National Explosives Task Force Advisory: Fireworks as Improvised Explosive Device (IED) Components

National Explosives Task Force Industry Advisory

  • 1 page
  • June 27, 2013


Fireworks are a common component used in Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs). The US Government is asking consumer fireworks retailers to be aware of this phenomenon and familiarize themselves with some possible indicators of suspicious activity. This list is not inclusive, nor is it intended to limit the lawful conduct of innocent persons. The totality of behavioral indicators and other relevant circumstances should be considered.

• Asking questions that do not seem relevant to the use of fireworks; asking about disassembly/modification of fireworks or about bulk reloadable shells without launching tubes
• Seeking technical expertise, such as details beyond the general inquiry about the amount of black powder or flash powder in a particular firework or explosives equivalence
• Inquiring above a level of mere curiousity about the most powerful and largest amount of fireworks they can purchase, combining them to go off simultaneously, or using them to propel fragmentation
• Expressing interest in “under the counter” commercial display fireworks, M-80s or other illegal devices
• Expressing interest in improvised explosives, flash powder, or other energetic pyrotechnic mixtures, or equipping improvised explosive devices with black powder from fireworks
• Purchasing large quantities of sparklers (potentially to assemble sparkler bombs)
• Injuries consistent with experimentation with explosives such as missing hand/fingers, and conventional or chemical burns
• Behaving nervously or providing unusually vague answers about the reason for purchasing/using fireworks; shifting gaze, unusual activity near cameras, conspicuous disguise attempts
• Making suspicious comments regarding radical theology, anti-US sentiment etc.
• Insisting on paying cash or using a credit card in another person’s name

Information that is helpful to investigators:

• Identification numbers (license, state identification, social security
numbers, etc.)
• License plate numbers (include state)
• Credit card information
• A detailed physical description of the individual(s)

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2 comments for “National Explosives Task Force Advisory: Fireworks as Improvised Explosive Device (IED) Components

  1. Joe
    July 7, 2013 at 2:55 am

    By definition, there are no fireworks ingredients which are “explosive”. Clearly, mentally deficient bad guys waiting for their frameups from the FBI don’t surf the internet, if they did, they’d know exactly how not to give away their nefarious plans to make piss-weak “bombs” by scaling up firecrackers. The result of said piss-weak bomb making always seeming to be the further restriction on actual fun and harmless non-detonating non-weapons such as fireworks.

  2. Harold Smith
    July 7, 2013 at 1:44 pm

    While we’re on the subject:

    Where is the evidence implicating Osama bin Laden as the “Mastermind” of 9/11?

    How did Hyman Brown get himself on national TV, on the day of 9/11, and get himself falsely introduced as the “architect” and the “project engineer” of the WTC towers, when, in reality he had nothing to do with their design and construction? WHy did the imposter then go on to make a series of demonstrably false statements in support of the absurd theory that “fire” brought down the buildings? And why did Hyman Brown flee to Israel when “truthers” started pointing this out?

    If Bruce Ivins really was the “anthrax killer”, who allegedly grew and processed anthrax into a sophisticated bioweapon, while at work, on the taxpayers’ dime – when he was ostensibly supposed to be doing other things – why was his boss at Ft. Detrick not even reprimanded, let alone fired for this appalling lack of supervision?

    Why did the airplane that allegedly hit the Pentagon on 9/11 do some difficult aerial acrobatics only to hit the building in the spot where it would cause the fewest casualties?

    Why did the “anthrax killer” use his anthrax in a childish, almost benign manner, thereby killing only a few people, when he could have instead deployed it, say, in the ventilation system of a large government office building, and killed hundreds if not thousands of people?

    How did the “underwear bomber” manage to board an international flight in Amsterdam without a passport and without a security check?

    How would the “underwear bomber” get some PETN, a powerful and relatively-easy-to-detonate high explosive, but then not have a detonator capable of setting it off?

    (The “government” mean to tell us that a serious bomber wouldn’t be able to detonate his explosive and wouldn’t do any testing of prototypes beforehand)?

    Where is the video from the Sandy Hook elementary school’s video security cameras, showing “Adam Lanza” in the building brandishing a gun (any kind of gun)?

    Why were we repeatedly told the lie that Adam Lanza’s mother was a teacher at the school?

    Why would the Tsarnaev brothers use “black powder” in their “bomb” at the Boston Marathon, when other explosives, e.g., ammonium nitrate or chlorate based explosives would’ve been cheaper, easier to get, more powerful (and thus more effective) and less technically risky (i.e., presenting a better chance of the bomb behaving the way they would want it to with less testing, etc.)?

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