a bomb scene investigation, you will notice the media review of the incident is NEVER correct. The people that write those stories are only peicing together enough info to make a sensational story without printing the boring truth. True stories rarely sell.

The average citizen will never know what really happens through media coverage. And official press realeases are media coverage.

profshadow
August 18, 2006, 06:41 PM
Here's a likely explosive combination:

Diet Coke & Mentos

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=6570869723386259299&q=mentos

But like every explosive, it can be used for "good"

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=3673360343168243565&q=mentos+diet+pepsi

Carl N. Brown
August 18, 2006, 06:49 PM
Anyone ever accidently mix an ammonia based cleaner
with a chlorine based cleaner?

Ever wonder why the ammonia and chlorine bleach are
not on the same shelf in the supermarket?

Binary liquid bad stuff DOES exist.

Monkeyleg
August 18, 2006, 07:52 PM
Any photographers here ever clean the fixer tray with chlorine bleach?

Just pour the bleach into the tray and leave the room quickly.

One of Many
August 18, 2006, 08:05 PM
A teacher once told me that Phosgene Gas is the result of mixing chlorine bleach and ammonia, and is why both products have warning messages on the containers. Wikipedia indicates that Chloramine is the likely result of mixing these cleaning products, and Hydrazine may also be produced.

Some people never bother to read the messages, and as a result there have been fatalities when people did mix these cleaning products.

Biker
August 18, 2006, 08:10 PM
I know that me and three or four of my homemade pickled eggs could prove fatal to anyone unfortunate enough to be confined in a small space with me the next day.
It's just plain ugly...

Biker

EOD Guy
August 18, 2006, 10:31 PM
If you've ever been on the inside of a bomb scene investigation, you will notice the media review of the incident is NEVER correct. The people that write those stories are only peicing together enough info to make a sensational story without printing the boring truth. True stories rarely sell.

The average citizen will never know what really happens through media coverage. And official press realeases are media coverage.

I agree. I worked the Harveys Hotel bombing in South Lake Tahoe in 1980 and could not believe the BS the press was putting out. The headline "ARMY BLOWS UP HOTEL" was what pissed me off the most. The Nevada State Fire Marshal was the one who made the decision on the render safe procedure, against the advice of 9 out of 10 Army EOD techs. Nine of us said it wouldn't work if the bomb was built like the extortion letters said. The 10th tech said it might work but he didn't think so.

We did mitigate the damage by directing the resulting explosion outward and there was very little structural damage to the building. We used a lot of sandbags and mattreses in the rooms on all side if the room where the device was located.

ConstitutionCowboy
August 18, 2006, 11:07 PM
You and I should never be allowed in the same room any where under a half hour before or after the other has been there.

Woody

:evil: "If they silence the sound of my voice, they'll surely hear the sound of my gun - if I decide to use something subsonic, that is!" B.E.Wood :evil:

wingnutx
August 18, 2006, 11:59 PM
Astrolite is the trade name of a family of explosives, invented by chemist Gerald Hurst in the 1960s during his employment with the Atlas Powder Company. The Astrolite family consists of two compounds, Astrolite G and Astrolite A. Both are two-part liquid-state high explosive mixtures, composed of ammonium nitrate oxidizer and hydrazine rocket fuel. They still find some use in commercial and civil blasting applications, but have mostly been superseded by cheaper and safer compounds, largely due to the expense and exceptionally poisonous nature of the hydrazine component.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Astrolite

Hawkmoon
August 19, 2006, 12:11 AM
It's amazing that the fact that the apparent inability of the terrorists to achieve their goals is being taken as evidence that said terrorists didn't exist.
Quite the contrary.

The terrorists exist. And they have succeeded, probably well beyond their own hopes and expectations, in demolishing our sense of freedom and security, and in destroying any semblance of "quality of life" in the United States and most western European countries.

TrapperReady
August 19, 2006, 12:31 AM
The terrorists exist. And they have succeeded, probably well beyond their own hopes and expectations, in demolishing our sense of freedom and security, and in destroying any semblance of "quality of life" in the United States and most western European countries.


So, the sky is not falling... only because it already has. :scrutiny: :rolleyes:

.41Dave
August 19, 2006, 02:11 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Buzz Knox
It's amazing that the fact that the apparent inability of the terrorists to achieve their goals is being taken as evidence that said terrorists didn't exist.

