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"On the implausibility of the explosives plot."

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posted on Aug, 17 2006 @ 03:37 PM
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Hi members, I found this little interesting read while searching news groups. This is not my material and appears to be by a Perry E. Metzger. I thought it was interesting, and would like to see some other opinions on it.



"... Based on the claims in the media, it sounds like the idea was to mix
H2O2 (hydrogen peroxide, but not the low test kind you get at the
pharmacy), H2SO4 (sulfuric acid, of necessity very concentrated for it
to work at all), and acetone (known to people worldwide as nail polish
remover), to make acetone peroxides. You first have to mix the H2O2
and H2SO4 to get a powerful oxidizer, and then you use it on acetone
to get the peroxides, which are indeed explosive.


A mix of H2O2 and H2SO4, commonly called "piranha bath", is used in
orgo labs around the world for cleaning the last traces out of organic
material out of glassware when you need it *really* clean -- thus,
many people who work around organic labs are familiar with it. When
you mix it, it heats like mad, which is a common thing when you mix
concentrated sulfuric acid with anything. It is very easy to end up
with a spattering mess. You don't want to be around the stuff in
general.

....

Now, they could of course mix up their oxidizer in advance, but then
finding a container to keep the stuff in that isn't going to melt is a
bit of an issue. The stuff reacts violently with *everything*. You're
not going to keep piranha bath in a shampoo bottle -- not unless the
shampoo bottle was engineered by James Bond's Q. Glass would be most
appropriate, assuming that you could find a way to seal it that
wouldn't be eaten.

The full essay/article can be found here: www.interesting-people.org...


Interesting?

-Radardog

Mod Edit: No Quote/Plagiarism – Please Review This Link.

Mod Edit: External Source Tags – Please Review This Link.




[edit on 17/8/2006 by Mirthful Me]




posted on Aug, 17 2006 @ 03:58 PM
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That was a really good article and it made a lot of sense. But of course you wont be seeing that sort of logic comming from your local news anchor.
Good Read.



posted on Aug, 17 2006 @ 04:04 PM
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No where in the media did I read that the chemicals that were going to be mixed were the ones mentioned in your article.

Please supply me a source that mentions the alleged chemicals.

And one more question..who the heck is Perry E. Metzger, and why should care what he says. ( clue me in cause I really don't know )

- Beezer



posted on Aug, 17 2006 @ 04:18 PM
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From www.msnbc.msn.com...

"An American law enforcement official who was briefed on the investigation said it appeared the liquid to be used was a “peroxide-based solution” to be detonated by an electronic device that was not specified, but could be anything from a disposable camera to a portable digital music player"

Sounds like a AP bomb to me.



posted on Aug, 17 2006 @ 05:23 PM
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Originally posted by NJStomp
From www.msnbc.msn.com...

"An American law enforcement official who was briefed on the investigation said it appeared the liquid to be used was a “peroxide-based solution” to be detonated by an electronic device that was not specified, but could be anything from a disposable camera to a portable digital music player"

Sounds like a AP bomb to me.




Thanks ever so much..I did not read that when the story broke.

One question answered, now....who is Perry E. Metzger?


- Beezer



posted on Aug, 17 2006 @ 05:29 PM
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Originally posted by Mr Beezer
One question answered, now....who is Perry E. Metzger?


It seems like you are just looking for an excuse to dismiss this and support the official propaganda.


Doesn't matter who he is.

His information is correct. Anybody with a basic understanding of chemistry (like me) can vouch for the correctness of it. Happy now?
.



posted on Aug, 17 2006 @ 06:37 PM
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Originally posted by Gools


It seems like you are just looking for an excuse to dismiss this and support the official propaganda.


Doesn't matter who he is.

His information is correct. Anybody with a basic understanding of chemistry (like me) can vouch for the correctness of it. Happy now?
.


Just what we all like to see around here a MOD with an agenda


I asked 2 questions rather nicely and got a good answer to one and was looking for the other one to be answered. I don't think ridiculing or accusing me is really doing your job as a MOD now is it?

YES IT DOES MATTER WHO HE IS, at least to me, because I don't know who he is..that is why I asked...makes sense huh?

