Terrorism not ruled out. And this is the material jihadists have used more than once in the past.
By Robert Patrick in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch (thanks to Morgaan Sinclair):
Explosives capable of causing “extensive damage” have been stolen from a St. Charles County firing range used by the sheriff’s office and the FBI, federal officials said Tuesday.
Officials are still trying to determine how much dynamite, C-4 and other explosives were taken and exactly who was responsible.
Mike Schmitz of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said investigators believe more than one person was involved in the theft, but it is too early to know the intent of the thieves, including whether terrorism could be involved.
The theft, discovered by the FBI on Tuesday, happened sometime in the past 10 days.
The explosives, including C-4, dynamite and safety fuse, were being stored at the St. Charles County training center and firearms range at 1835 South Highway 94, Schmitz said. The range is located in a rural area.
They were stored properly in the federally approved storage magazine, which resembles a large construction Dumpster, Schmitz said.
The metal explosives magazine where the materials were stored is used by the FBI and the sheriff’s office for training and for rendering other explosives or suspected explosives safe, Schmitz said.
“These items are all extremely dangerous,” Schmitz said.
Dynamite is a nitroglycerin-based high explosive. C-4 is a military-grade plastic explosive, more powerful than TNT, that has been used by al-Qaida and other terrorist groups.
C-4 was the explosive used in the destroyer Cole attack in 2000, a suicide bombing that killed 17 sailors and wounded dozens of others while the ship was in a Yemeni port. Terrorists used it in 1996 to blow up an American military housing complex in Saudi Arabia, killing 19 Air Force servicemen. Hundreds were injured.
It was also the substance in the shoe of attempted shoe bomber Richard Reid, convicted of trying to blow up a trans-Atlantic flight a few months after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.