Quite the contrary.

The terrorists exist. And they have succeeded, probably well beyond their own hopes and expectations, in demolishing our sense of freedom and security, and in destroying any semblance of "quality of life" in the United States and most western European countries.

Actually, I am puzzled at the lack of terrorist activity. Given the vast number of soft targets in the US, and the fact that pretty much anyone can think of a bazillion ways to wreak havoc if they choose to, why haven't they? A dedicated enemy capable of planning and pulling off something as complex as 9/11 should be able to to a lot more damage than actually has been. Maybe Hawkmoon is right. Maybe they figure the totalitarian ball is rolling, and all they feel they need to do is sit back and watch the show. Or maybe there just aren't that many of them, and the idiots that keep getting caught are just mentally ill wannabes with a perceived grievance and a (fortunate) lack of intelligence and foresight. I don't know.

mr.trooper
August 19, 2006, 02:38 AM
BS all the way around.

Gifted
August 20, 2006, 09:48 PM
Alkaline Metal and Water from the plane?

Heard it makes a big BOOM!Not even water. Moisture in the air will make most do bad things.

I agree with the media misreporting with lack of details. And there is a possability that the result of the failed plot(no water bottles) was the actual goal, if the actual plot was a failure.

A hypergolic device like those in Die Hard are very much practical, detonation resulting from mixing the chemicals, no detonator required. And some of them are devestatingly powerful.

FTF
August 20, 2006, 10:08 PM
I'm still anxiously awaiting the "proof" from this terror plot.... specifically the 'liquid explosives' that were supposed to have been used. I'm stopping short of calling captured video jihad propaganda "proof" at this point.

It's all geared toward the elections... I don't believe any of it. I feel like unloading some of my internal liquid all over the TSA people my next visit.... and also on the turds who actually believe this garbage.

BB62
August 20, 2006, 11:37 PM
...specifically the 'liquid explosives' that were supposed to have been used.

Man, why didn't I think of that - that's what they should do: be specific.

Listen, I'm really close to people in the intelligence community, and they've told me that this is what those British Muslims were going to do: combine two parts hydrogen, and one part oxygen. You get DiHydrogen Oxide - powerful stuff, let me tell you.

Do you know that in some communities, people have swimming pools full of this stuff??

Now, I'll encourage my intel friends to make sure the general public gets the specifics for any other plots that may be out there - you know, to convince skeptics. Like I've always said, there's nothing better than full disclosure when it comes to describing terrorist/anti-terrorist methods! :rolleyes:


BB62

brerrabbit
August 21, 2006, 12:09 AM
Not trying to sound like the idiot in the audience.

Why is it so impossible to generate a two part high explosive from materials available on the open market.

The thing is, the binary explosives do not have to be military grade. Military grade meaning that they are pretty stable until you want them to go off.

XXXXXXX and water would work pretty good, so would quite a few of the fulminates and acetates. I can think of quite a few standard industrial processes that if tweaked a bit would be pretty explosive.

Not counting simple reactions that just give off large quantities of highly lethal gas.

I do not fly if I can avoid it. Until this WOT winds down, I really do not mind going on a plane without questionable liquids.

telomerase
August 21, 2006, 12:33 AM
It is possible to make improvised liquid explosives... but not by the methods alleged. This article covers some of the difficulties with the official story:
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/08/17/flying_toilet_terror_labs/print.html

If there was really a billion-dollar international terrorist organization, they'd be blowing up dams, releasing viruses, VXing subways, etc. Damn good thing it's all a fraud; most Americans don't even own a freaking gas mask, and this after 5 years and hundreds of billions of "Homeland Security".

Harry Tuttle
August 21, 2006, 12:34 AM
The alleged plot was discovered in the Philippines in January 1995, when a fire broke out in a Manila apartment 200 yards from the Vatican's embassy, a week before the arrival of Pope John Paul II.

Police were shocked by what they found inside: a smoking mixture of explosives in a sink, street maps and garments like those worn by the Pope's entourage, suggesting a plot to kill the Pontiff.

They also say they found computer disks containing detailed plans to blow up U.S. airliners.

The alleged plot involved leaving bombs on flights that would take off from Tokyo, Seoul, Taipei, Hong Kong, Bangkok and Singapore.

Vince Cannistraro, former director of the CIA's Counter terrorism Division calls it, "Extraordinarily ambitious, very complicated to bring off, and probably unparalleled by other terrorist operations that we know of."

