7/7 Doubts about Balkan connection

The discovery of homemade explosives at a house in Leeds looks to have cast doubt on the theory of a Balkan link to the London bombings.

"This is a shocking development in the sense that earlier ideas about commercial or military grade explosive being used in the bombs themselves would therefore seem to be wrong," BBC Newsnight reporter Mark Urban said.

He said the explosive’s "extremely volatile" nature had prompted the police to widen a cordon around the house even further on Thursday, as well as set up a no-fly zone.

"It’s the same kind of explosive Richard Reid had in his shoes when he tried to blow up a trans-Atlantic flight in 2001," he said.

Reid’s version of the explosive had been mixed with another compound to make it more stable. (BBC News)

However, The Times notes that the other ingredient used in Reid’s bomb was a military plastic explosive:

That expert suggested that TATP – which does not need sophisticated detonating devices – might have been used only as the trigger for the London bombs, but it could have been the main explosive. "It would be surprising, but then the Jihadis, and al-Qaeda, are always capable of surprising us," he added.

In Reid’s case, there was a small thread of TATP running through 100 grammes of PETN, a high-grade military plastic explosive, attached to a powder-fuse running through his shoelace. That combination surprised bomb experts – TATP is not the trigger normally used for PETN – but was seen as a sophisticated mixture for avoiding detection. (The Times)







Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *