SPS G5147                  DIAEXP


  • The actual situation:


Al Qaeda is warning the U.S. that it has developed a new undetectable bomb that terrorists can get past airport security.

The step-by-step instructions were included in propaganda journal Inspire Magazine. Catherine Herridge explained that the magazine suggests taking common items like water bottles and cosmetics to build nonmetallic IEDs.

This is the 'invisible bomb' maker described by US officials as 'an evil genius' who could be a key player in looming air terror threats to the UK and America.

Chemistry student Ibrahim Al-Asiri, from Saudi Arabia, allegedly created devices that can be sewn inside the human body - and are virtually undetectable at airport security. It's these 'stealth' bombs which have sparked a worldwide airport security alert.


  • The problem to be addressed by the project


Bombs need a main "secondary" charge of high explosives, and the means to ignite this charge, using a smaller detonator. A detonator is usually just a small amount of "primary explosive", which only needs a spark to ignite but is violent enough to set off the main charge.

Substitution of a purely organic powder, such as one of the organic peroxide compounds already used by terrorists, would avoid the projection of such a distinctive image. The means of ignition can be as simple as a match and the box that contains it.


  • Sensing targets


A number of research projects are underway, designed to detect the chemical content of explosives. Some use MRI imaging to tell the difference between safe and dangerous liquids. Other commercial systems sensors use X-rays to detect the tell-tale signatures of organic materials, such as the liquid explosives TATP and nitro-glycerine. Neither system is used by airport security at commercial airports.

Moreover, we would like to focus detection system particularly on the following energetic materials - explosives and compounds used for their fabrication (e.g. so-called undetectable bombs):

Inorganic compounds:

· derivatives of mercury (mercury fulminate),

· lead azide.

Organic compounds:

  • tetrazene,

  • organic peroxides (including acetone)

  • nitro derivatives (TNT, TNB trinitrobenzen, hexanitrobenzen HNB, 2,4,6-trinitro-1,3 -dimetylobenzen (xylitol), nitro-compounds- 1-hydroxy-2,4,6-trinitrobenzenn (picric melinit TNF) 1,3,5-triamino-2,4,6-trinitrobenzen (TATB), RDX, hexogen (HMX), PETN or CL20.

  • new ones such as TKX50 and the IED material triacetonetriperoxide (TATP).

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