But I guess people like you will follow blindly anything anyone tells you right?...There is nothing wrong with asking questions.

I really could care less that you understand chemistry...I understand how to change a .dat file on 14 remotley linked computers at the same time, whoopty ding dong there GOOLS...WHO CARES?

Me asking who this gentleman was has NOTHING...I will repeat it for you NOTHING to do with chemistry. The first portion of my question DID, and that was answered already. I do think you are a bit behind in answering my questions.

Now...WHO has the agenda my fair gools?

- Beezer



[edit on 17-8-2006 by Mr Beezer]



posted on Aug, 17 2006 @ 07:03 PM
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Originally posted by Mr Beezer
One question answered, now....who is Perry E. Metzger?


Which is becoming an increasingly novel idea...


The closest thing to a "bio" that I could find. Mr Beezer, you should try Google, it satisfies your curiosities and has a lemony fresh scent to boot.




Those of you like me who've been doing this internet stuff since well before Tim Berners-Lee had a couple of CERN underlings cobble together the rudimentary underpinnings of the Web will likely have heard of Perry Metzger, an old friend of mine who, at least at one time, was considered one of the most prolific writers on Usenet.

There were some, in fact, who were convinced that "Perry" was actually an AI, since no mere human could post such volume. It wasn't until I met him myself in person, about a decade ago, that I was entirely convinced otherwise. He's human, at least for the time being.

Perry is now Strategic Advisor for Wasabi Systems, "The NetBSD Company". He has agreed to contribute to Survival Arts from time to time, and has provided the following very brief bio. Welcome, my old friend. - Editor

Perry E. Metzger is a known troublemaker. A socialist by education, he accidently discovered libertarianism in spite of the best efforts of his elders. Although his opposition to both death and taxes is by now an uninteresting cliche, he still remembers when it was radical and new.

www.survivalarts.com...


So there we have it...

Now back to our regularly scheduled thread.

[edit on 17/8/2006 by Mirthful Me]



posted on Aug, 17 2006 @ 07:18 PM
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What makes Radardog’s article seem interesting is that the author suggests the terrorists cannot create their explosive at home and bring it onto the plane because their containers will dissolve.

But plastic and glass some of those most unreactive materials around Concentrated sulphuric acid can be stored in glass, but hydrofluoric acid (which dissolves glass en.wikipedia.org...) can be stored in plastic.

The author says…

You first have to mix the H2O2
and H2SO4 to get a powerful oxidizer, and then you use it on acetone
to get the peroxides, which are indeed explosive.


Why can’t you do that at home?


The author almost replies and says

Now, they could of course mix up their oxidizer in advance, but then
finding a container to keep the stuff in that isn't going to melt is a
bit of an issue.


I would say what he says is a lot of rubbish. If (glass dissolving) hydrofluoric acid can be stored in plastic containers then so too can any terrorist explosive. Hydrofluoric acid is one of the world’s most powerful acids chemically possible; just as plastic is one of the most stable materials chemically possible. But I would be really surprised if glass wasn’t satisfactory.
Say you have no choice but to mix the compounds onboard; is the chemical reaction going to be so hot it will melt glass? Or transfer enough heat to make it too hot to hold? Get real.

In any case I'm sure the alleged terrorists)would be smarter enough to do a demo with the explosive procedure before trying it out on the plane. This means that (if they are terrorists) they would still have gotten away with it. I would also point out that a rubbish explosive planned by the terrorists and passed to the public by the authorities does not in itself mean the plot wasn’t real; just that the alleged terrorists (allegedly) had a rubbish explosive on their minds.

I don’t know whether its ignorance or money that motivates this writer. Whatever the case logic dictates that he is clearly wrong because there is no issue with getting this stuff onto a plane providing a glass, plastic, or dare I suggest ceramic container is used.
All the writer has done is go into great detail about how to make a bomb. I used to make bombs as a kid on the farm. I would blow things like tree stumps up just for fun. So good job I was only a terrorist if you were also my mum)

If the writer ends up on a plane crashing into a tall building, he can look from beyond the grave to the stupidity of men like him. The article’s interesting, partly because it is wrong, but mostly because of the way its wrong, it’s very deceiving but still terrorist educating.

