Friday, September 07, 2007

WASSERSTOFFPEROXID: Hydrogen peroxide stuff for Friday

Pic of peroxide carboy signage submitted to DD. Note masking of vendor for photo which would presumably make tracing of initial purchase point simple.(Slightly reduced from original.)

"German officials said the peroxide could have been made into an explosive equivalent to 1,200 pounds of TNT," reported the New York Times today.

"However, investigators have not said what other chemicals they found or what they believed the suspects planned to make ... Outside experts like George Smith, a senior fellow at the research organization, said that without additional information, it was not possible to guess the size of the threat. 'That they accumulated so much material certainly deserved scrutiny,' Dr. Smith said.

"Common industrial uses for 35 percent hydrogen peroxide solution include the bleaching of wood pulp for paper production and the treatment of wastewater. 'You have an everyday product, more or less, that is used under normal circumstances to improve people’s lives,' said William Gulledge, manager of the hydrogen peroxide panel at the American Chemistry Council, an industry group."

The entire piece is here.

Application of common sense produces a number of sensible indications. Accumulation of such a large quantity of the chemical, suitable for production of the touchy terror explosive, triacetone peroxide, is serious business. That much material would allow the terrorists to quickly move into the manufacture of improvised bombs.

Application of common sense allows for the realization that it would be impractical for a sub rosa team to efficiently mix all of it. It is difficult to estimate the explosive capability which could be achieved because of a variables in methods of synthesis, plans and the simple fact that a certain portion would be lost to waste.

Logically, the terrorists would have planned to subdivide it for use in a large number of smaller bombs.

However, one must wait for more information to emerge.

Some news reports have glancingly indicated that authorities were able to substitute something else, unspecified but not concentrated peroxide, inside the shipping containers. While the veracity of such statements cannot be determined, it is of some importance to track down the truth of it, if any, and the general details of any such substitution.

And today the Los Angeles Times reported the terror cell had been vulnerable to electronic eavesdropping for some time.

Therefore, it would seem certain that at some point in the investigation, German authorities new with certitude where the chemical was being obtained.


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