Kenneth Timmerman, director of the Middle East Data Project, believes the sophistication of the plot is a sign the intelligence agency of another country is behind it. Some see the hand of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein; others the government of Iran.

Fingerprints on a bomb recipe notebook found in the burned apartment convinced the FBI that the brains behind "Project Bojinka" was Yousef, a young engineer born in either Iran or Pakistan, also accused in the World Trade Center bombing. Authorities think Yousef flew out of New York just hours after that explosion, later launched a failed plot in Thailand to bomb an Israeli consulate, and wound up in the Philippines.

The FBI believes he staged a test for Project Bojinka in December 1994, leaving a bomb under a seat on a Philippine Airlines flight, killing a Japanese tourist.

According to Cannistraro, "His particular, peculiar evil genius was to devise a method of putting together a liquid explosive that could not be detected by the security apparatuses in effect at most airports at that time."

"This is somebody who is really a world class operator. . And I don't think we have seen someone like this, as accomplished as this, ever," said Timmerman.

so, they have known about the possibility since 1995, yet now we are banned from flying with a chap stick....

Harry Tuttle
August 21, 2006, 12:44 AM
The bomb
The "Mark II" "microbombs" had Casio digital watches as the timers, stabilizers that looked like cotton wool balls, and an undetectable nitroglycerin as the explosive. Other ingredients included glycerin, nitrate, sulfuric acid, and minute concentrations of nitrobenzene, silver azide (silver trinitride), and liquid acetone. Two 9-volt batteries in each bomb were used as a power source. The batteries would be connected to light bulb filaments that would detonate the bomb. Murad and Yousef wired an SCR as the switch to trigger the filaments to detonate the bomb. There was an external socket hidden when the wires were pushed under the watch base as the bomber would wear it. The alteration was so small that the watch could still be worn in a normal manner. [1] [5] [7]
Yousef got batteries past airport security during his December 11 test bombing of Philippine Airlines Flight 434 by hiding them in hollowed-out heels of his shoes. Yousef smuggled the nitroglycerin on board by putting it inside a contact lens solution bottle.
The density of the explosive cocktail would be about 1.3.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oplan_Bojinka

leadcounsel
August 21, 2006, 12:49 AM
Scary to think that we all were sheepishly thinking how safe we are and anyone could have relatively easily smuggled a gallon of gasoline and matches on board.

Think 1 gallon of gas ($3) could bring down a plane? How about 5 terrorist passengers each with a gallon of gas?

I've watched demonstrations on the news in the last few days were certain benign compounds (amonia, aluminum foil, etc.) when combined can create a rather large explosion. Explosions under pressure can become very powerful.

For one, I won't fly unless there is no other option.

But another terrorist attack will surely cripple our economy again and the security measures we've put in place are largely cosmetic.

telomerase
August 21, 2006, 01:19 AM
But another terrorist attack will surely cripple our economy

Not exactly the attack itself... our cowardly reaction to the terrorist attack will cripple our economy, destroy the vestiges of the Republic, and make us more vulnerable to the next attack, repeat as necessary. Just exactly like the Roman reaction to Spartacus brought Cassius, Pompeii, and some other guy into power.

Soybomb
August 21, 2006, 03:32 AM
Think 1 gallon of gas ($3) could bring down a plane? How about 5 terrorist passengers each with a gallon of gas?
A good question. You'd have a decent little fire, but gasoline isn't explosive so I don't know that you could have anything all too spectacular. If you really wanted to there would be far more efficient things than 8 pounds of gasoline.

I think you greatly overestimate the impact on the economy too, its surprisingly good right now even.

cassandrasdaddy
August 21, 2006, 03:47 AM
not explosive?!
hmmm they change the formula for gas?

Kaeto
August 21, 2006, 07:20 AM
Gasoline isn't explosive until vaporized. In liquid form it just burns real fast.

