A Simple Plot: Liquid Explosives Used for Terrorism
Although liquid explosives have not been used often in recent suicide bombings throughout the world, law enforcement agencies still must take action to stop them from being used.
Investigations of the plot last August to bomb airplanes coming to the United States from the United Kingdom are finding that bottles of Lucozade–an English brand of Gatorade–with fake bottoms would have been employed. The Lucozade would have been contained in the bottle’s top section while the false bottom would have held the explosives.
It has been determined by authorities that the liquid would be utilized to either manufacture triacetone triperoxide TATP and/or hexamethylene triperoxide diamine. These apparently would have been mixed after take-off, and both substances can be activated by heat, friction, or electrical charge.
There are numerous kinds of liquid and gel explosives that law enforcement should learn about, including WaterGel explosives, which were devised to replace dynamite, are packaged in plastic, have the appearance of very big sausages, and need a detonator.
Two-element Kinepak is sold commercially and has a syrupy red liquid appearance. When combined with a white powder component it makes a highly powerful explosive, and requires an electrical or mechanical detonation.
Nitroglycerin continues to be the explosive with the highest instability, and can be stabilized through freezing and reconstitution or by adding elements that can then be removed.
Abstracted by the National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center (NLECTC) from Law Enforcement Technology (01/07); Vol. 34, No. 1, P. 8; Morgenstern, Henry.