Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! No Flash necessary and runs on all devices. ×
Technology

This Is What a Real Bomb Looks Like 361

szczys writes: You see them all the time in movies and TV shows, but is that what an actual bomb looks like? Probably not... here's what a real bomb looks like. This story stems from a millionaire gone bust from gambling addiction who decided to extort riches back from the casino. He built a bomb and got it into the building, then ransomed the organization for $3 million. The FBI documented the mechanisms in great detail — including the 8 independent trigger systems that made it impossible for them to disarm the thing. The design was so nefarious it's still used today as a training tool.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

This Is What a Real Bomb Looks Like

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 21, 2015 @02:53PM (#50568959)
    a clock to me
    • by jfdavis668 ( 1414919 ) on Monday September 21, 2015 @03:26PM (#50569207)
      Looks like a classic Doctor Who villain to me.
    • by mrops ( 927562 ) on Monday September 21, 2015 @03:35PM (#50569261)

      Read this somewhere, humor with a hint of truth (and I paraphrase):

      Girl: They thought he had a bomb
      Guy: No they didn't think he had a bomb
      Girl: Yes they did
      Guy:
      They didn't evacuate the school like you would if he had a bomb.
      They didn't call bomb squad like you would if he had a bomb.
      They took pictures of the contraption which you wouldn't have time for if it was a bomb.
      They put the contraption in a cop car which you wouldn't do if he had a bomb.

      They didn't think it was a bomb.

      • by Guspaz ( 556486 ) on Monday September 21, 2015 @03:37PM (#50569285)

        They never claimed it was a bomb. They claimed it was a bomb hoax.

        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward
          They couldn't admit that they were inbred redneck racists.
          • by x0ra ( 1249540 )
            so when a school suspend a 16 year old white boy for wearing a 2nd amendment t-shirt, what is that ?
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by PopeRatzo ( 965947 )

          They never claimed it was a bomb. They claimed it was a bomb hoax.

          They claimed it was a "bomb hoax" four hoursafter they arrested the kid and had examined the clock to discern it's arcane meaning.

          They claimed it was a bomb hoax to try to cover their stupid cracker asses.

          • by mark-t ( 151149 )
            For the allegation that it was a bomb hoax to carry any weight, wouldn't the kid have had to allege that it was a bomb in the first place?
          • by Shadow of Eternity ( 795165 ) on Monday September 21, 2015 @04:37PM (#50569839)

            So if this was because he was muslim then surely the dozens to hundreds of other kids arrested and expelled for things even more asinine, like chewing a poptart into the wrong shape, must have been because of their race too... right? I mean surely you aren't holding a double standard here only for your precious designated victim class...

          • by amicusNYCL ( 1538833 ) on Monday September 21, 2015 @06:55PM (#50570779)

            They claimed it was a bomb hoax to try to cover their stupid cracker asses.

            What a stupid cracker may look like [s-nbcnews.com].

            By all means though, this story doesn't have nearly enough racism. Please continue to add more.

            • by PopeRatzo ( 965947 ) on Monday September 21, 2015 @07:43PM (#50571113) Journal

              What a stupid cracker may look like

              I guarantee that whoever that cop in the picture is, he wasn't the one deciding what kind of charges were to be brought against Ahmed.

              Here is a picture of the police chief of Irving, Texas:

              http://cdn5.img.sputniknews.co... [sputniknews.com]

              And here's a picture of him standing with his posse:

              http://www.gannett-cdn.com/-mm... [gannett-cdn.com]

              [note: Take a look at the faces in that photo. Now remember that Irving, Texas is 60% minority. Get the picture?]

              Here is a picture of the mayor of Irving, Texas, who has been giving speeches about how Muslims are gonna take over the US legal system:

              http://cdn3.freedomoutpost.com... [freedomoutpost.com]

              Yes, I stand by "stupid cracker". If you have a more apt term, I'm keen to hear it.

              • Yes, I stand by "stupid cracker". If you have a more apt term, I'm keen to hear it.

                How about literally any other term that doesn't make it sound like the race of the person is the real problem? Their racism might be the problem, but their race is not the problem. Maybe "racist" might be a better term than a racist term.

                Am I seriously explaining this?

                They claimed it was a bomb hoax to try to cover their racist asses.

                Look at that, now it's a statement that you don't have to be racist to agree with.

        • by mark-t ( 151149 )
          Maybe I'm just being pedantic, but for something to be a bomb hoax, doesn't somebody actually have to still at least proclaim that they supposedly have a bomb?
      • by sycodon ( 149926 )

        Try this experiment.

