The Register often has some pretty wacky articles, and sometimes some news, but this particular piece exploring the feasibility of getting liquids onto a plane and using them for that thing we all fear — making an explosion — is shocking for two reasons. One, that it’s a serious-seeming HOWTO (explicitly using TATP, or triacetone triperoxide). Two, that it shows just how fucking ridiculously hard it would be to do something like this — and how the TSA’s 3oz rule measures up. Thomas sent me this because I recently wrote this Chron column about flying safely with sex toys and got a few responses from TSA employees (link NSFW). Here’s a snip from the ballsy (or crazy) HOWTO:
Making a quantity of TATP sufficient to bring down an airplane is not quite as simple as ducking into the toilet and mixing two harmless liquids together.
First, you’ve got to get adequately concentrated hydrogen peroxide. This is hard to come by, so a large quantity of the three per cent solution sold in pharmacies might have to be concentrated by boiling off the water. Only this is risky, and can lead to mission failure by means of burning down your makeshift lab before a single infidel has been harmed.
But let’s assume that you can obtain it in the required concentration, or cook it from a dilute solution without ruining your operation. Fine. The remaining ingredients, acetone and sulfuric acid, are far easier to obtain, and we can assume that you’ve got them on hand.
Now for the fun part. Take your hydrogen peroxide, acetone, and sulfuric acid, measure them very carefully, and put them into drinks bottles for convenient smuggling onto a plane. It’s all right to mix the peroxide and acetone in one container, so long as it remains cool. Don’t forget to bring several frozen gel-packs (preferably in a Styrofoam chiller deceptively marked “perishable foods”), a thermometer, a large beaker, a stirring rod, and a medicine dropper. You’re going to need them.
It’s best to fly first class and order Champagne. The bucket full of ice water, which the airline ought to supply, might possibly be adequate – especially if you have those cold gel-packs handy to supplement the ice, and the Styrofoam chiller handy for insulation – to get you through the cookery without starting a fire in the lavvie.