January 13, 2010

Good News! NC Port's Contractors Spilled More PETN

Hey, it's only a slurry of one of the most powerful explosives on earth. We don't need to be careful with it, or anything:

Nine 50-kilogram drums filled with the explosive PETN were punctured by a forklift early Tuesday as they were being unloaded at the port. Also known as pentaerythritol tetranitrate, the colorless PETN crystals are used in detonating cords for industrial explosions, as well as in heart medications.

Officials said Wednesday afternoon that they had found more of the PETN spilled at the port that didn't come from the punctured drums, which necessitated additional cleanup. They said they didn't know how the PETN was spilled but said it might have occurred during shipping.

That's encouraging news. It seems that would-be terrorists don't need to manufacture explosives or try to smuggle them into the country. They can simply get custodial positions at the nation's ports, and then they can blow up what they retrieve from their dustpans or wring out of a mop.

Homeland security? Not so much.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at January 13, 2010 04:15 PM

It's a weird thing. Ports seem like an incredibly obvious target. I can think of all kinds of ways a terrorist could strike at a port. Some require no raw materials at all. And yet, it hasn't happened. Are terrorists so stupid they don't see the possibilities? Or is security better than we think it is?

Posted by: wolfwalker at January 14, 2010 06:42 AM

Yes Wolf, we seem to be lucky in the average intelegence of the terrorists out there.
I used to work at an airport. Yikes. I could easily do some nasty stuff if minded.
Throughout life, I've noticed a few things. Rich kids seem to have little common sense and no hand skills. Same goes for the highly educated. As many of the terrorists out there seem to be from those groups (Osama is an engineer, many of his henchmen are doctors, the thunderwear bomber was a college kid as well) they too seem to suffer from these same failing....thankfully. They might have theory down, but execution is lacking. They also keep wanting to go for the BIG HIT, and have tripped up in the planning for those, though lots were broken by the waterboarding.

Posted by: JP at January 14, 2010 11:43 AM

oh, and they must have some of the same forklift drivers I work with there. At least our warehouse has no explosive stuff for them to hit, and very few flammables.

Posted by: JP at January 14, 2010 11:45 AM