Sleep Well, America!
Nearly 3,000 pounds of stolen ammonium nitrate are unaccounted for in North Carolina, even as the U.S. braces itself against a possible al Qaeda truck bomb attack.
Mixed with fuel oil, ammonium nitrate is a favored ingredient used in al Qaeda truck bombs.
Two and a half tons of the volatile fertilizer were stolen from a Royster-Clark fertilizer plant in Winston-Salem, N.C. in early July, according to the Winston-Salem Police Department. Nearly a month after the theft was reported, 2,950 pounds are still unaccounted for, police said Monday. The rest was recovered…
Ramzi Yousef used another commercial fertilizer, urea nitrate, in a truck bomb attack on the World Trade Center in 1993. Some accounts have suggested that he used ammonium nitrate as part of the detonating mechanism.
A New York City terrorist cell linked to both Yousef and al Qaeda planned to use ammonium nitrate to attack NYC landmarks with truck bombs in 1993. That attack was foiled by authorities before it could be completed.
Soon after, Timothy McVeigh destroyed the Alfred E. Murrah federal building in Oklahoma City with a bomb employing four to five thousand pounds of ammonium nitrate, mixed with a volatile racing fuel. (related story)
The 2002 Bali nightclub bombing is believed to have used ammonium nitrate as its main component. The fertilizer was also used in an attack on the U.S. embassy in Karachi in 2002. al Qaeda is believed to be linked to both those attacks.