So, I received an email from a concerned family member this week about an email that is circulating CyberSpace once again; with warning messages for the community. With Halloween pranks around the corner, this advice could not come at a better time.
Sadly, this is nothing new in that incidents such as these have been occurring for many years but the fact that warning messages are being passed between communities again, shows that crimes never truly go away, but rather that they are reborn again with new modus operandi. Nevertheless, it is always best advice, to be well educated and prepared to act accordingly about something that could be a life-changing event and nothing happens; as oposed to not being ready for it when/if it does occur. So, what can you do, if you suspect anyone of the following devices, call 9-11. Let the professionals asses the situation. Besides, they may need to call a Haz-Mat team, the Bomb Squad, or even just a trashman.
The email reads as follows:
“Anybody that sees a plastic bottle in their yard would think nothing of picking it up to throw it away.
Looks like these things are starting to pop up around the U.S. Check the Snopes web site below, it’s pretty scary. Important warning! NOT A JOKE! Pay attention to this.”
1. A plastic bottle with a cap (Like a normal water bottle).
2. A little Drano.
3. A little water.
4. A small piece of foil.
5. Disturb it by moving it; and BOOM (Less than 30 seconds)!!
6. No fingers left and other serious effects to your face, eyes, etc.
“People are finding these bombs in mailboxes and in their yards, just waiting for someone to pick it up intending to put it in the trash.It takes about 30 seconds to blow after you move the thing.See “SNOPES” ….it’s true. “
While this incident occurred in Methuen, Massachusetts; the fact remains that it could eaily occur in your own backyard. Devices such as these are similar to home made pipe bombs found in schools and sporting events like the 1996 Olympics ; or even overseas in places like Iraq where the bombs are a bit more elaborate and known as Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs).
Unfortyantely, an IED can be practically anything that a person imagines; with any type of material and initiator. It is a considered a homemade device that is designed to cause death, dispairment, or severe injury by using explosives alone or in combination with toxic chemicals, biological toxins, or radiological material. IEDs can be produced in varying sizes, functioning methods, containers, and delivery methods.
Although, IEDs tend to be military explosives, homemade explosives, or military ordnance and ordnance components, they can easily be built by a rather disturbed individua who has access to the internet, tools, and believe it or not; but basic elements found around ones home. This is what makes IEDs unique in nature because of the ‘homemade’ materials used for its individual compound/
Designed to defeat a specific target or type of target, they generally become more difficult to detect and protect against as they become more sophisticated.
Even though, these homemade bombs tends to vary widely in shape and form, IEDs share a common set of componens:
- A fuze
- Explosive Material
- A detonator (times, cell phones, pagers, etc)
- A power supply for the detonator
- A container (bottle, barrel, box, vehicle, etc)
Booby traps on the other hand, are usually explosive in nature; activated when an unsuspecting person dissturbs an apparently harmless and presumable safe act or object or container. These devices are usually intended to kill or incapacitate others. The intent here is often to cause collateral damage to unsuspecting individuals who may be trespassing on one’s property.
Pipe Bombs are an Improvised Explosive Device, which tends to be a tightly sealed section of a pipe filled with an explosive material. The containment provided by the pipe means that simple low explosives can be used to produce a relatively large explosion, and the fragmentation of the pipe itself creates potentially lethal shrapnel; not to mention that some makers of pipe bombs will generally fill the pipe with things like nails and screws to inflict greater shrapnel.
Often with any type of bomb, the maker will expieriment with smaller versions of their bombs or they will foolishly but accidently set the explosive off prematurely and thus inflicting personal injuries to themselves in the process. Let’s just say that many professional and ammature bomb makers will have stubs for fingers and thumbs, because they have blown off their own digits. WIth that said, not all suicide bombers were intended to be susicidal maniacs, they just lost their lives in the process of dumb mistakes are their part.
Timeline of Events over the years
- July 1996: Eric Rudolph set up a pipe bomb which killed 2 and injured 111 more in the Centennial Olympic Park bombing during the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia.
- April 1999: Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold used pipe bombs during the Columbine High School massacre. They threw them around through the course of their school massacre.
- November 2001 an Ulster Defence Association (UDA) member was killed in Tigers Bay, Belfast, Northern Ireland when the pipe-bomb which he was preparing to use against a neighboring Catholic district exploded prematurely.
- January 2002 a UDA member was killed in Coleraine, County Londonderry, Northern Ireland when the pipe bomb he was handling exploded prematurely during a Loyalist attack on a Catholic district.
- May 2005 the Israel Defense Forces foiled a Palestinian pipe bomb attack at an army roadblock. The 14-year old Palestinian boy was carrying two pipe bombs on his belt.
- August 2006, 4 pipe bombs were found in and around the city of Salem, Oregon, and some suspected a serial pipe bomber was at fault. First, a bomb was found attached to a car in the parking garage of Salem Hospital. Then one was located in the parking lot of a ‘Roth’s IGA’ grocery store. Another was found attached to a car in a parking lot in Dallas, Oregon, and another found alongside a Salem roadway. The Salem Police Bomb Squad detonated the bomb outside the ‘Roth’s’ and rendered the rest of the devices safe. The known victims were all residents of south Salem, and a suspect is facing trial.
- August 2009, a former student was arrested after detonating 2 pipe bombs on the Hillsdale High School campus in San Mateo, California.
- May 2010, a man used a pipe bomb to attack a mosque in Jacksonville, Florida. The bomb exploded while about 60 Muslims were praying in the mosque. The attack caused no injuries
- August 2010, 2 pipe bombs were located in the suburban area of 1700 block on Park Lane Ave. in McHenry Illinois. Cook County Bomb Squad was dispatched and diffused both bombs before sending them to the crime lab. Investigations are ongoing.
- September 2010, A pipe bomb was picked up by an 8 year old child near St Comgall’s Primary School in Ballymena Road, Antrim, Northern Ireland. This led to 2 schools being evacuated.
- September 2010, an unnamed man decapitated himself in the act of planting a pipe bomb by a local middle school. The incident was a potential suicide and investigators are trying to determine the reason for the bombings.