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Detroit explosive common, easily detectible

WASHINGTON – The explosive device used by the would-be Detroit bomber contained a widely available — and easily detected — chemical explosive that has a long history of terrorist use, according to government officials and explosive experts.

The chemical — PETN — is small, powerful and appealing to terrorists. The Saudi government said it was used in an assassination attempt on the country's counterterrorism operations chief in August.

It was also a component of the explosive that Richard Reid, the convicted "shoe bomber," used in his 2001 attempt to down an airliner.

PETN was widely used in the plastic explosives terrorists used to blow up airplanes in the 1970s and 1980s.

Investigators say Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab hid an explosive device on his body when he traveled from Amsterdam to Detroit. They say PETN was hidden in a condom or condom-like bag just below his torso.

 
Mrs.Owen86

Asked by Mrs.Owen86 at 9:12 AM on Dec. 28, 2009 in Politics & Current Events

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Answers (35)
  • Cafemom didn't launch until late 2006. How would you know what people were saying about Reid the shoe bomber?
    QuinnMae

    Answer by QuinnMae at 12:00 PM on Dec. 29, 2009

  • Mrs.Owen86

    Answer by Mrs.Owen86 at 9:12 AM on Dec. 28, 2009

  • I think this part needs to be stressed!

    ***

    Hidden in Abdulmutallab's clothing, the explosive might have also been detected by the full-body imaging scanners now making their way into airports.

    But Abdulmutallab did not go through full-body imaging machines in Nigeria or Amsterdam, said Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y. King, the top Republican on the Homeland Security Committee, has been briefed on the investigation.

    Both airports have body scanners. The Amsterdam airport has had a long reputation for good security, King said, while Nigeria's airports have been more of a concern.

    The U.S. provided full-body scanners to all four international airports in Nigeria, according to the State Department. The scanners were installed in March, May and June of 2008.

    ***
    and Napolitano maintains that this guy was "properly screened?!"
    LoriKeet

    Answer by LoriKeet at 9:18 AM on Dec. 28, 2009

  • One would think after 9/11 there would be better inspections. I just don't understand the stupidy in these situations.
    ronjwake

    Answer by ronjwake at 9:23 AM on Dec. 28, 2009

  • he boarded in Nigeria not America.
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:20 AM on Dec. 28, 2009

  • WASHINGTON – Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano conceded Monday that the aviation security system failed when a young man on a watchlist with a U.S. visa in his pocket and a l explosive hidden on his body was allowed to board a fight from Amsterdam to Detroit.


    p>

    "Our system did not work in this instance," she said on NBC's "Today" show. "No one is happy or satisfied with that. An extensive review is under way."


    The White House press office, traveling with President Barack Obama in Hawaii, said early Monday that the presiden

    sweet-a-kins

    Answer by sweet-a-kins at 10:22 AM on Dec. 28, 2009

  • sweet-a-kins

    Answer by sweet-a-kins at 10:22 AM on Dec. 28, 2009

  • Anon...that's NO EXCUSE!


    If you read my post above (taken from the OP's link), you would have seen the following:


    "The U.S. provided full-body scanners to all four international airports in Nigeria, according to the State Department. The scanners were installed in March, May and June of 2008."


    So, WHY was he not instructed to take a stroll through the scanner?!  Could it be that Nigeria implores a little "profiling" of their own, that he was allowed to slip through--seeing as he is from a wealthy family, and not considered a threat?!  LOL

    LoriKeet

    Answer by LoriKeet at 11:04 AM on Dec. 28, 2009

  • "Our system did not work in this instance," she said on NBC's "Today" show. "No one is happy or satisfied with that. An extensive review is under way."

    ***

    What a difference a day makes, right sweets?!
    LoriKeet

    Answer by LoriKeet at 11:05 AM on Dec. 28, 2009

  • Like I said wouldnt want others to scream 'PROFILING!' soo at the stake of many lives they are let through...again PC crap is going to destroy us
    tnmomofive

    Answer by tnmomofive at 11:26 AM on Dec. 28, 2009

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