Home-grown terrorism is increasing in Europe and elsewhere in the world. The bombings in Spain 2003, London 2004, Stockholm 2010, Oslo 2011 and in Boston 2013 are just a few examples where home-made explosives were used in terror attacks.
There are several chemicals to choose from, given some chemical knowledge, the right equipment and the aim to cause harm to people and/or the society. EXPEDIA will work towards completing the picture of finding chemical solutions to prevent the misuse of some known explosive precursors. The concept to chemically hinder the production of a home-made explosive is called chemical inhibition. This work is a complement to the work performed with legislative restrictions .
Garage chemistry refers to chemistry performed outside a professional laboratory or a commercial factory. When a bomb attack has occurred, the forensic investigation can show what type of explosives that was used in the attack. However, how they were produced is much harder to determine and this is one of the reasons why EXPEDIA will explore possible routes for home-made explosive (HME) manufacture. The extended knowledge gained within EXPEDIA in the field of garage chemistry of HMEs will serve as input to elaborate the European guide for first responders that is one of the outcome that Expedia project will deliver. It will also lead to recommendations regarding the possibility to inhibit the synthesis of some HME, or to identify ways to detect the considered HME or its precursors.
European guide for first responders
The threat from bomb attacks and terrorists is a European problem that needs to be counter-measured from a European point of view. As one of the outputs, EXPEDIA will deliver a European guide for first responders as an unclassified document. This guide will include scientifically assured, up to date information about the hazards of homemade explosives and safe handling once discovered in the field.
Dr. Malin Kölhed, Ph.D.
Dr. Henric Östmark
This project has received funding from the research and innovation programme under grant agreement no. 604987.