History of the Pressure-Cooker Bomb Used in Boston Marathon Attack
We are finally getting small but solid pieces of information related to Monday's Boston Marathon bombing. This means we have moved ever so slightly from speculation to clues. As of now, though, nothing is definitive. The Daily Beast's Eli Lake is reporting that the type of bomb used leads investigators in the direction of al-Qaeda. But the way the bombs were used reminds one investigator of a domestic terror attack.
The Associated Press Reports that the explosives that wounded nearly 200 and have thus far killed three, "were in 6-liter pressure cookers." One contained metal shards and ball bearings, the other nails.
The AP also points out that…
These types of pressure cooker explosives have been used in Afghanistan, India, Nepal and Pakistan, according to a July 2010 joint FBI and Homeland Security intelligence report. One of the three devices used in the May 2010 Times Square attempted bombing was a pressure cooker, the intelligence report said.
Here is a link to that 2010 Homeland Security report.
A former FBI agent told Fox News that the use of a pressure cooker bomb doesn't point "to any particular group or individual who may be responsible."
Another retired FBI Agent told Fox that Monday's bombing reminds him of the bombings at the 1996 summer Olympics in Atlanta, "in which Eric Robert Rudolph planted three pipe bombs with “lots of shrapnel.”
According to the AP's extensive rundown of past use of pressure cooker bombs, the pressure-cooker bomb is a characteristic of overseas terrorists in Afghanistan, France, Pakistan, and India. The thwarted Times Square bomber, Pakistani-born Faisal Shahzad, also used a pressure cooker device.
Just three days ago, April 13, Pakistan Today reported on a pressure cooker bomb, containing five kilograms of explosives, was found and defused outside the compound of "candidate Fazl Ali Haqqani in Swabi."
In 2010, Pfc. Naser Jason Abdo, a Muslim, was found in a Texas motel room with "Islamic extremist literature" and the makings of a pressure cooker bomb. He was eventually sentenced to life for plotting to blow up military personnel at Ft. Hood.
From what I have read, the instructions for building a pressure-cooker bomb are readily available to anyone interested in building the IED.
Monday's bombing could be the work of anyone. Past is not prologue.
Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC