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El Paso County Sheriff’s Office and Colorado Springs Police Department responded to an apparent explosive device in an open field this week. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is yet to give their evaluation of it’s contents and workings.

This is not an isolated incident. The Department of Homeland Defense, in their Daily Open Source Infrastructure Report has cited numerous ‘suspicious package’, ‘pipe bomb’, and ‘chemical bomb’ reports in recent weeks nationwide.

October 8, 2009; Two Princeton High School teens in Minnesota are charged with placing half a dozen chemical bombs along or on city streets.

October 10, 2009; Police in Glouster County New Jersey report a rash of homemade bottle bombs using chlorine and other chemicals placed in mailboxes there.

October 12, 2009; Ten thousand attendees of a Women of Faith conference in Portland Oregon are evacuated when a suspicious device is found attached to a restroom wall. The device turned out to be a piece of PVC pipe but it succeeded in disrupting the event.

October 14, 2009; An acid bomb exploded in the breezeway of an apartment complex in Orange County Florida before investigators arrived. Three more bombs were subsequently found.

November 3, 2009; An Army Special Forces soldier is arrested after 100 pounds of C4 explosives were discovered outside his Tennessee home near Fort Campbell Kentucky. Another Fort Campbell soldier was arrested in October after selling four stolen hand grenades and a stolen anti-tank rocket to an undercover officer.

Of course we all can probably remember Timothy Mac Vey, who used easily accessible diesel fuel and fertilizer to blow the front off of the Federal Building in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

As the internet becomes more popular, information on making simple, improvised explosives out of easily obtained materials is getting easier to access. Some of these bombs were little more than a soda bottle with some household chemicals mixed in.

Chemical based devises are especially insidious because they don’t even have to produce a large explosion to be deadly. A popping sound and a bad smell might be the only indication of it’s presence, until it’s too late.

Those of us involved in church security must be especially attentive to suspicious objects and packages. Also to chemical and petroleum smells. We must understand the ease with which an attack can be carried out with minimum of knowledge, research, and resources.

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