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$50,000 reward / missing explosives



I meant to post this yesterday, but wow, what a couple of days in politics.

The part I couldn't figure out, and I don't see it in this story, is why the US would have a factory housing sheet explosives used for letter bombs. The report also states that there are 100 or so thefts like these per year.

This story isn't getting a lot of play in the corporate media but it's potential devastating impact is very disconcerting.

CNN) -- Federal authorities on Tuesday boosted to $50,000 a reward for information about 550 pounds of explosives missing from a business near Albuquerque, New Mexico.

About 400 pounds of high explosives and 150 pounds of commercial plastic explosives were taken from the business, which is licensed to store them, said Tom Mangan, spokesman for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

The explosives were military-like, but not military-issue, Mangan said.

The theft, discovered Sunday night, included detonators, commercial explosives, sheet explosives, prima cord and shock tubes, he said. (Watch a report on what explosives were stolen -- 1:15)

In a written statement, Gov. Bill Richardson said state agencies have been urged to report any suspicious activity.

"There is no specific threat," Richardson said, adding that "it is my understanding that the explosives were stolen from a private magazine."

Rand Corp. terrorism expert Brian Jenkins said such thefts are common, with 1990s figures showing more than 100 such incidents each year.

Several hundred bombings occur each year, most of which have nothing to do with terrorism, Jenkins said. "Most have to do with insurance fraud, organized crime, personal vendettas, extortion, revenge, vandalism and protest."
What would you do with 500 pounds of explosives?

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Numerous firearms and a chop-shop for stolen vehicles were discovered in the recovery of hundreds of pounds of stolen explosives, federal officials said Saturday.

Four men were arrested Friday in connection with the looted explosives that disappeared from Cherry Engineering's storage depot eight miles southwest of Albuquerque earlier in the week, a spokesman for the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said.

Authorities didn't say what the thieves planned to do with the explosives, which was enough to flatten a large building, but they believed the theft was not related to terrorism.

A tip led to the arrests of Leslie Brown, 44, of Ignacio, Colo.; David Brown, 49, of Bloomfield; and Eric Wayne Armstrong, 32, of Bloomfield, who all face federal charges that include possession of stolen explosives and felons in possession of explosives, said Tom Mangan, ATF spokesman.

Authorities refused to release the identity of the fourth person arrested. A fifth person was being interviewed about the case, Mangan said.
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