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“Mother of Satan” that contains the explosive used by suicide bombers in Brussels and Paris?

C is a white, discrete powder, easy to manufacture, deadly . In Brussels Tuesday, as the Bataclan in Paris or on Syrian battlefields TATP , known in jihadist circles “Mother of Satan”, proves to be an explosive of choice for the group Islamic state.

This is what were made of TATP explosive belts kamikaze November 13 in Paris, as, according to initial assumptions, vests and bombs that jihadists blew up Tuesday in the airport and the metro Brussels , leaving at least 31 dead and 270 injured, many suffering severe burns.

chaotic scene after the attack at Brussels airport. Photo © AFP Ketevan Kardava

TATP: when was it discovered

Discovered in the late 19th century by a German chemist, the acetone peroxide (English TATP: triacetone triperoxide) was an improvised explosive obtained by mixing, in precise proportions , acetone, hydrogen peroxide and an acid (sulfuric, nitric or hydrochloric), products easy to find on the market.

then obtained a powder white crystals , like coarse sugar, a simple enough detonator to explode in a blast producing a terrible clearance from hot gases. In recent years, Iraq and Syria, laboratories, first summary then almost industrialists, TATP and other homemade explosive materials have increased.

“Watch a tutorial on the internet is not sufficient”

In a report released in February, the NGO Conflict Armament Research has updated after a twenty-month investigation, a network of 51 companies based in twenty countries, including Turkey, Russia as well as Belgium and the United States , having provided the EI components required for the semi-industrial production of homemade explosives.

is the explosive easy to make?

“Contrary to what is sometimes said, watching an internet tutorial is not enough, “says Eric, a former officer of the engineering, explosives expert, who asked not to be further identified. “You still have someone you have shown once . But instructors, guys of the Islamic state does not lack, Syria and Iraq. Then it diffuses during practice during practice. When we showed you, you can actually do it in your kitchen . “

the tricky part is the addition of acid the mixture of acetone and hydrogen peroxide, which generates heat, strong fumes and can ignite, but a careful operator, protected by a simple mask, can be achieved without difficulty.

“It’s incredibly easy”

to ignite the TATP, a detonator is required. They can be manufactured using a metal pipe end filled with paste and connected to two electric son who contacted, will cause an electric arc and flame. More simply, they can be purchased commercially.

“The main problem we TATP,” said one member of the French anti-terrorist services, who asked to remain anonymous, “is the availability of ingredients . we can monitor sales of hydrogen peroxide, also is done of course, but if the guys are smart enough to twenty pharmacies and buy small quantities, it happens. Same with acetone and acid … “

” in an internship, we spent the afternoon making homemade explosives, including TATP, then tested. It’s incredibly easy . only with the purchased products “in DIY stores. “In half an hour, we had manufactured explosives, half an hour after we made him fart. And it farted loudly ,” he said.


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