August 28, 2006

Forget TATP, now it's HMTD

The New York Times reports this morning that the British airline bomb plot involved making HMTD explosive, not the TATP (acetone peroxide) that had been previously focussed on. Star copy of the story here.

It should probably be noted at this point that the fastest method to make HMTD takes at least five uninterrupted hours (not counting drying time), that only one of the components (the hydrogen peroxide) is normally a liquid, and that you're going to need, among other things, lots and lots of ice... all effectively ruling out any on-plane synthesis.

Oh, yes, and HMTD (like TATP), once synthesized, is not a liquid. It's a powder. The fact that governments have not yet banned all solid substances from airplanes is undoubtedly something of an administrative oversight, and certain to be corrected shortly.

PS: This is a brilliant article.

Posted by BruceR at 10:43 AM