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Thursday, April 18, 2013

A Short History of Pressure-Cooker Bombs

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A member of a bomb-disposal team holds on to a pressure cooker after a bomb scare in Kathmandu on June 9, 2011

Authorities are now saying the explosive devices used in the Boston attack were fashioned from pressure cookers. Yes, like the kitchen pot you might use to cook rice at home. As it happens, pressure cookers have a nefarious reputation in counterterrorism circles. In 2004, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) was concerned enough about pressure-cooker bombs to issue an alert to federal and state security officials: “A technique commonly taught in Afghan terrorist training camps is the use/conversion of pressure cookers into [improvised explosive devices],” the bulletin warned.

The identity of the Boston bomber or bombers remains very much unclear, and it would be foolish to jump to conclusions. It would also be foolish to ignore the twisted recent history of the pressure cooker as a method for killing innocent people.

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A Short Recent History of Pressure-Cooker Bombs |
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