        1. Replicate his "clock", wires , straps and all.
        2. Stuff it in a backpack.
        3. Try to take it through the White House security check point. or maybe just your local Federal Court building check point.

        Let us know who that turns out for you.

  • Silly story... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Austerity Empowers ( 669817 ) on Monday September 21, 2015 @03:01PM (#50569009)

    Real bombs can look like anything. The ones that get the military right now look like anything from dolls to bits of debris by the side of the road. Telling people what bombs really look like is misleading. The limitations governing shape and size come primarily from the intended use: if you want to kill a few soldiers by tricking them, then you disguise the bomb to look like something innocent, hiding the trigger and explosives from view. If you want to blow up a big building at a certain time or on a certain command, then you're limited by the amount of explosive and whatever sort of elaborate trigger mechanism you want to ensure it doesn't get disarmed, can be safely transported to its deployment area, and can be activated by your favorite method. If you want to drop one from a plane, launch one from a missile, or drop one on a sub, you additionally have other problems...

    • Re:Silly story... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 21, 2015 @03:24PM (#50569187)

      I used to be a security officer and I had training on IED identification.

      You're completely correct. And that's assuming you can see the thing in the first place. Sometimes the IED winds up under something. I heard of one case where a guy lost his leg kicking an IED that was hidden under a fried chicken bucket.

      The only thing you can do is to look for something that has what appears to be the requisite components to be an explosive device.

      What people don't realize is that the easy part is making a device that will explode, the hard thing is making it explode when you want it to.

      • Re:Silly story... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by PopeRatzo ( 965947 ) on Monday September 21, 2015 @03:55PM (#50569469) Journal

        The only thing you can do is to look for something that has what appears to be the requisite components to be an explosive device.

        I'm not certain, but I'm pretty sure one of the "requisite components" of an explosive device is some fucking explosives.'

      • Another one which was in the news was a tennis ball parked against a tire of a parked car. The owner saw the ball under the tire and kicked it out, only to have it explode.

    • I was thinking more my romantic youth visions of a Roadrunner Wile E. Coyote bomb. It looks like a black bowling ball, with a big fuse sticking out of the top. On the side, in big white capital letters is written: "ACME BOMB".

      As for the Klock Kid, he should have taken a cue from a Magritte painting, and written "Ceci n'est pas une bombe" on his clock. At least the French teacher in the high school might have been able to have figure out that is wasn't a bomb.

      Maybe.

    • The ones that get the military right now look like anything from dolls to bits of debris by the side of the road.

      Ironically, they learned that lesson from previous wars when hidden and disguised mines were intended to rip of kids (and civilians in gerenal) arms and legs.

      Have a look here at which countries banned the use of anti-personal explosive devices: http://www.icbl.org/en-gb/the-... [icbl.org]

  • Not a real story (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MobileTatsu-NJG ( 946591 ) on Monday September 21, 2015 @03:05PM (#50569037)

    The PD didn't even think it looked like a bomb, that's why the school wasn't evacuated.

    Yes, it's a neat story, but no there was zero reason to tie this into recent events.

    • To be fair, a police officer doesn't have to think that somebody's prank actually IS a bomb to find that someone attempting to spook people into wondering if something is a bomb needs to be hauled off for being a jerk. A surprising number of people try to either really fake people into thinking they have a bomb, or try to just troll people with a cartoon-looking bomb for the lulz. There's a reason that anything even approaching a hoax bomb gets the hoaxer in deep legal shit: because you don't joke around ab
      • by Iamthecheese ( 1264298 ) on Monday September 21, 2015 @03:25PM (#50569203)
        > you don't joke around about stuff like that. Ever. Fuck this paranoid bullshit. Until terrorism is a real actual problem that harms people as much as say, falling into pools accidentally there's no reason for this allergic reaction of a response.
        • So, you're cool with someone deliberately putting a fake bomb on a bench in a shopping mall, no legal consequences? Please be specific. Are you also OK with waving unloaded guns in people's faces since, you know, they won't actually die, so who cares what they think?
          • So, you're cool with someone deliberately putting a fake bomb on a bench in a shopping mall, no legal consequences?

            Depends on who decided it was a bomb and who decided it was a fake bomb.

