Authorities Claim Tannerite Was Used In NY Bomb Blast. Science Suggests Otherwise.

Authorities in notoriously anti-gun New York City are attempting to claim that the IED blast that detonated in a Chelsea dumpster, wounding 29, contained a common and very stable binary target mixture.


Two senior law enforcement sources told the New York Times late Sunday they had a “person of interest” in the bombing, but they did not refer to that person as a suspect.

A seperate federal law enforcement official told the Associated Press that the bomb contained residue of an explosive often used for target practice that can be picked up in many sporting goods stores.

The discovery of Tannerite in materials recovered may be important as authorities probe whether the blast was connected to an unexploded pressure-cooker device found by state troopers just blocks away, as well as a pipe bomb blast in a New Jersey shore town earlier in the day.

“We’re going to be very careful and patient to get to the full truth here,” de Blasio said Sunday. “We have more work to do to be able to say what kind of motivation was behind this. Was it a political motivation? A personal motivation? What was it? We do not know that yet.”

Cell phones were discovered at the site of both bombings, but no Tannerite residue was identified in the New Jersey bomb remnants, in which a black powder was detected, said the official, who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the official was not authorized to comment on an ongoing investigation.

Now, here’s where I tell you those “authorities” and reporters are either confused, telling half-truths, or are intentionally lying.


Tannerite is an incredibly popular and very stable binary target mixture. It is a patented mixture of high-grade ammonium nitrate and aluminum powder that is sold as two components and then is mixed on-site. It can only be set off by high-velocity centerfire rifle bullet.

You cannot set off Tannerite by any of the following methods:

  • a smoldering fuse
  • an electronic fuse
  • electrical current (including a flip-phone detonator)
  • an open flame
  • impact with a hammer, axe, or other concussive device.
  • low-velocity handgun or rimfire rifle cartridges moving less than 2,000 feet per second.

Here’s what we discovered about Tannerite when we uncovered an attempt by the serially dishonest Jeff Rossen of NBC The Today Show to link it to terrorism last year.

You know what else relies heavily on ammonium nitrate?

Nearly every vegetable you eat.

The primary use for ammonium nitrate is as an stable inexpensive, water-soluble high-nitrogen fertilizer to increase plant growth and increase crop yields. Without ammonium nitrate, you’d be paying a lot more for all your vegetables (from arugula to zucchini) and for grain products, such as breads.

This “same substance” is a shelf-stable and inflammable oxidizer, every bit as dangerous to handle and transport as sand from the beach.

Even when mixed with powdered aluminum, it poses no threat of easily going off. You can expose it to an electrical charge, and it will not detonate. You can try to ignite it with a match or a torch, or smash it with a hammer. It will not detonate. You can shoot it will a .22 rifle or 9mm +P hollowpoint from a pistol, and it will not go off. The minimum threshold to consistently detonate a Tannerite is a FMJ bullet moving at a bare minimum of 2,000 feet-per-second.

Rossen’s comment about “basically holding a bomb in my hands” in the beginning at the beginning of his segment is dangerously close to being on outright lie.

…Tannerite is purchased readily and it’s component chemicals transported by every shipping company because the two chemicals are incredibly stable. They are packaged separately, and are only mixed on-site prior to use. Even when mixed into it’s final target form, Tannerite is incredibly stable. You can throw it, drop it, or hit it with a train, and it will not go off.


The only possible way Tannerite was a part of the Chelsea “dumpster bomb” is if the terrorist already had a high explosive, and the Tannerite was used as a booster charge… which may or may not work, and could result in the mixture simply being sprayed like sand in the blast.

Amusingly, the NY Times “senior law enforcement sources”  are seeming conflicted by other reporters from the Times, who cite a more conventional explosive as being used in New York and New Jersey bomb blasts.

HMTD, or hexamethylene triperoxide diamine, is a high explosive that is relative easy for terrorists to “home brew” from instructions found on the Internet, similar to triacetone triperoxide (TATP) used in the London subway bombings, the “Shoe Bomber” attempt to blow up an airliner, and the train station and airport bombings in Brussels earlier this year.

There is a chance that HMTD was placed in a device with Tannerite, but it would frankly be bizarre to use the much less explosive Tannerite in an IED when high explosives provide so much more explosive force in the same device.

I’m just cynical enough of how radically anti-gun politicians are in New York City (including the “politicians in uniform” of the NYPD brass) to wonder if this amounts to nothing more or less than a whisper campaign to give Democrat politicians an excuse to try to ban this very popular and stable binary target mixture.


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