Bombs, Bombs, Everywhere There’s Bombs

I’ve been noticing a disturbing trend lately in intelligence products, particularly law enforcement intelligence products. The trend is a distinct tendency to try and tie just about any criminal activity, in however tenuous a fashion, to the manufacturing of homemade bombs.

I really don’t know why this is, but it’s the sort of immediately-post-9/11 idiocy that I thought we’d all moved on from. I guess I was wrong.

Here’s a real example – this May 2010 briefing on synthetic marijuana analogues. If you don’t want to read the whole thing, let me hit the highlights of this intelligence product, which was produced by the Ohio Strategic Analysis and Information Center:

1. Various types of herbs, soaked in or sprayed with synthetic THC, are evidently gaining in popularity as a legal alternative to marijuana.
2. Despite the apparently unregulated nature of these materials, CBP has made several seizures of shipments entering the country from overseas.
3. The report provides no information about the domestic availability of the main precurson – the synthesized THC – and does not indicate that there is any evidence of domestic production.

Nonetheless…

(U//LES) The National Capital Region Intelligence Center, in Fairfax County, Virginia, recently issued
a product detailing acetone’s use in “Spice? production. Acetone is one of at least three ingredients
used in the production of synthetic marijuana. The acetone is used to transfer chemical compounds
onto plant leaves – allowing the product to be smoked. Law enforcement personnel are to be mindful
of the fact that acetone is also a precursor used in the production of explosives.

Now, I have not seen this NCRIC report, but… seriously? Has it really gotten to the point where the use of acetone to manufacture artificial dope is more important than the fake dope itself?

Note that this Ohio intelligence report does not cite any prior government documents about the drug, other than this NCRIC report about oh-so-dangerous acetone. Obviously, absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, but it certainly raises the possibility that law enforcement’s first intelligence product about artificial dope wasn’t concerned about the availability or effects of the drug, but one of the substances used to produce it.

If true, that’s… laughable.

Look at it this way: it’s a bit akin to DHS producing a product, entitled something like “Domestic Medical Facilities: A Terrorism Threat Analysis”, which focuses on the fact that hospitals have generators to provide electricity in the event of an emergency, those generators run on diesel fuel, and diesel fuel is a popular component in improvised explosives.

Methinks law enforcement might be missing the plot, just a bit…

Published in: 'D' for 'Dumb', General, Security | on July 9th, 2010| Comments Off on Bombs, Bombs, Everywhere There’s Bombs

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