If police officers find grainy white powder at a makeshift lab and assume they’ve made a drug bust, they could be making an explosive mistake.
The FBI has been training thousands of law enforcement officials across the nation to identify, disrupt and dismantle improvised explosive devices, including bombs made out of ordinary household products.
The need was underlined this week when federal authorities said they disrupted a suspected plot by a Christian militia to kill police officers with homemade bombs. That follows last year’s alleged plot to make bombs out of beauty supplies and an airline passenger's alleged attempt on Christmas Day to detonate a bomb hidden in his underwear.
Such devices have been around for years, but they’ve become a greater concern recently not only because of terrorism, but because of the growing availability of dangerous recipes on the Internet.
Local-level bomb experts have been getting three-day courses designed to supplement their training with the latest techniques and strategies. First responders are invited on the third day to learn how to spot an improvised explosives lab.
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