Pressure Cooker Bombs Photos: FBI Release Images Of Boston Marathon Explosion Device

By Staff Reporter on April 17, 2013 12:34 PM EDT

  • 6 pictures

Pressure Cooker Bombs Photos: FBI Release Images Of Boston Marathon Explosion Device

Pressure cooker bombs were identified by the FBI on Tuesday. Federal agents found the twisted debris of the first explosive device near the Boston Marathon finish line and determined that pressure cookers packed with explosives and sharp shrapnel such as nails were remotely detonated. According to Associated Press, the pressure cooker bombs were hidden in a black bag. Unfortunately, investigators have yet to confirm the person or organization responsible for the crime.

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Pressure cooker bombs are considered a type of improvised explosive device (IED). A common type of homemade bomb, a pressure cooker is filled with explosive material. A blasting cap, a small primary explosive device used to trigger a larger secondary explosive, is used as the detonator and is attached to the top of the cooker. The blasting cap can be activated using electronic devices such as digital watches, garage door openers, or cell phones.

Similar to pipe bombs, the containment of pressure cooker bombs amplifies weaker explosives, producing a much larger blast. Fragmentation of the cooker can also become potential shrapnel.

An intelligence bulletin providing pictures of a mangled pressure cooker was released late Tuesday. The FBI confirmed that the pressure cooker and the torn black bag were part of a bomb.

President Barack Obama spoke before the nation Tuesday morning, officially branding the Boston Marathon explosion as an act of terrorism. However, authorities do not have enough evidence to identify the incident as a planned attack executed by a terrorist organization, foreign or domestic, or if it was the act of a dangerous individual.

Pressure cooker bombs have been used in the past. Internationally notorious for its use in terrorism, the al-Qaida branch of Yemen even recommended the pressure cooker bomb for lone-wolf operatives. In fact, one of three devices used in the May 2010 Times Square attempted bombing was a pressure cooker.

While the Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for the 2010 Times Square bombing attempt, the terrorist organization denied any part of the Boston Marathon attack.

Officials report the pressure cooker bombs in Boston were fashioned from ordinary 1.6-gallon pressure cookers. A source close to the investigation confirmed that one pressure cooker bomb contained metal shards and ball bearings while another contained nails. The bombs were stuffed in black duffel bags and left on the ground.

The pressure cooker bombs and the black bags have been sent to the FBI laboratory at Quantico for analysis.

FBI agent Richard DesLauriers is in charge of the Boston marathon bombing investigation.

"The range of suspects and motives remains wide open," announced DesLauriers in a conference. DesLauriers vowed to "go to the ends of the Earth to identify the subject or subjects who are responsible for this despicable crime."

Cities including Washington, D.C. and New York City have heightened their security after the bombing. 

The three victims of the tragic Boston Marathon attack included Boston University graduate student Lu Lingzi, 29-year-old Massachusetts native Krystle Campbell, and 8-year-old Martin Richard.

According to CBS News, more than 170 victims were wounded from the blasts. What's more, a 9-year-old girl and a 10-year-old boy are among the 17 victims that are currently in critical condition.

FBI agent Richard DesLauriers urges the people of Boston to act. Share clues of any suspicious individuals that expressed interest in explosives or a desire to attack the marathon. Report any sighting of someone carrying a heavy black bag.

"Someone knows who did this," said agent DesLauriers. Boston police and firefighters announced a $50,000 reward for information leading to arrests.

If you believe  you have critical information, report to hotline 1-800-494-TIPS. 

The FBI hotline is 1-800-CALL-FBI (1-800-225-5324). For informants with information or visual images of the explosion, press for prompt #3. 

 

 

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