June 6, 1995 |
It takes a great deal of fertilizer to feed the world. Ammonium nitrate, made by the millions of tons out of air and water, and readily available in farm supply stores, is equally serviceable as an explosive and a plant food. Yet it was sold without question - until the federal building was bombed in Oklahoma City. Now the victims of that bombing have sued the manufacturer of the ammonium nitrate, asking why, since it can be rendered harmless, they were put at risk. Despite the carnage, this cornucopia of destructive potential flows on. Ten dollars buys all the ammonium nitrate you can carry.
November 19, 2010 |
WASHINGTON - On a gray afternoon Thursday, Sen. Bob Casey attended yet another Arlington National Cemetery interment for a Pennsylvania soldier, killed while searching for homemade bombs in Afghanistan. The death of Army Spec. Dale J. Kridlo of Hughestown, Luzerne County, came only days before another area soldier, Spec. Anthony Vargos of Reading, was killed by an improvised explosive device, or IED. IEDs are the chief killer of U.S. troops in Afghanistan, and Casey has targeted the primary explosive ingredient behind them - ammonium nitrate, which has legitimate uses but more often is smuggled over the porous Pakistani border for nefarious purposes.
May 18, 1995 |
On April 19, when a bomb made of fuel oil and common farm fertilizer killed 167 people in Oklahoma City, Charles M. Saffer Jr. immediately thought of Patent No. 3,366,468. If only, was the 80-year-old Levittown chemist's second thought. More than 100 miles away in Virginia, Samuel J. Porter, 78, experienced a similar mental flash. He, too, found himself asking what if? Three decades ago, Saffer and Porter had seen the possibility of a tragedy like the one in Oklahoma City, and thought they had a way to prevent it. Together they had developed a process to generate nonexplosive fertilizer.
May 12, 1995 |
Federal authorities tightened their web of evidence against Terry Lynn Nichols yesterday, saying they had found bomb-making materials similar to those used in the Oklahoma City explosion at his home. In an affidavit unsealed as part of a court hearing in Oklahoma, the FBI said it found five 60-foot detonator cords, blasting caps and ground-up ammonium nitrate in Nichols' home in Herington, Kan. Federal bomb experts quoted in the document said those same materials made up the bomb that crumpled the federal building in Oklahoma City.
September 15, 1999 |
Trucks overturned on two major area highways within 90 minutes yesterday afternoon, shutting down the roads and causing traffic nightmares for commuters late into the evening rush hour. The first crash occurred in Plymouth Township about noon, when a tanker truck carrying a nine-ton load of the explosive ammonium nitrate overturned on a ramp leading from the eastbound Pennsylvania Turnpike to the northbound lanes of the turnpike's Northeast Extension (Route 476). The tanker spilled about a ton of the granular substance and about 200 gallons of diesel fuel over the road, said John Gerdelmann, a spokesman for the state Department of Environmental Protection, which supervised the cleanup.
December 14, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - American and coalition forces in Afghanistan will be more vulnerable to improvised explosive devices as the military draws down troops next year, a senior Pentagon official said Thursday. Lt. Gen. Michael Barbero described his concerns about what is the top cause of military and civilian deaths in Afghanistan and Pakistan in congressional testimony that also underscored U.S. frustration with Islamabad's efforts to thwart the production of the devices known as IEDs, most of which are fertilizer-based explosives.
April 20, 1995 |
In two disasters two years apart, the ingredients were familiar and prosaic: A van, an office building, and a homemade bomb most likely made from common fertilizer and fuel oil. Like the World Trade Center explosion, the bombing of the federal building in downtown Oklahoma City yesterday exploited the relative ease of constructing, delivering and detonating a bomb powerful enough to crumple a high-rise building. "You can make a simple homemade bomb from common material you find anywhere.
March 1, 1993 |
Anybody could have done it. Yesterday's disclosure that the key ingredients - fertilizer and fuel oil - used in the deadly World Trade Center blast were common, everyday items has made an already wide-open investigation even broader. "It really could be almost anybody," a high-level government intelligence source said. The disclosure came as an army of investigators launched a wide-ranging search for clues to Friday's lethal explosion. Although the city police department remained the lead agency in the probe, the FBI moved one step closer to invoking its control when regional director James Fox officially confirmed a bomb had caused the blast.
September 10, 2002 |
'I'll take it like a man,' ex-cop says on way to jail A retired Boston police officer was sentenced yesterday to 10 years in prison for hiding an arsenal of weapons for his gangster brother, Stephen "The Rifleman" Flemmi. Federal prosecutors said Michael Flemmi, 64, hid the guns for the Winter Hill Gang, run by his brother and James "Whitey" Bulger, a fugitive on the FBI's "Most Wanted" list. Flemmi, a 30-year police veteran, was convicted in May of perjury, obstruction of justice and weapons charges tied to the cache of 50 guns.
June 24, 2012
Pope, cardinals meet on leak VATICAN CITY - Pope Benedict XVI convened a special meeting of cardinals Saturday for advice on how to deal with the Vatican's leaked documents scandal - another sign of the damage the leaks have done to trust in the Holy See's governance. Benedict was already scheduled to attend a regular meeting of the heads of Vatican offices Saturday morning. The Vatican press office said he added a second meeting later in the day with other cardinals in a bid to try to "restore a climate of serenity and trust" in the church.