PETN Popular Explosive for Terrorists

PETN in Wikipedia here.

Pentaerythritol Tetranitrate, or PETN , was used in the device Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab attempted to detonate on Northwest Airlines Flight 253 on December 25. PETN, a common legal explosive, has been used in previous terrorist attacks.

In an August 2009 attempt to assassinate the Saudi Prince Muhammad bin Nayef bin Abdul Aziz Al-Saud, Abdullah al-Asiri used a 100 gram bomb made with PETN . With the PETN bomb hidden inside his large intestine, al-Asiri was able to avoid detection, took a flight on the Prince’s private jet, and met with Prince Nayef, the head of Saudi Arabia’s counterterrorism operations.

PETN was also used in the failed attempt in 2001 by Richard Reid, the “Shoe-Bomber.” With the explosive contained in his shoe, Reid was stopped by flight attendants and passengers from detonating the explosive.

PETN is also used as a vasodilator in heart medications. According to OSHA (Occupational Safety & Health Administration) , handling PETN can cause “irritation to the eyes, skin and respiratory system; postural hypotension, dizziness, headache; and facial flushing.”


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