FBI (U//FOUO) Preliminary Analysis of Christmas Day Underwear Bomb

Preliminary Analysis of the Device Used in the Attempted Bombing of NWA Flight 253

  • 4 page
  • For Official Use Only
  • December 26, 2009


(U//FOUO) The Terrorist Explosive Device Analytical Center (TEDAC) conducted a preliminary analysis of the approximately 30 pieces of evidence recovered after the 25 December 2009 attempted bombing of Northwest Airlines flight 253. The evidence consisted of a plastic syringe initiator with traces of Ethyl Glycol, a main charge of 76 grams of Pentaerythritol Tetranitrate (PETN) wrapped in a container made of thin soft “plastic” film-like material and tape and clothing worn by the bomber. The underwear worn by the bomber was modified to provide storage of the main charge which was anatomically congruent, possibly to avoid detection during screening. The underwear sustained thermal damage. Blue jeans worn by the bomber also sustained thermal damage (scorching) on the inside with small spots of melted plastic on the outside surface.

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