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Probe points to use of local materials in IEDs

Police say while detonators are usually bought from mining industry,timer devices are made from digital clocks

Written by Sushant Kulkarni | Pune | Published: July 31, 2013 3:44:07 am

It seems for terror acts these days,there is no need for RDX,the age-old military explosive that was first used in the 1993 Mumbai bombings. Investigators of J M Road serial blasts in Pune have found that bombs were made using locally available chemicals like ammonium nitrate and fuel oil mixture. This,of late,has made bomb-making easy and has become a cause of concern for law enforcers.

Investigators say terror outfits moved on to making Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) using locally available materials as it has become tough to procure RDX. Though the blasts from the IEDs made out of ammonium nitrate and fuel oil mixture are low intensity ones,they can be lethal if used in crowded areas. In the twins blasts at Dilsukhnagar in Hyderabad,17 people were killed though the IEDs were reportedly made using locally available components.

According to CRPF Commandant Mohammed Jamal Khan,principal of Institute of IED Management,terror modules have ceased to use RDX. “Now all these IEDs are being made from materials and tools that are easily available in local markets,” he said.

He said ammonium nitrate,used in fertilisers,is mixed with commonly available fuel oil to form an explosive combination called Ammonium Nitrate-Fuel Oil mixture (ANFO). “The detonators to set off this combination are procured from the mining industry. In the 2012 J M Road blasts,multiple detonators were used to give the desired impact,” he said. Khan said the timer devices used in IEDs are made from digital clocks,relay switches and batteries that are locally available. “Anyone with rudimentary training can make an IED,” he said.

Of the six such bombs planted at different locations on J M Road,five exploded and one was defused. Though the explosions were of low intensity,one person,Dayanand Patil,was injured. Investigators say bombs exploded with low intensity due to rain.

Forensic analysis of the IEDs showed that ammonium nitrate,lead and paraffin wax were mixed with a pink-coloured dye for making the bombs.

All these compounds are easily available in market. Investigators said the bombs were placed in boat-shaped enclosures made of plywood and tin.

While terror suspect Imran Khan Wajid Pathan bought six boxes of ball bearings from a Nanded shop and used it as projectiles in the IEDs,Firoz alias Hamza bought six tin boxes that were made at a fabrication shop in Pune. Digital wrist watches were used as triggers. The IEDs used detonators,nine volt batteries and relay switches that were locally available.

The Delhi Police,that nabbed four of the eight suspects in the blasts,has said that IED trainer Syed Maqbool of Nanded had taught the suspects Pathan,Asad Khan and Irfan Landge to use ammonium nitrate,diesel and fire-cracker powder to make bombs. The training was allegedly imparted at Asad’s farmhouse in Aurangabad.

The recent low-intensity serial blasts at Bodhgaya temple in Bihar also back the findings that locally available chemicals are used to make IEDs. Thirteen IEDs were planted of which 10 exploded,creating widespread panic.

The explosives used in recent blasts,reportedly triggered by the Indian Mujahideen and Hindu groups,mainly used ammonium nitrate and gelatin sticks.

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