But that said 8 gallons of gas burning on the inside of an aircraft can bring it down real fast if it leaks onto any of the controls or wires.

evan price
August 21, 2006, 07:30 AM
I recall back when the airlines allowed you to carry on those boxes of wine bottles you got at the duty free shop. Now imagine you rig up a shaving cream cannister to dispense high pressure gas of some sort, rig an adapter to it that allows you to screw on a bottle of Everclear like an insect fogger setup, and then presto you have a FAE. Imagine ten BG's with these and somebody uses their laptop battery and a twist tie metal wire to strike an arc. I don't want to imagine anymore! What about a glass container of some highly molar acid which could be poured onto the floor over a critical flight control area of the airframe (like control cables, hydraulic lines, electronics junctions)? Blueprints are out there for most airframes. Again, one jar, maybe not so bad, but twenty jars?

And people wonder why they ban liquids!
Sure chapstick or contact cases with a few drops are no threat. But it is easier to say NONE than try to get TSA types to make snap decisions in the field about if 1 fl oz is OK in each of 2 contact cups, why isn't 2 fl oz in one glass ok?

#shooter
August 21, 2006, 10:41 AM
Could a solid explosive be suspended in a harmless liquid with dense lead particles that would make it difficult to detect? Dogs could not smell it and the x-ray can not penetrate the liquid, therefore it looks like a regular harmless bottle of liquid or gel. I have no idea if this is possible, I may have been watching too many spy movies. I just wonder if it is the liquid itself or if it is something hidden in a liquid.

Zero_DgZ
August 21, 2006, 10:41 AM
Gasoline isn't explosive until vaporized. In liquid form it just burns real fast.

Actually, gasoline isn't flammable at all in liquid form. Only the vapors burn. Now, heating the liquid (by, say, igniting its existing vapors) will make it vaporize faster. Lay a dixie cup (not a styrofoam one...) full of gasoline in a camp fire for an amusing visual example. Foom!

To those suggesting reactive metals (sodium, potassium, &c...) note that the element doesn't 'explode,' per se, but will heat up and liberate hydrogen gas. And if it lays on the bottom of a glass beaker long enough it can heat stress the glass into shattering. And, of course, the hydrogen can be ignited. But it wouldn't be an effective 'bomb.'

S.P.E.C.T.R.E.
August 21, 2006, 11:03 AM
While I agree that gasoline isn't an explosive, a gallon of gasoline dumped out and ignited on an airliner would almost certainly bring it down.

Don't believe me? Dump a whole gallon of gas out and light it. Now imagine that inferno in an enclosed cabin.

ilbob
August 21, 2006, 01:19 PM
While I agree that gasoline isn't an explosive, a gallon of gasoline dumped out and ignited on an airliner would almost certainly bring it down.

Don't believe me? Dump a whole gallon of gas out and light it. Now imagine that inferno in an enclosed cabin.

It doesn't even have to bring down the airplane to be effective. Just the specter of hundreds of people burning to death at 30,000 feet ought to be adequate terror.

My guess is that the liquid in question was nitro. A contact lens case full will make a very big bang, and it is readily obtainable. It is unstable at room temperatures, but it would not be all that hard to keep it cool in an airport, even onto the aircraft if one had something to keep it cool, like a bottle of cold water, perhaps with some ice in it.

Even if it blew up in the airport, it would still have some terror effect.

The stuff is not so unstable that it could not be used. They used to transport it cross country by horse drawn wagon and most shipments made it through.

IAJack
August 21, 2006, 02:59 PM
http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/systems/munitions/tatp.htm

roo_ster
August 21, 2006, 03:31 PM
I can think of several possibilities. They are not mutually exclusive.

1. The GWB administration has our alphabet-soup security agencies whipped into some semblance of order & focussed on the islamofacsist threat. Thus, they have prevented terror plots from coming to fruition.

2. GWB's WOT has had an effect: killing lots of would-be tangos over there rather than over here.

3. The Islamofacsists (IF) do not want to defecate where they raise a good amount of their money. Kinda like the IRA didn't attack Brit targets while in the USA for fear of losing Irish immigrant dollars, the IF do not want to lose the monies they raise form sympathetic muslim immigrants to the USA.

4. The IF take their time to plan under the best of conditions (pre-9/11). The added scrutiny of their activities has driven them to be even more careful.

5. The IF threat is an artificial threat, 9-11 was a gov't-lead plot, and the way they say "I love you" in Farsi has been twisted into, "Death to the Jews."













* There have been terror attacks since 9-11: anthrax letters, LAX shooting at El Al desk, DC Snipers, Duke student using SUV to squash other students, etc.

gazpacho
August 21, 2006, 05:12 PM
I know for a fact that a tablespoon of Amonium Triiodide (when dried) can demolish a High School chemistry lab table. Those things are built to take a pounding. It's a purple precipitate and when it is wet, you can pound on it with a hammer, and it won't do nothing but squish. When dried, you can literally drop a fly on it, and it will explode.

