Alarm at ISIS gear in bomb
PETER MICHAEL QUEENSLAND’S counterterrorism agents are investigating a string of homemade bombs found using the highly volatile “Mother of Satan” explosive favoured by ISIS terrorists in deadly terror attacks overseas.
Intelligence officers are also probing links between backyard bombmakers and a suspected black market arms trade in illegal machine guns, rifles, pistols and ammunition.
Bomb disposal experts and scientists have uncovered three cases of an improvised explosive device (IED), or materials where the key ingredient was triacetone triperoxide, or TATP, in Cairns over the past 10 months.
In the latest incident, Gordonvale boilermaker Allan Marks, 43, had his hand blown off while holding a piece of suspected TATP explosive on Sunday. Witnesses told police that Mr Marks was “tossing it in the air like a golf ball”, when it exploded on impact, completely “shredding his hand” to a bare stump.
Detective Inspector Geoff Marsh said officers had not interviewed Mr Marks, who was being treated in intensive care at Cairns Hospital.
Det Insp Marsh confirmed that intelligence officers from the State Counter-Terrorism Group had been flown from Brisbane to investigate potential links between TATP-related incidents and suspected illegal arms trafficking.
“We’re getting an intelligence assessment done,” he said.
“But anyone can Google a recipe, go down to Bunnings, get the ingredients and make a bomb. This explosive is so volatile and unstable, it just needs friction to detonate it, and the reaction can be devastating.”
TATP, a crystalline powder known as “Mother of Satan”, is easy to make and hard to detect, but is also highly unstable.