- British police seem to be experiencing a very unusual
- and hard to fathom - delay in identifying the type of explosive used
in the London bombs.
- "Forensic experts are scrutinising the four blast
sites to determine the exact make-up of the substance... Early reports
suggested the bombers had used a military plastic explosive during the
attacks on the capital's transport network.
- "It was later claimed that police had found acetone
peroxide - or TATP - in a bath during a raid on a property in Leeds....
However, the source said police were still carrying out tests to establish
its exact make-up." [Source] Perhaps the coyness is because the truth
would poke a hole in the official line about homemade bombs. A line at
variance with early accounts by some media sources.
- So how hard is this identification process? Not very.
- Within hours of the blasts, early examination of the
scene by explosives experts would have already narrowed down type of explosive
used. The blast velocity is the clearest indicator.
- This can be determined from visual inspection of damage
to metal panels and gross structures; also from close examination of the
penetration power of explosive metal fragments. An experienced eye could
quickly make an educated guess.
- Simple chemical tests would narrrow the options still
further. And mass spectrographic analysis could not only identify the explosive,
but can even potentially tell how it was manufactured -by identifying contaminants
in the explosives.
- It is hard to imagine how it would take more than 24hrs.
to be pretty certain, maybe 48hrs. to be definitive.
- It's been just two weeks.