EDISON, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — In a training exercise to stop terrorism, the FBI on Tuesday was educating local authorities on the power of improvised explosive devices made with household products.
As CBS2’s Meg Baker reported, the demonstration in Edison, New Jersey included examples of IEDs that have actually been used by terrorists around the world.
The FBI conducted the demonstrations as they emphasized that we are all partners in a fight against terrorism.
“Without the public’s help and input, it’s really difficult to identify any kind of threat without the assistance,” said Kevin M. Conklin, Supervisor Special Agent of the Joint Terrorism Task Force in Newark.
Special agents with the Joint Terrorism Task Force said the recent and tragic attacks in Turkey and Belgium show the real threat we face from improvised explosives, made with household products.
“Bleach, ammonia, nail polish remover, brake fluid – you know, when they’re combined in right amounts, they can inflict serious damage,” said Timothy Gallagher, JTTF Special Agent in Charge for Newark.
The training event included members of state and local law enforcement – first responders and private-sector partners – who may deal with sensitive chemicals that could be used to make a homemade bomb.
“We provide them an understanding and overview of what types of chemicals and devices can be put together, and then we complete the training by showing them exactly what the destructive nature of those devices are,” Conklin explained.
The effort helps to combat terrorism from all angles.
“Anyone seeking to do us harm – whether it be, you know, an individual from abroad or someone who grew up right here in New Jersey” can more easily be detected, Gallagher said.
Special Agent Christopher White did the lethal mixing.
“One of the explosions we made, we refer to as a cold-pack explosive,” White said. “Basically, we’re using ammonium nitrate, mixing that with the field components.”
White said two of the most dangerous substances are nail polish remover and peroxide. A similar chemical was used by the Brussels bombers.
The agents said if you see something – even with the simplest of ingredients being mixed or bought – say something.