Friday, June 29, 2007

Controlled explosions 

For those of us wondering what a 'controlled explosion' could possibly be (in bomb disposal terms) this article from a few years ago gives an outline of procedures without giving away any current secrets. (Discussed in terms of the IRA as a threat - amazing how long ago that seems...)

I suspect though that the Haymarket attempted Bomb mechanism will have been dealt with by something like the 'candle' technique using a remote insert. This would have flashed burning aluminium powder through the device, and burnt out the firing mechanism without triggering the main payload. Alternatively the method could be to fire a slug of water very fast into the bomb firing mechanism - the mechanism disintegrates before it can engage and fire. In either case the car (and the forensic evidence) stays largely intact.

Hats off to FELIX - the code word for 321 Explosives Ordnace Disposal!

Incidentally all this anti IED expertise is eagerly sought by the United States for obvious Iraq-related reasons, and at least one commentator suggests that the supply of this expertise to the US forces is a quid pro quo for the US exempting the UK from controlls under the International Trade in Arms Regulations (as agreed in an as yet unratified UK-US treaty).

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