            If I'm a jerk who makes a "fake bomb" (i.e., something that might look like a bomb to an uninformed person) for the express purpose of making people think it was a bomb, yeah, I certainly deserve the legal consequences of my act. However, if I happen to leave my backpack sitting under the bench and someone sees it and thinks it might be a bomb and calls the bomb squad and they examine it, discover it's not a bomb, and find my address i

      • The Stupid Prank Du Jour these days is often a pressure cooker inside a backpack left some place.

      • So it's my fault and I should go to jail if some idiot mistakes my spiffy new electronic toy for a bomb?

      • Well, no one ever claimed to have a bomb nor made a cartoony-bomb-looking device. Typically, a "bomb hoax" does not include someone trying to explain that this is not a bomb.

    • "The PD didn't even think it looked like a bomb"

      Worst hoax ever.

  • How to handle (Score:5, Interesting)

    by alvinrod ( 889928 ) on Monday September 21, 2015 @03:06PM (#50569051)
    Since this is something that seems like it would be difficult to defuse or even work on, what would be the best way to handle the situation where it's found in a location like this? The linked article indicates that attempts to diffuse the bomb failed and it left a five-story crater in the building where it was located, which is probably less than ideal.

    The only thing I can really think of would to try to build some kind of reinforced blast cage around it in order to minimize the amount of damage it can do or perhaps try to direct the explosion to minimize hard, much like a gun directs the force of a blast out of the barrel.

    Also, would scanning it even be safe as what's to stop someone from building some kind of trigger that would respond to x-ray exposure? Even if there weren't such a trigger, could anyone even call that bluff?
    • A large volume of Liquid Nitrogen might do the trick. I think the biggest problem with that would be the contraction of the metal before the explosive became stable might have caused the aluminum foil to complete the circuit and explode.
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        there was a toilet float attached to a switch to prevent a fluid fill, plus the foil, plus vibration switches, plus boobytrapped screws, plus decoy switches, plus shape charge defeating explosives in the detonator housing. McGuyver couldn't have stopped this one from happening.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      > The linked article indicates that attempts to *diffuse* the bomb failed and it left a five-story crater in the building where it was located, which is probably less than ideal.

      They diffused the bomb real good, and diffused half the Casino as well

      The *defusing* part didn't go too well, though.

      http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/diffuse

    • X-ray triggers are exotic parts even today, and very hard to get in 1980. A bomber would have to go to some lengths to get hold of one, and it might be possible to track the purchase afterwards.

      I can think of two possible ways to disarm it: The way they tried, or the liquid nitrogen mentioned below. TNT gets less sensitive when cooled - if you get it down to well below zero, it should inactivate or at least have a greatly reduced yield. At which point you use your low-tech rope set it off - hopefully result

      • Re:How to handle (Score:5, Informative)

        by Okian Warrior ( 537106 ) on Monday September 21, 2015 @04:20PM (#50569695) Homepage Journal

        X-ray triggers are exotic parts even today, and very hard to get in 1980. A bomber would have to go to some lengths to get hold of one, and it might be possible to track the purchase afterwards.

        Just a footnote to what you said: Any semiconductor diode will detect X-rays, and bigger devices will have a larger capture aperture than smaller ones.

        Just sawing the cap off of a transistor will work as a detector. A 2n2222 in metal case has a tiny aperture, but a 2N3055 power transistor has an aperture of about a square CM. I've personally used both as detectors.

        As many people have found out, CCD camera arrays are sensitive to X-rays and can be used as detectors. The areas aren't much bigger than a power transistor, but the interface is usually trivial - just process the image and look for bright specs.

        I don't disagree with your post at all. Making an X-ray detector would be a separate project and require some electronics expertise, and it seems that people who make bombs are largely ones who don't otherwise have marketable skills.

        But if a STEM-educated bomber were to suddenly appear, it's not unreasonable for them to include an X-ray detector.

    • Since this is something that seems like it would be difficult to defuse or even work on, what would be the best way to handle the situation where it's found in a location like this? The linked article indicates that attempts to diffuse the bomb failed and it left a five-story crater in the building where it was located, which is probably less than ideal.

      Step one: Protect people. Evacuate the entire blast radius. This was done.

      Step two: Protect property. If the bomb can be moved, move it to a remote area and detonate it. A bomb is not 100% inert until it has exploded, because until then it has chemical potential energy. This was not possible.

      If the bomb cannot be safely moved, attempt to render it safe to move. This was not possible.