The motto of my HS chemistry teacher was, "If some is good, more is better."

Khornet
August 21, 2006, 05:32 PM
just how outraged we are every time the media report on shootings, or any gun-related topic? Every gun is 'high-powered' or 'armor-piercing' or 'rapid-fire' or 'large-caliber' or all of the above, even when it's a .22. I've no doubt that we're getting the same crappy level of sensationalism now. Doesn't require a Bush plot; news folks do it naturally.

As far as election-year strategy goes, we must ermember it was the Brits who really cracked the case.

TallPine
August 21, 2006, 06:28 PM
so, they have known about the possibility since 1995, yet now we are banned from flying with a chap stick....
yep ... :rolleyes:

MD_Willington
August 21, 2006, 09:44 PM
Astrolite sounds similar to Kinepak...

Ammonium nitrate and nitromethane (spelling), binary, AN in a cylindrical tube, Nitromethane in a tube that has a syringe that attaches to it, needs a detonator IIRC. Friend of mine in college ran a powder company with his family they also dealt with ANFO etc etc...

ctdonath
August 21, 2006, 09:51 PM
I really do not mind going on a plane without questionable liquids.And that's the sheeple mentality the influential (on both sides) are looking for.

The problem is that Americans are so focused on THINGS as the solution or problem. Our advertising-driven culture thinks that product X either is the problem or the cure therefor. Most sheeple don't comprehend that someone determined to achieve a result need not be stopped by a thing merely banned. As already noted on this thread, there are a zillion ways to bring down an airplane - especially if the perpetrator is willing, even desiring, to die in the process.

Hence the importance of the 2nd Amendment: all too often, security comes down to the individuals present at the time of the attack, and their right to be prepared to deal with an attack. Sometimes the dragon wins ... but sheep rarely do. Stop this stupid assuault on harmless things, and let the occupants carry useful stuff and deal with bad behavior on planes.

Shweboner
August 21, 2006, 09:56 PM
Listen, I'm really close to people in the intelligence community, and they've told me that this is what those British Muslims were going to do: combine two parts hydrogen, and one part oxygen. You get DiHydrogen Oxide - powerful stuff, let me tell you.



Im sure your close friends in the intelligence community appreciate you telling the world about their info. But anyhow...


What makes 2 parts Hydrogen and 1 part Oxygen so dangerous? When 2 parts Hydrogen and 2 parts Oxygen is not so dangerous?

What does that extra Oxygen do?


Thanks

One of Many
August 21, 2006, 10:08 PM
DiHydrogen Oxide - powerful stuff, let me tell you.

Otherwise commonly known as water - H2O

Too much of it can kill you, and too little of it can kill you.

Third_Rail
August 21, 2006, 10:35 PM
I have personally handled "safe" (as long as you don't ingest them) liquids that, when combined, would be quite the explosive. FWIW, I also know a few plans (very simple) to make no-metal hand grenades that are sealed so that they are waterproof and have no scents coming out to detect. I'd be more afraid of that than any knife/gun; wide area weapons are more destructive on planes.

Shweboner
August 21, 2006, 10:38 PM
funny stuff.


I about died while listening to the news today, talking about people being arrested in UK relating to the alleged plot...

" ...in their posession were computers, cell phones, and dangerous chemicals such as Hydrogen Peroxide(H2O2)..."


Wow, now these guys sound scary... at least if they cut themselves on their cell phones they can clean the wound.


Gotta love the media

Third_Rail
August 21, 2006, 10:46 PM
Actually, many organic peroxide explosives can be made quickly and easily, using H2O2 as one of the precursors. :)

evan price
August 22, 2006, 01:33 AM
I remember in high school chem lab making the same explosive in the little white snap cap things kids play with, iirc it was ammonium hydroxide and iodine crystals, we made a big batch of it and scattered it in the hallway wet. As class went by they dried in the hall, when class changed they popped when people stepped on them, it was funny.

EOD Guy
August 22, 2006, 11:50 AM
funny stuff.


I about died while listening to the news today, talking about people being arrested in UK relating to the alleged plot...