[edit on 090705 by Liberal1984]



posted on Aug, 17 2006 @ 07:24 PM
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In reality, we shouldn't attack an argument by who presents it, but rather attack the argument for its content. Although, don't tell any politicians that. :-P I'd be more interested if someone could point at one of his statements and tell us, "this is false, because..." Saying that his statements are false because he doesn't have a PhD in chemistry only leaves the door wide open to simply reply back "fallacy." Nor do I recommend trusting him on his word, but rather look at the argument, find its flaws (if any) then throwing out a thoughtful opinion.

If this guy is correct, then it makes me doubt the media has the full story, of which, I am sure their sources are government officials. This leads me to believe either the government does not know the full story (odd, but understandable), or the government isn't telling the media everything about the plot. I suppose there is a third option where the media did not understand a word the government was telling them. With all the media analysts, though, that seems a more limited possibility compared to the former two.



posted on Aug, 17 2006 @ 07:41 PM
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Originally posted by Liberal1984
What makes Radardog’s article seem interesting is that the author suggests the terrorists cannot create their explosive at home and bring it onto the plane because their containers will dissolve.

But plastic and glass some of those most unreactive materials around Concentrated sulphuric acid can be stored in glass, but hydrofluoric acid (which dissolves glass en.wikipedia.org...) can be stored in plastic.


I think you read it a little too quickly. The writer is commenting on the handling a mixed solution called "Piranha solution." Which, apparently, will melt plastic and should only be contained in glass (especially a glass called Pyrex see here: web.princeton.edu...).

He seems to argue against the plausibility for first making the Piranha solution in midflight, and then secondly if it were brought aboard using a glass container he argues,



"So, lets say you have your oxidizer mixture and now you are going to
mix it with acetone. In a proper lab environment, that's not going to
be *too* awful -- your risk of dying horribly is significant but you
could probably keep the whole thing reasonably under control -- you
can use dry ice to cool a bath to -78C, say, and do the reaction
really slowly by adding the last reactant dropwise with an addition
funnel. If you're mixing the stuff up in someone's bathtub, like the
guys who bombed the London subways a year ago did, you can take some
reasonable precautions to make sure that your reaction doesn't go
wildly out of control, like using a lot of normal ice and being very,
very, very careful and slow. You need to keep the stuff cool, and you
need to be insanely meticulous, or you're going to be in a world of
hurt."


Now we know the media statement is that they were planning to mix something, so that in itself, throws away the assertion that there is any evidence they were going to bring everything pre-mixed.



posted on Aug, 17 2006 @ 09:01 PM
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Your right but I'm still uncertain about whether its necessary to mix the explosive on the plane.
But I am certain that any terrorist would try out any rubbish idea they had to see if it was rubbish.
I also think it would be just like the government to release a dangerous idea that won't work (they do that with lots of things).

[edit on 090705 by Liberal1984]



posted on Aug, 17 2006 @ 09:54 PM
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Originally posted by radardog
In reality, we shouldn't attack an argument by who presents it, but rather attack the argument for its content.


Thank you sir!!

At least somebody got the point.

.



posted on Aug, 17 2006 @ 10:03 PM
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The first paragraph.

Based on the claims in the media,


Phhhbbtt. You know the drill as well as the rest of us. By default the authorities keep the details out of the media for obvious reasons, even with the "leaks".


it sounds like the idea was to mix
H2O2 (hydrogen peroxide, but not the low test kind you get at the
pharmacy), H2SO4 (sulfuric acid, of necessity very concentrated for it
to work at all), and acetone (known to people worldwide as nail polish
remover), to make acetone peroxides. You first have to mix the H2O2
and H2SO4 to get a powerful oxidizer, and then you use it on acetone

to get the peroxides, which are indeed explosive.


No, he has reversed the proceedure. If he cant even get the first step right, that does not speak highly of his skills.


