Record-high quantities of TATP explosives used by Islamic extremists found by Hong Kong police

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3rd December 2019 – (Hong Kong) As the civil unrest and clashes continue between police and rioters, an explosive known as TATP has been found at various locations by police. Explosive Ordnance Disposal Bureau (EOD) was deployed to detonate the bombs.

During an interview with media reporters, Bomb Disposal Officer (Explosive Ordnance Disposal Bureau), Suryanto Chin Chiu expressed that police have retrieved large amount of TATP in the past few months. It only takes 1 gram of TATP to blow up a finger. 1 kg of TATP can destroy a car or an apartment.

Police found 1 kg of TATP in July and on 27th November respectively. The cost to make TATP ranges from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars. TATP has been widely used by terrorists and it can rival C4 explosives used by U.S. military forces. TATP is highly sensitive to heat, friction and mechanical shock, so much so that inexperienced handling can lead to maiming and death. Anti-terrorism experts report that the compound is known as ’Mother of Satan’ by Islamic extremists for its devastating instability. It doesn’t say much for any health and safety in the workplace policy of the Palestinian militant organisation Hamas that 40 Palestinians have allegedly been killed while handling TATP.

TATP was, until recently, difficult to detect. It can be combined with other explosives as a detonator, most famously in the abortive attempt by Richard Reid, the so-called ’shoe bomber’, to blow up a transatlantic flight in December 2001. 

The acid-catalysed peroxidation of acetone leads to up to three forms of acetone peroxide, including a monomer, cyclic dimer, and a cyclic trimer.