" ...in their posession were computers, cell phones, and dangerous chemicals such as Hydrogen Peroxide(H2O2)..."


Wow, now these guys sound scary... at least if they cut themselves on their cell phones they can clean the wound.


Gotta love the media

Actually, hydrogen peroxide, at higher concentrations, is a very powerful oxidizer and is very corrosive.

The stuff you are thinking of is only a 3% aqueous solution. When you get to 40% and above, the stuff will start fires just on contact with combustible materials.

Third_Rail
August 22, 2006, 12:32 PM
evan price, the material in snap bangs or similar are silver nitrate, I believe; nitrogen tri-iodide is too unstable for things like that; it'll go off at the slightest touch when dry.

Taurus 66
August 22, 2006, 04:51 PM
That two parts hydrogen to one part oxygen up a little ways back on this page was a hoot <ROFLMAO emote>. All this laughing's making me thirsty.

Actually, many organic peroxide explosives can be made quickly and easily, using H2O2 as one of the precursors.

Hexamethylenetriperoxidediamine (HMTD) is the only organic peroxide which has been considered seriously as an explosive.
P. 451 The Chemistry of Powder & Explosives - Tenney L. Davis

Third_Rail
August 22, 2006, 05:08 PM
Tell that to the people that the terrorists have killed with peroxyacetone (TATP, TCAP), dimeric 2-peroxybutane (MEKP), etc.

They're not stable, they shouldn't really ever be made, but they work, and they're simple and powerful.

And before you say to name one example where either MEKP or TATP have been used.... the July 2005 London subway bombing.

Phetro
August 22, 2006, 05:32 PM
We can debate the relative merits of explosives and liquids all day long, but the fact of the matter is, the government is taking yet more rights and offering yet more false promises of "safety." Until an awful lot of people wake up and rein in the government's power, expect to see more of this.

Unless, of course, you're a sheep, in which case you won't really "see" it as anything special.

Taurus 66
August 22, 2006, 06:30 PM
Third Rail, I hope you weren't gathering information from Wikipedia. If from a reputable source, could you please provide a link to these details? Thanks :)

GoRon
August 22, 2006, 06:41 PM
Third Rail, I hope you weren't gathering information from Wikipedia. If from a reputable source, could you please provide a link to these details? Thanks

link (http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,22989-1695442,00.html)

Carl N. Brown
August 22, 2006, 06:51 PM
One, police withhold details from the public to be able to nail
true perpetrators (some idiots confess to crimes they did not
commit in order to get attention).

Two, police will leak BS to the media to put bad guys at ease,
make them think the police are on the wrong trail.

Taurus 66
August 22, 2006, 11:01 PM
Thanks GoRon,

It appears my book may be outdated to some of the newer stuff.

http://www.ats.org/news.php?id=116

"THE SCIENCE BEHIND TATP
An explosive favored by suicide bombers triacetone triperoxide(TATP) -- is extremely unstable and prone to explode unexpectedly, a disadvantage that has made it useless for other applications. But it is hard to detect and extremely easy to make from two widely available chemicals: acetone and hydrogen peroxide."

The terrorists could carry these chemicals on mass transit in the form of nail polish remover and hydrogen peroxide as itself. The mixture of these chemicals could take place onboard, to make it appear innocent enough and still maintain some chemical stability up until that fateful moment. So if there was an accidental explosion, the terrorist is still likely to kill a lot of innocent passengers.

Something's not jiving here with earlier posts attacking the replies of those concerned with how readily available explosives are in commercial products. That whole, "You are sheeple ..." bit I believe doesn't really hold much weight in this issue. For those of you who are against the restriction of specific chemical products onboard airlines, trains, etc, please let us know what would be your solution to all of this.

I was already told here racial profiling won't work. Now banning of potentially hazardous chemicals is a bad idea, because it's "taking away our rights??" Is this a constitutional right? ..... for you to carry some peroxide or acetone onboard an airplane?

Third_Rail
August 23, 2006, 12:49 AM
Taurus 66, forget about nailpolish remover and H2O2, and read this; from less than $5 of off-the-shelf parts, a completely non-metallic hand grenade that's waterproof and ignited with a pullring can be made. Small enough to be carried onto a plane, bus, train, boat, or into a jail, prison, courthouse, or government office, yet it'll kill people and will get through metal detectors. Armor and protection like metal detectors are great, but there is always a way around them.