Second paragraph


A mix of H2O2 and H2SO4, commonly called "piranha bath", is used in
orgo labs around the world for cleaning the last traces out of organic
material out of glassware when you need it *really* clean -- thus,
many people who work around organic labs are familiar with it. When
you mix it, it heats like mad, which is a common thing when you mix
concentrated sulfuric acid with anything. It is very easy to end up
with a spattering mess. You don't want to be around the stuff in
general


Piranha solution is a 3:1 mixture of sulfuric acid and hydrogen peroxide.
That is not the ratio of mixture used for a peroxide based explosive. Sorry, but the entire paragraph is null and void.


Third Paragraph


Now, they could of course mix up their oxidizer in advance, but then
finding a container to keep the stuff in that isn't going to melt is a
bit of an issue.


The acid catalyzed synthesis of the product was first described in 1959 by Millas, who used large quantities of sulfuric acid. Using that technique may make it difficult to find an appropriate container. But the field has advanced quite a bit since then. Large quantities of sulfuric acid are no longer required to catalyze the product. In fact there are several other methods to catalyze the product. His statement is not valid.


The stuff reacts violently with *everything*. You're
not going to keep piranha bath in a shampoo bottle
-- not unless the
shampoo bottle was engineered by James Bond's Q. Glass would be most
appropriate, assuming that you could find a way to seal it that
wouldn't be eaten.


The liquid explosive is not piranha solution. The point is invalid.



Radardog
He seems to argue against the plausibility for first making the Piranha solution in midflight, and then secondly if it were brought aboard using a glass container he argues


The liquid explosive is not piranha solution. The point is invalid.

In conlclusion, the product that he discussed is very dangerous, and must be kept seperated until used. But it is notthe liquid explosive that is being discussed. Please try again.





Liberal1984
I also think it would be just like the government to release a dangerous idea that won't work


Please take a moment to reference the information below concerning who is releasing the dangerous ideas.

Internet: Liquid Explosives Recipes Available On Muslim Websites

Liquid Explosive Training Manuals Easily Attainable on Jihadi Forums



posted on Aug, 17 2006 @ 10:25 PM
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I don't know where you get the idea that he is not describing the explosive in question.

When you order a jug of H2SO4 from say, Aldrich, it comes in special bottles with special caps because IT WILL MELT PLASTIC. In fact over time it will also scorch most glass. Pyrex is used in organic labs because it is resistant to this kind of scorching.

And regardless of the order of mixing, the result of mixing those chemicals is a highly exothermic reaction and will produce a lot of heat and nasty gasses (peroxides included), some of which have a very low flash point.

I've seen the results of a peroxide explosion in a lab. An experienced chemist who was distilling ether to remove the peroxides that naturally form between ether and air ended up was missing his beard and eyebrows and was badly burnt with the fumehood totally destroyed.

Bottom line. There is no way to get H2SO4 or a mixture containing it on board a plane in a shampoo bottle. Hence the ridiculous measures being put in place to make people used to bowing to authority "for their own safety" are just that. Ridiculous.

BTW... Eurasia has always been at war with Oceania.
.

edit to add: from your Jane's reference

Triacetonetriperoxide (TATP) is a highly volatile, highly explosive compound made from widely available chemicals, including acetone, hydrogen peroxide and a mineral acid.


Mineral acid... in other words sulfuric acid or H2SO4. So yeah it is the explosive being discussed.
.

[edit on 8/17/2006 by Gools]



posted on Aug, 17 2006 @ 10:48 PM
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Gools
When you order a jug of H2SO4 from say, Aldrich, it comes in special bottles with special caps because IT WILL MELT PLASTIC. In fact over time it will also scorch most glass. Pyrex is used in organic labs because it is resistant to this kind of scorching.

And regardless of the order of mixing, the result of mixing those chemicals is a highly exothermic reaction and will produce a lot of heat and nasty gasses (peroxides included), some of which have a very low flash point.

I've seen the results of a peroxide explosion in a lab. An experienced chemist who was distilling ether to remove the peroxides that naturally form between ether and air ended up was missing his beard and eyebrows and was badly burnt with the fumehood totally destroyed.


Blah blah blah.
Piranha solution is still not the explosive product that the airline issue was about, therefore your entire argument here is invalid.


