I’ve been reading every article I can on the materials these two guys were playing with. They are claimed to have had the following in their car:
- Three pieces of PVC pipe cut into various sizes, 1 foot or less, filled with a mixture of
- Potassium nitrate
- Karo syrup
- Cat litter
- Safety fuse, 20 feet.
- Electric drill
- .22 caliber ammunition
- Gasoline, 5 gallon canister
- Laptop computer reflecting visits to the following Web sites
- A video file that shows Qassam rockets firing
- Hamas information
- A discussion of martyrdom
- M-16 rifle photos
Except for the pipes and the stuff all mixed up you might find that in one of my vehicles sometime.
It is claimed the cat litter was used to “bind the ingredients” but I’m not buying it. Karo syrup doesn’t need any help “binding”. If you put enough cat litter in the mixture it would make it easier to handle–including putting it in the pipe. But if you add enough litter to make it easy to handle I keep thinking it would interfere with the desired reaction–unless you were just trying to make a 4th of July type “fountain” or “smoke bomb”. With a good detonator (blasting cap) and with no, or a limited amount, of cat litter it might go boom but it’s not going to be all that impressive.
If it were just the above items and it were up to me personally I would give them a stern warning for traveling with the pipes filled with the mixture. If they had a car accident it might catch fire and make the situation much worse. It’s not going to go boom and rip the car apart or anything but it’s not something you should do either.
If the mixture will actually explode then it would be a violation of Federal Law in regards to transportation of explosives since I doubt they had the proper placards, packaging, licenses and/or permits, storage magazine, and an hazardous materials endorsement on their drivers license.
But it wasn’t just those items. There was one more thing that changes the entire flavor of the case:
In July, Mohamed posted a video on YouTube that explained how to transform a toy remote controlled car into a detonator, Hoffer said. The 12-minute video is narrated by a man speaking Arabic with an Egyptian accent. It shows no face, only hands.
“Mohamed admitted he made and uploaded it,” Hoffer said.
The video’s narrator says it’s meant “to save one who wants to be a martyr for another day in battle,” Hoffer said. The narrator also mentions a previous example that used a remote controlled toy boat. Federal agents searched the New Tampa home of Megahed’s family and found a remote controlled toy boat, Hoffer said.
But what does that mean?
The judge asked if there was a definite link between the two, and Hoffer said no.
Exactly! Does the video mean he was intending to be “a martyr for another day in battle”? Was he going to try to detonate the material remotely for an evil purpose? I detonate explosives remotely using supersonic lead pellets and I could see doing it by a radio controlled device too (it’s been a common fantasy of mine and others to fake shooting a reactive target with an ordinary iron sighted handgun from 500 yards then tease those that can’t hit a target with their scoped rifles).
Summing up I am in near complete agreement (an extremely rare event) with CAIR:
Ahmed Bedier, director of the Central Florida office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, was quick to distinguish between Megahed and Mohamed.
“It’s obvious there are two separate individuals with different charges and different allegations,” he said. “I wouldn’t be surprised if the two individuals end up having separate cases altogether.”
He defended Megahed, saying it appeared he “just happened to be in the car.” But he had harsher words for Mohamed.
If he could talk to Mohamed, Bedier said, “I’d say, ‘Wake up!’ “
He added, “Muslims don’t get a second chance when they dabble with things like this. Not only will this have consequences on him, but it will have consequences on most of the Muslims in this country.”
Update: Ry reminds us we can’t believe everything we read in the media.
Update2: Ahh… now things are making more sense:
In the trunk, deputies found four small sections of PVC pipe, at least three of which were stuffed with a “potassium nitrate explosive mixture” of potassium nitrate, Karo syrup and kitty litter, Hoffer said. He said the kitty litter served as a binder to keep the substance from coming out of the pipes, which were not capped.
Both men are charged with transporting explosives without a permit, relating to the stuffed PVC pipes deputies have described as pipe bombs. Hoffer conceded in court, however, that the devices, while explosive, were not pipe bombs and were not “destructive devices” under the law.
Allen maintained that the filled PVC pipes couldn’t do much damage because there were no caps and no metallic material that could serve as shrapnel.
Sounds more like smoke bombs than pipe bombs to me. Worst case they could be incendiary devices. My bet is that if the defense plays their cards right they can beat the explosives charge.