All you do by restricting what law abiding people can do or have is restrict the law abiding. Criminals will always find a way around the security/laws/etc.


That's my two cents on why not allowing things on planes is simply restricting our rights.


As for sources, other links have been posted.



PS No, I didn't get my info from Wikipedia; I have experience with peroxide explosives re: manufacture and brisance, sensitivity, etc.

Taurus 66
August 23, 2006, 04:44 AM
All you do by restricting what law abiding people can do or have is restrict the law abiding. Criminals will always find a way around the security/laws/etc.

Third Rail, this wasn't a solution for dealing with situation, but I hear you.

How about this: The government will not ban certain carry on chemicals, but airlines will. Problem solved? No more "sheeple mentality" speech brought on to those of us who desire a safe flight, because it is then the government can no longer be to blame for all the restrictions.

I see a day coming soon when all luggage, including carry on, will be a thing of the past. All luggage, hair sprays, hair dyes, alcohols, peroxides, window cleaners, paints, and all other chemicals people might have a difficult time living without on their flight from point A to B, will be carried on planes separate from passengers. Photo ID and medications (prescribed by a doctor) will be all that is allowed on future flights. This may very well carry over to other forms of transortation too.

The only alternative to doing something about this problem is for people to give up altogether on trying to prevent their untimely deaths.

pete f
August 23, 2006, 05:00 AM
I spent some time as a blaster for a company. i was sent to school and learned all sorts of neat stuff about taking this and that and making things go boom.


We would build very large concrete objects for testing. Some of the testing involved trying to make shapes and compositions of material that would not be damaged very easily by localised detonations. We often used a binary explosive that was a thickened syrup when mixed, that would very rapidly turn to a semi solid and then go bang with little effort. Considering that a blasting cap could easily be sealed in a pen body or in a body cavity. getting the components on an aircraft would not be hard. using a cell phone battery as a instigator for the cap, everything they talk about is stuff I used to use 25 years ago. We also used anfo and other easily made explosives to test. The largest bang we set off was 1200 pounds of RDX. That was a big bang.

At the time I was an engineering student and I got the job as an internship. I stayed for three years and then left when I decided to pursue another career for other reasons.

google water gel explosives and slurry mix explosives.


There are both cap sensitive and booster sensitive formulations.

I am quite certain that if you remove personal safety from the equation, I mean if it goes boom when the terr is mixing the stuff, he still accomplished his mission, there are many many half A**ed chemists out there who could come up with something very portable and very dangerous when mixed. When I stopped working there, they were in the process of moving the operation to a abandoned strip mine in the west, it was thought that they would be able to used shots in excess of 5000 lbs there to examine the stresses of the truck bombs that were showing up in beruit and else where.

ilbob
August 23, 2006, 09:20 AM
Control is always a big issue with government and its agents. I used to think it was a benign sort of thing, but I have come to realize they really do not care who they control. Criminals, terrorists, law-abiding. As long as someone is doing as they are told, your average government and government agent is quite happy.

And until us law abiding folks rebel at the ballot box, it will not change. LE will get more and more heavy handed against the law abiding, while continuing to have little or no effect on the criminal and terrorist. This trend started in earnest around 1920, and has accelerated since. One would think after nearly 100 years of complete failure to show for it, someone in power would have realized it was not working. One would hope the voters will eventually figure it out and fix the problem.

DRZinn
August 23, 2006, 10:50 AM
1200 pounds of RDX:what:

BigRobT
August 23, 2006, 02:18 PM
There are several problems associated with air travel that have gone unaddressed. Cargo, vendors, and even people that work at the airport. I worked for Delta Air Lines for a while through a contract company. Background checks?? ROTFLMAO. They were non-existent or minimal, at best. As long as one wasn't a felon, they were cleared.

IIR, back in to 70s, during the first gasoline crisis, people often carried spare fuel in their trunks. I believe that I remember that 1 gallon of properly vaporized gasoline had the explosive power of three sticks of dynamite. (I'm pulling off of 25-30 years of memories, so cut me a little slack.)

I believe it's entirely plausible that the terrorists were attempting to blow up a few aircraft. I find it disheartening that the focus is always on the passenger and not the other avenues of infiltration. Maybe someday soon, we can bring tele-transporters into reality and do away with all of this nonsense. Of course, I'm sure someone with evil intentions will find a way to cause havoc with those.

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