Gools
Bottom line. There is no way to get H2SO4 or a mixture containing it on board a plane in a shampoo bottle.


Here I agree with you, except that the real bottom line is that since the liquid explosive is not H2SO4, your argument is invalid.


Gools
Mineral acid... in other words sulfuric acid or H2SO4. So yeah it is the explosive being discussed.


I guess you didn't read the part where H2SO4 is no longer needed in large quantities or not at all. Where piranha solution uses 3 to 1 ratio of sulfuric acid? Here I will quote it for you.


makeitso
Large quantities of sulfuric acid are no longer required to catalyze the product. In fact there are several other methods to catalyze the product.

and

Piranha solution is a 3:1 mixture of sulfuric acid and hydrogen peroxide.



Gools
Hence the ridiculous measures being put in place to make people used to bowing to authority "for their own safety" are just that. Ridiculous.


What does that have to do with the fact that piranha solution is not TATP, DADP, or a derivative? Nothing. Please try again


[edit on 8/17/06 by makeitso]



posted on Aug, 17 2006 @ 11:01 PM
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Ok... well.... I think your nitpicking.


Piranha is not the final explosive, your right, BUT it is a component of the explosive.

You still have to get the three ingredients onto a plane.

Whether it's A+B+C or AB+C or A+BC or AC+B or the final ABC product (which is described as highly volatile and reactive), taking water bottles, baby food, contact lens solution and shampoo bottles away from people is nowhere near a solution and is simply police state overkill by a bunch of control freaks on a power trip. It's just a fear and propaganda excercise for the compliant masses to swallow.
.

edit: BTW after re-reading your post I edited the first sentence of my previous post while you were typing up your answer.

[edit on 8/17/2006 by Gools]



posted on Aug, 17 2006 @ 11:26 PM
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Gools
Piranha is not the final explosive, your right, BUT it is a component of the explosive.


I think you are minimizing the significance of the ratio of sulfuric acid in the product and the significance of the proper steps in the creation of it. Its all about proportion. You need extremely little sulfuric acid for the product. Where Piranha solution is a 3 to 1 mix. Very caustic.

Let me ask you what is the liquid in your car battery? The answer is Sulfuric acid. Is your battery glass? No. The batteries plastic case can handle the acid because the acid is diluted. Just as with the TATP. You only need a minor amount of acid compared to the volume rest of the components.

Mr. Metzger is exagerating the strengh of the acid required for the explosive by using an example from a different and much more caustic agent. This invalidates his article entirely.

Gools, perhaps your right about nitpicking. But You've been a good sport, and I thank you for that.


taking water bottles, baby food, contact lens solution and shampoo bottles away from people is nowhere near a solution and is simply police state overkill by a bunch of control freaks on a power trip. It's just a fear and propaganda excercise for the compliant masses to swallow.


So, if you were the government, and you had this kind of threat, and you knew they already did at least one dry run, what measures should be taken to prevent the attack?


[edit on 8/18/06 by makeitso]



posted on Aug, 17 2006 @ 11:28 PM
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Originally posted by Gools
It seems like you are just looking for an excuse to dismiss this and support the official propaganda.



Ok Beezer after re-reading this thread, I probably jumped to conclusions there.

I'm just a little defensive because there are a lot of people on here who use semantics and debate tactics to try and dismiss perfectly good logic and solid arguments by trying to poke a hole in a place that's not relevant. And to be honest your post came accross that way to me.

No hard feelings I hope.

.



posted on Aug, 17 2006 @ 11:35 PM
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makeitso.

I think the "dry run" issue is still up in the air. In fact British authorities had to ask for an extention of time to conduct their investigation since the warrants were set to expire this week. (Yes they actually still follow the law in england
) don't you think that they should already have pretty good evidence in hand to have made the arrests and sent the whole travelling public into a hysteria?

As for the solution, the only thing I know is that my chances of being the target of a terrorist attack are less than being struck by lightning (looks outside - clear skies - keeps typing) but hey, make me the head of Homeland Security with a big fat paycheck and I'll think of something.

.



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