High School Scorecard

NY, NJ bombs: homemade but deadly

NEW YORK — The bombs used last weekend in New York and New Jersey may have been homemade, but they could have been deadly. Even more alarming, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to make them. One can make all kinds of explosives using simple household items.

One household item that investigators reportedly found traces of at the explosion site in Manhattan, was a name-brand explosive called Tannerite. You can buy this stuff in many sporting good stores. The mix of ammonium nitrate and aluminum powder is put on targets at rifle ranges, and explodes only when struck by a bullet from a high-powered rifle.

It's interesting that Tannerite was allegedly found at the scene, because it doesn't exactly jive with other evidence. Tannerite cannot be set off by an electrical current, which is what investigators believe Ahmad Khan Rahami used on his bombs.

Which brings us to our next point--cellphones. A cellphone can easily be modified into a detonator. You can look up how to do this on YouTube. A lot of people like to rig old phones to set off fireworks.

The bottom line is, anyone with a desire to do harm is just a shopping trip and a few mouse clicks away from making it happen. Sadly, there seems to be a lot of "ticking-time-bombs," just like Rahami, out there.