Fail­ure of crude ‘fairy light’ de­vice saved dozens of lives

Daily Mail - - Terror On The Tube - By Sam Green­hill Chief Re­porter

THE ‘fairy light’ bucket bomb could have mas­sa­cred dozens had it worked prop­erly.

But as in some pre­vi­ous at­tacks only the det­o­na­tor blew up and not the main charge. Crudely con­structed in a white builder’s tub in­side a Lidl cool­bag, it was rigged with a det­o­na­tor made from Christ­mas tree lights mod­i­fied to ex­plode.

Is­lamic State has en­cour­aged fol­low­ers to use this tech­nique in on­line bomb guides.

The de­vice also had a timer – mean­ing the bomber planned to flee rather than die with his vic­tims.

Some sources sug­gested it was an in­cen­di­ary de­vice, in­tended to pro­duce a mas­sive and deadly blast of flame, rather than a shrap­nel bomb filled with nails or bolts, as was the case at Manch­ester Arena in May.

Ex­plo­sives ex­pert Dr Sid­ney Al­ford said: ‘The fact that an ini­tial bang was heard but the bomb did not even shat­ter the plas­tic bucket it was con­tained in sug­gests to me this could have been hy­dro­gen per­ox­ide.’

Chem­i­cal weapons ex­pert Hamish de Bret­ton-Gor­don said: ‘It could be an in­cen­di­ary de­vice with some sort of det­o­na­tor in a big white plas­tic bucket, per­haps with some sort of chem­i­cal like am­mo­nia ni­trate, fer­tiliser bomb to cause an ex­plo­sion.’

He said that the at­tack looked like ‘clas­sic ji­hadi ter­ror­ism’ and the bomb could have been dev­as­tat­ing had it worked.

The fail­ure of the Par­sons Green bomb gives de­tec­tives a foren­sics gold­mine. A set of fin­ger­prints was quickly re­cov­ered, it is un­der­stood, and an­a­lysts have been comb­ing over ev­ery as­pect of the IED’s de­sign.

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