Nashville’s Big Bomb Was a Very Rare Device, Experts Think
Fire, flash and power signal a volatile fuel-air mix that even terrorists avoid
Find his test sites, top bomb experts say.
Anthony Quinn Warner’s device, although probably made of common over-the-counter components, is unique in the annals of mayhem, according to seasoned FBI bomb experts consulted by SpyTalk.
"We’ve never seen an improvised thermobaric device before in this country or any country,” says Dave Williams, who conducted the FBI’s on-scene investigations of the World Trade Center, Oklahoma City, Pan Am 103 and Unabomber bombings, among other notorious incidents. Thermobaric refers to a gaseousfuel-air explosion.
“The reason is, it's very difficult to get the timing down to get an optimum mixture of air and a liquified carbonaceous fuel such as propane, methane, acetylene or natural gas,” Williams told SpyTalk. “He couldn’t have done it the first time and made it work. There had to be a test area.”
Accidental thermobaric explosions are not uncommon—for example, when a house explodes because of a natural gas leak. But IED-makers haven’t tried to stage them …