      If the bomb cannot be rendered safe to move, attempt to disrupt its mechanism. They attempted to do so with an explosive charg

    • by raymorris ( 2726007 ) on Monday September 21, 2015 @04:59PM (#50569993) Journal

      > The only thing I can really think of would to try to build some kind of reinforced blast cage around it in order to minimize the amount of damage it can do or perhaps try to direct the explosion to minimize hard, much like a gun directs the force of a blast out of the barrel.

      Directing the blast is certainly a reasonable approach. You can't really contain it. The container has to be maybe 1,000 times as big as the bomb, and very strong. So not feasible in most cases.

      A great many explosives only explode BECAUSE they are confined. If you light a pile of gun powder in the open, you get fire. If you light the same quantity of gun powder inside of a container such as a cannon ball or gun, you get an explosion. The explosion occurs when the pressure gets high enough to burst open the containment.

      Other explosives can self-confine - provided there is a significant quantity, the part in the middle is contained by the explosive around it, and that can start a chain reaction of pressure.

      All that to say - if it were near an outside wall, assembling a vault around it to direct the energy through that wall would be the way to go. Maybe go ahead and cut a hole in the wall too.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 21, 2015 @03:06PM (#50569055)

    If it weren't for the recent unpleasantness in Texas this article wouldn't have appeared here. I in no way condone this kid being hauled off to prison without more cause but let's not act like "that's not a bomb, this is a bomb" about it. These devices take all kinds of shapes, sizes and formats. Let's not let one example dismantle an entire range of possibilities. It's an unfortunate trait anymore, this idea that if our ideal vision of something doesn't fit the reality of it all then it's not worth considering the possibilities. This is why we get into endless (read: pointless) shouting matches about education, politics and many social constructs.
     
    We're not going to rise from the quagmire we're in by thinking this way.

    • If it weren't for the recent unpleasantness in Texas this article wouldn't have appeared here.

      maybe you missed the title "This is what a Real bomb looks like"

      no duh, of course it's timed. the idea was to shut down the people who say "it looked like a bomb"

      introducing actual relevant facts into a discussion is perfectly appropriate

  • Ah, yes.. (Score:3, Funny)

    by ilumits ( 556634 ) on Monday September 21, 2015 @03:26PM (#50569205)
    It was disguised as an IBM copy machine in order to sneak it into the casino after hours.

    ..so that's what they look like.
  • Sweet! (Score:5, Informative)

    by wardrich86 ( 4092007 ) on Monday September 21, 2015 @03:42PM (#50569333)
    Damn Interesting has an awesome write-up all about this bomb [damninteresting.com]. Definitely recommend this site for anybody interested. They've actually got a lot of really awesome articles there.
  • by belthize ( 990217 ) on Monday September 21, 2015 @03:43PM (#50569347)

    When I'm working around live wires I will frequently test the circuit, trip the breaker and then re-test the circuit just to be sure. And even after all that I still will occasionally brush wires to frame to make sure I haven't over looked something. I'll readily admit to a bit of irrationality where all that is concerned.

    That said I can't imagine buttoning up all that Rube Goldberg contraption, transporting and then setting it to armed without a lot of trepidation that it would just go boom. Maybe the tilt mechanism got stuck in the contact position, maybe there was a short somewhere, maybe maybe maybe.

    I'm really curious what his heart rate was the second he threw the switch. Did he have 100% confidence in the design or did he flinch.

    • I get the idea that he spent a good portion of his free time thinking about bombs, and perhaps even building them.
    • That said I can't imagine buttoning up all that Rube Goldberg contraption, transporting and then setting it to armed without a lot of trepidation that it would just go boom. Maybe the tilt mechanism got stuck in the contact position, maybe there was a short somewhere, maybe maybe maybe.

      I'm really curious what his heart rate was the second he threw the switch. Did he have 100% confidence in the design or did he flinch.

      How about an indicator LED (or light, in his bomb) that lights up when anything is triggered?

      Then you can transport the bomb and look at the light. If it's lit, you know that arming would result in an immediate explosion.

      (I always tap a finger against the wire before grabbing it, and from operating X-ray machines in college I got into the habit of tapping *any* metal enclosure before operating a switch or control. Saved my life once when I did this to a refrigerator door handle by reflex and got a shock bef

  • I get how nasty this bomb looks, but for the life of me I can't think of how to get the explosive into this impossible to disarm assembly without having it explode. With all the traps even on the screws I don't see how it could be put together, and then armed. It probably requires some very specific way to put it together without having it explode.

UNIX was not designed to stop you from doing stupid things, because that would also stop you from doing clever things. -- Doug Gwyn

Working...