August 11, 2006


`Hellbrew' is cheap, simple to make (CHRISTOPHER MAUGHAN, 8/11/06, Toronto Star)

Anyone with half an hour, a set of instructions found online and about $75 can easily make the stuff.

"You could make it in your kitchen," said Prof. Bhibou Mohanty, an explosives expert at the University of Toronto.

Mohanty said the major ingredients are peroxide, which is found in hair bleach, and acetone, which is found in most types of paint. Mix them in the right quantities, use some aluminium powder to increase potency — and you've got yourself a ready-made bomb.

The compound has advantages beyond its simple makeup. For instance, said Mohanty, it's really easy to get it to explode.

"It can be ignited, as opposed to detonated," he said. That means that a simple match or lighter would be enough to start an explosion.

Because it's a liquid, it can be stored in places where airport security officials might not look. Thompson said just a small eyedrop container could hold enough of the solution (properly mixed, of course) to bring down an aircraft.

Posted by Orrin Judd at August 11, 2006 8:42 AM

The big problem (for terrorists) with this type of explosive is that it's apparently highly unstable.

See this Texas City fiasco and the Norman OK bombing as examples.

Posted by: kevin whited at August 11, 2006 11:10 AM

Wow. The Hellbrew I'm familiar with was produced from a still. It was potent but not that potent.


Posted by: jefferson park at August 11, 2006 11:35 AM

If this is the sort of stuff they were planning to use, and detonate themselves in the toilet, then they'd be lucky if they's accomplished anything more than a very messy suicide and giving a lot of people an adventure story to tell.

The worst part is that these clowns and the meth heads have made it impossible to engage in any sort of recreational chemistry any more.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at August 11, 2006 12:20 PM

You can still get plenty of Mentos and Diet Coke.

Posted by: Bryan at August 11, 2006 2:01 PM

Eventually they'll have to ban laptops; the batteries are getting powerful enough that you can about get a decent bang by shorting one out.

Posted by: Mike Earl at August 11, 2006 4:17 PM