Entries in Explosives (3)


Nuclear Plant Scare: Explosives Found in Sweden

(NEW YORK) -- Swedish officials have raised security levels at the country's nuclear power plants after a small amount of explosives, without its detonator, was discovered at one of the plants during a routine security check, local authorities said.

The explosive material, believed to be civilian-type explosives used in demolition or excavation, was about the size of a tennis ball and was found in a truck at Sweden's Ringhals nuclear power plant. The truck had been on its way from an industrial park into a secure area, but had never made it inside the facility, according to the Ringhals spokesman Gosta Larsen. Since the explosives lacked the detonator, there was no imminent danger, authorities said.

A sample has been sent to a Swedish lab for analysis. Police are investigating whether it could be a case of sabotage but so far have no suspects, said police spokesman Tommy Nyman.

"An outsider has obviously placed them on the truck," Nyman said. "We're talking to the truck driver and are trying to map out her movements within the [Ringhals] premises throughout the day."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Second Bomb in Three Days from Italian Anarchists: Officials

FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP/Getty Images(ROME) -- The director of a Rome office of Italy's national tax collection agency was wounded in the hands and eyes Friday after opening a letter bomb, Italian police said, in what may be the second of three threatened bomb attacks from Italian anarchists.

The explosion came two days after a letter bomb was discovered in the mail room of Deutsche Bank's Frankfurt headquarters, and event that led to tightened security at the bank's New York offices near Ground Zero.

An Italian anarchist group called the Federazione Anarchica Informale, or Informal Anarchist Federation, claimed credit for the Frankfurt device, according to German police. ABC News has learned that the letter bomb, which was discovered via mailroom X-ray and was addressed to company CEO Josef Ackerman, was mailed from Italy.

Law enforcement sources in Germany identified the device as a clothespin-initiated small bomb, containing just over an ounce of homemade high explosive, ABC has learned. Such devices, triggered when the envelope is opened, are designed to maim -- damaging hands and eyes in most instances. The Hesse State Police Bomb Squad rendered the bomb safe.

German state police said that in a note accompanying the bomb the group referred to "three explosions against banks, bankers, ticks and bloodsuckers."

The Italian tax office director injured in Friday's explosion was hospitalized but the extent of his injuries were not immediately known. A piece of propaganda from the Informal Anarchist Federation was reportedly found in the package.

Italy has stepped up its tax collection efforts as part of a 30 billion euro austerity package aimed at eliminating Italy's budget deficit by 2013.

The same anarchist group had claimed responsibility for a series of letter bombs sent to foreign embassies in Rome last December, seriously injuring two people.

In 2010, counterterror officials in Europe faced a two-day blizzard of parcel bombs believed linked to anarchists, during which at least 11 were found in Athens, one addressed to French president Nicolas Sarkozy, and others to the Athens embassies of Russia, Bulgaria, Germany, Switzerland, and Mexico. In Berlin, authorities destroyed a bomb addressed to Chancellor Angela Merkel. It had been sent from Greece.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


European Cities Block Cargo Shipments from Yemen 

Photo Courtesy - Tim Boyle/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- In the wake of last week’s discovery of bombs packed in printer toner cartridges bound for the U.S, the governments of Britain, France and Germany have suspended cargo shipments from Yemen, which American officials say was the source of the explosives.

Most fingers are pointing to the Yemen-based al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula group as the likely culprits, with suspicion falling on Ibrahim Hassan al-Asiri, the terrorist group’s top bomb builder.  U.S. intelligence officials contend al-Asiri also constructed the bomb that Nigerian Abdul Farouk Abdulmutallab allegedly carried in his underwear in the failed bomb attempt on Northwest Flight 253 that was headed for Detroit last Christmas Day.

German authorities also offered more information about the bomb that passed through Cologne that was eventually detected at the East Midlands Airport in England.  They said the bomb unknowingly transported by UPS contained 14 ounces of the powerful explosive PETN, which is the equivalent of about five sticks of TNT.  One stick of TNT can easily destroy an average house.

The other bomb found by security officials in Dubai contained slightly less PETN but in both cases, there was enough of the explosive in each package to blow the cargo planes out of the sky.

That’s the latest theory that Western intelligence officials are working on.  While the packages were intended to be delivered to synagogues in Chicago, the bomb plotters may have actually been more concerned with destroying the planes in an effort to cripple the air transport industry, which has come under increasing scrutiny because of safety lapses.

In other developments, there was a report that a former al Qaeda insider tipped off Saudi authorities to the scheme two weeks ago.  The man, a former detainee at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, was returned to Saudi Arabia four years ago for rehabilitation but escaped and fled to Yemen.

It was Saudi Arabia’s intelligence chief who tipped off White House counterterrorism head John Brennan last week to the possibility of bombs aboard cargo planes headed to the U.S.

Authorities in Yemen are also still searching for a woman who apparently brought the explosive-laden packages to freight companies.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio