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back to article 'MacGyver' geezer makes 'SHOTGUN, GRENADE' from airport shop tat

Application developer and part-time security researcher Evan Booth has produced a series of videos showing how an array of apparently deadly weapons can be MacGyver'd from stuff on sale in airport shops. His inventions can be built from things bought after walking through the usual security checks; we're told they include a …

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Anonymous Coward

They still sell disposable cigarette lighters, overproof spirits, and embroidered handkerchiefs in duty free shops.

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Simplest weapon

The simplest impromptu weapon remains the smashed duty free bottle, or the 'penang lawyer' walking stick. And yes, the molotov cocktail would be pretty devastating.

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Re: Simplest weapon

Yep. And if you have to improvise while you're on the plane and didn't think to get one of those beforehand, there are generally various usable alternatives; for example, you can make a decent knife by breaking a DVD and wrapping some cloth around the "hilt". And, of course, blunt instruments are not hard to come by.

(Of course, it's not hard to smuggle weapons past airport checkpoints either, as several people have demonstrated.)

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ACx

Surely the most powerful weapons of airport terror these days are an unattended bag or a tweet.

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I thought it was 101ml of liquid not held in a little plastic bag?

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- a little plastic bag

made of highly enriched weapons-grade terrorthene, as opposed to chemically identical Patriot Polymer, which coincidentally you didnt pay the gangsters who run Luton Airport £1 for.

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Mushroom

"Surely the most powerful weapons of airport terror these days are an unattended bag or a tweet."

What about a tweet about an unattended bag?

Personally, I shudder to think what the consequences of that could be.

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Mushroom

quote: "What about a tweet about an unattended bag?"

It's the airport security equivalent of typing "google" in Google; the entire terminal will likely implode due to exceeding the critical mass of terror o.0

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Good Luck entering a US airport ever again.

The TSA are notoriously "dumb", so much so, they have taken over from the Russian Police in the "Why do "x" travel in three's??" joke; so they will probably require him to be bound, shackled and blind folded before entering the terminal for any future flights.

"Can I see your boarding pass please"

"Mmmff pocmmmit."

"I see; will the sack truck be travelling with you??"

"Mmmpf ou."

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Holmes

Re: Good Luck entering a US airport ever again.

It occurs to me in a flash...

that Radio Yerewan Jokes can now be applied to the Land of the Free.

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I do believe they sell Swiss Army knives in Geneva airport.

Beats me, because I've had them confiscated at others.

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They do. But they're sold in sealed bags, with a sticker across the top. Which apparently make it OK.

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Make the eejets go crazy bronkers

The Fibbies just wanted to check that he hadn't actually assembled the weapons in an actual airport. Booth showed them the garage where he tests his designs, and they left satisfied that no laws had been broken.

Yep, gotta check that "laws are not being broken", even if the "crime" is victimless and investigation is a total waste of everybody's time (but luckily only of the taxpayer's money, of which he has plenty squirreled away as he is in arrears of 130 trillion for social security anyway, so why count). I'm sure there are no more government cronies to check on.

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Re: Make the eejets go crazy bronkers

meanwhile there are 30,000 excess deaths each winter because our poor and elderly have to choose between heating or eating...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Make the eejets go crazy bronkers

Worthless eaters and Bankster Bonuses, it is a tough choice to make. I guess with all the stress & all "our leadership" need some extra compensation?

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Re: Make the eejets go crazy bronkers

There are about 3000 excess deaths due to the extra security in airports these days - it just wastes that many lives a year hanging around.

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Joke

Obligatory xkcd

You know it's coming...

http://xkcd.com/651

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Lithium Metal...

Which batteries contain lithium in its native metal form? I've only ever seen it as a grey paste compound.. I think there is some exaggeration going on here... the kind that says if you have H2O, you can make a Hydrogen bomb...

Also I would not like to be the one holding that "shotgun" I think that might be one of the deadliest places to be, based on the number of parts it disintegrated into... hardly reusable...

I have no doubt that there are some items that are dangerous in airports, I'd start by looking at the cleaning cart in the toilets rather than the duty free shop. but I don't want to live in a world where you can't take your laptop/phone on a plane at all..

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Lithium Metal...

You have only ever taken apart a discharged lithium battery. In a new disposable one the lithium is in the form of a foil. In a used battery this has mostly broken down.

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Re: Lithium Metal...

Thanks, actually I've seem rechargeable lithium cells being made from pastes and conductive (metalised) plastic sheets, all sealed up in a vac-pack outer. But yes, I can understand how a single use disposable lithium battery could use a simple metal foil.

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Holding the "shotgun"

Why hold it, and not just wedge it in a specific place, turn on, and go to the most beneficial place for your plan?

As a device for threathening people it doesn't work, as before operation nobody believes it will hurt, and after demonstration it doesn't (look like it can) work anymore (and the threathener has lost his eyebrows and hands probably)...

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Re: Lithium Metal...

The amount of lithium in a battery is so small as to be insignificant for anything but aiding a micro scale chemical reaction. There are a variety of chemistries, but to the best of my knowledge none contain pure lithium. You can calculate lithium equivalent and it's still a tiny amount, but there isn't any 'plain vanilla lithium' in a battery.

The reason they're hazardous is due to a (very low) risk of ignition from thermal runaway due to the battery's overall construction, not simply because it contains some lithium. It's a risk that, while very low, is basically non-existent in most other types of consumer batteries unless they are in a dead short or set on fire.

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Re: Holding the "shotgun"

It's more of an IED than a "shotgun"

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Re: Lithium Metal...

Energiser lithium batterys contain a thin sheet of metallic lithium rolled up like a swiss roll.

See youtube for videos of its extraction and inevitable burning.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Lithium Metal...

The McGyver stuff is fun, but overrated.

Surely, flushing the lithium down an aircraft toilet will make that somewhat unreliable hydrogen explosion much more dangerous, it certainly made a lasting impression on the decor of the school toilet when I flushed some Sodium "left over" from chemistry class!?

And ... Whatever will the lithium do when confined within a liter bottle of 45%++ duty-free booze?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Lithium Metal...

Energizer Lithium AA

I regularly buy them to rip out the metal, and drop it in a bucket of water. It makes a fun bang.

Anonymous because... well... I need to fly occasionally.

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WTF?

Re: Lithium Metal...

An Energizer AA Lithium battery contains less than a gram (~.69g) of Lithium Iron Disulfide coated on an aluminum foil substrate. Manufacturers data sheets are cool. You should check them out sometime.

The amount of lithium in one of those batteries might, might fizzle a little bit if the foil substrate was unrolled (for maximum surface area) and stuck in some water. It will not 'pop' or catch fire unless something is terribly amiss with your toilet.

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Re: battery contains less than a gram of Lithium Iron Disulfide

Energiser Ultimate Lithium cells OTOH contain nearly 7% lithium metal by weight, which is plenty to play with as this video shows.

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Re: battery contains less than a gram of Lithium Iron Disulfide

Again, that's the lithium equivalent of the alloy. No pure, unstable lithium in the battery.

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Theater, indeed

If you wanted to make a terrorist attack, why wait until you are through airport security? Airports are so crowded outside security that exploding a bomb there would kill as many as doing it on a plane. Or do it in a mall during Black Friday, at a train station or in a zillion of other crowded places that has little or no security checks. The chain is only as strong as the weakest link, so why make this particular link so much stronger than the rest?

I suspect that one of the reasons for all the restrictions on what you can bring of liquids etc. is to increase sale in the "Tax Free" shops. In many airports half a litre of bottled water costs around €2, for example. This also explains the apparent contradiction that you can buy stuff that you wouldn't be allowed to bring in.

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Re: Theater, indeed

>If you wanted to make a terrorist attack, why wait

>until you are through airport security?

Or, indeed, why this obsession with aeroplanes? Why not attack a nice, unpatrolled, railway terminus or cathedral or bus station or ferry terminal? All these, and more, feature in terrorist attacks in the mad orient, yet no-one imagines it will happen in the dignified occident.

We have even had attacks on busses and stations and branches of Mcdonalds, and yet only airports get the drop-yer-trousers approach to security.

Bonkers.

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Mushroom

Re: Theater, indeed

S'wot happend in 2007

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2007_Glasgow_International_Airport_attack

However, fortunately in this case, the terrorists were very inept........

Firstly in managing to set themselves on fire

Secondly, in choosing Scotland as a target.

Que an irate Glaswegen shouting "fuckin mon then" and kicking said terrorist in the love spuds.

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Black Helicopters

Re: Theater, indeed

why wait until you are through airport security?

You seem to be refusing to buy into the official narrative that all terrorists are signed-up members of the Emperor Ming school of terrorism who will choose the most difficult, impractical and unreliable methods of killing people rather than leaving bombs on the streets or simply picking up guns and shooting people.

Once one realises that terrorists could easily kill people if they chose to, in huge numbers, and there's no rational explanation why they don't if they truly do 'live only to kill', the official narrative rapidly falls to pieces. Then one has to wonder why we have that and what purpose it serves.

It is not good having people realise that any terrorists could easily kill us if they wanted to with the lack of such attacks suggesting the threat is overstated. So please don't encourage that line of thinking. There's a gravy train and propaganda machine you are putting at risk.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Theater, indeed

er... methinks it's the post-plane-as-a-flying-bomb reflex. It's just makes people very uneasy when a large plane, which we've all flown and make ourselves believe is a stable micro-universe, even at take-off, would do something to expose our wishful thinking to be for what it is.

And never mind "they" blow up themselves in the middle of the crowd (sorry for your tragic loss, etc), but think of what they could do if they were trying to crash-land into one of those [cesorship] buildings in the middle of [censorship], the one very nearby that world-known [censorship] tower (0.2 sec extra flying time). At least this is what a cynic would say. And the media exposure, my God, there'd surely be at least half of the 2.4 mln photos and a similar number of cam videos left intact after the blast to sell to the worldwide media. Cynical, like I say, so I'm not going to suggest there's a single shred of truth in it!

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Re: Theater, indeed

This is exactly my point about AQ attacks and 9/11. If a group is so well organised they can pull off simultaneous multiple hijackings, but are unable to attempt "simple" terror attacks in the following years, then what changed?

Surely a Mumbai style attack (maybe no grenades) is possible in the US, being as weapons aren't that hard to come by. But that wouldn't have had enough impact to justify on going war and a massive expansion of the security state.

It's almost like that was the goal, waiting for an excuse...

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Re: Theater, indeed

@Dance With Sheep

Indeed, what could easily have become a tragic event turned into a much more lighthearted and hilarious affair. I remember watching the news at the time, and whichever channel it was, was interviewing one of the passengers who stopped the attack. When asked what happened, the guy said something along the lines of:

"I saw a guy running towards me shouting 'allahu akbar', so I battered him"

Thank fuck for the lack of brain cells amongst extremists. And for angry Scots, of course.

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Re: why this obsession with aeroplanes?

That's easy.

This is the US.

1. We are always fighting the last war. For us, the last war is 9/11.

2. We don't travel by railway, ferry, or even much by bus. We do it in airplanes and cars.

3. Despite our religiosity, we don't actually put lots of people in cathedrals. If you want that, you're talking about a major sporting event or a rock concert. Major sporting events now work pretty much like airports. I don't know about rock concerts. Been to two in my life, maybe. Does 3,000 people count as a concert? If not, then I haven't been to any. And in fact the other one wouldn't have filled a medium film theater so I don't think it counts at all.

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Re: what changed?

A fair amount actually.

1. Stepped up intelligence actions. For all its invasiveness the NSA wiretaps. I may hate them and call them unconstitutional, but they certainly have been used to disrupt some plots.

2. They killed 3,000. Then like the wrath of God we came after them and killed even more. You hate us for it and criticize it, but it works.

3. The 9/11 attacks themselves changed the existing paradigm. Before it was: surrender to the hostages and most of you will get out alive. Now it is: kill the hijackers by any means necessary before they kill any of your fellow citizens; you might die doing so, but you will die if you don't.

4. This is the US. You hate us and criticize us for our gun love. But outside of gun-free government zones (like schools, airports, and airplanes) you don't know who might be packing heat. One well placed and moderately well trained cowboy could ruin your whole plan. You might not even get your 72 virgins. Because he just might be the sort of mean, racist f*ck who'd maim and disable you before shoving a pork sausage down your throat to choke you to death.

I'm sure there are more things, but that should get you started.

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Re: why this obsession with aeroplanes?

Nobody takes trains in New York or buses in LA?

I must have been in the wrong cities.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: what changed?

Please justify your hatespeech. Provide diagrams.

1. which ones?

2. why did they feel the need to kill the 3000? perhaps you can fix that.

3. hows the "new paradigm" working for you?

4. why do "we" hate "you"? perhaps you should consider fixing that too.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Theater, indeed

It's sad, isn't it: In the 1980's we had real, effective, terrorists and those were beaten and arrested without "a camera and a microphone in every lamppost" and checkpoints with armed goons giving free grope-downs.

"The West" has totally lost the plot. In almost *every case* since the 1980's todays terrorists have been totally incompetent wankers - and the few ones who were competent (or lucky) promptly auto-darwined themselves.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: what changed?

You hate us and criticize us for our gun love

Err, No. That part is fine. What "we" do not like is that whenever the USA does something really stupid our governments will always find ways to drag us into the stupidity too, leaving us with the same mess and looking stupid too, more stupid in fact - because everybody "here" should know better by now.

And ... being against terrorism and allied with Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, the worlds largest sponsors of it, may seem too much like setting up a supply chain of terrorists for the military/security complex to wage war on.

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Re: why this obsession with aeroplanes?

Why do terrorists try to blow up aeroplanes? Like other criminals they seem to be more driven by vague emotional motivations than cold logic. Why do crack-heads steal car radios? In a world where the only people without one are those who've just had one stolen, I don't suppose they fetch a lot of money.

Maybe it's because the airliner is a symbol to them of western technology. Maybe it's because people already fear flying despite the fact that it's one of the safest ways to travel.

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Re: Theater, indeed

Twas doon by the inch o' Abbots

Oor Johnny walked one day

When he saw a sicht that

troubled him

Far more than he could say...

Now that's no richt wur

Johnny cried

And sallied tae the fray

A left hook and a heid butt

Required tae save the day.

Now listen up Bin Laden

Yir sort's nae wanted here

For imported English radicals

Us Scoatsman huv nae fear

(Not my own work)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: what changed?

Tom, this is priceless mate:

> Then like the wrath of God [...]

Well, I'm an atheist so The Wrath of God means a lot less to me than The Wrath of Kermit The Frog, you see?

> we came after them and killed even more.

Ah, so YOU came after "them" (whoever "them" may be) and killed a few, etc., etc. So tell us again, where did YOU actually go to, Tom?

Go on, amuse us a little while. :-)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Theater, indeed

> In the 1980's we had real, effective, terrorists and those were beaten and arrested

Along with a bunch of innocent people who were in the wrong place at the wrong time. At least that part hasn't changed. :-(

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FAIL

Re: Jason Bloomberg Re: Theater, indeed

"....Once one realises that terrorists could easily kill people if they chose to, in huge numbers, and there's no rational explanation why they don't if they truly do 'live only to kill', the official narrative rapidly falls to pieces. Then one has to wonder why we have that and what purpose it serves....." There are approximately three fatal bombings in Iraq EVERY DAY. When was the last time one made the UK or US evening news? Now, are you old enough to remember the news around 9/11? See the difference? THAT is what the terrorists want.

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Boffin

Re: Carl Re: why this obsession with aeroplanes?

The original obsession with planes was due to the Marxist backgrounds and friends of most of the terror groups in the Sixties and Seventies. The "reasoning" was that only the rich and hated businessmen had the money to fly, therefore hijacking commercial jets was striking a blow for the "common people". Of course, the decline of Marxist groups (apparently they switched to keeping women as slaves or the like) and the rise in cheap flights made that rational as hollow as the rest of the Marxist drivel.

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Re: why do "we" hate "you"? perhaps you should consider fixing that too.

1. Nobody can fix stupid.

2. I don't have enough bullets. Yet.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Jason Bloomberg Theater, indeed

Where were the Yanks when the IRA and their ilk were murdering thousands, even including American tourists? Oh, they were busy collecting money and supplying weapons, while offering extradition-free sanctuary and visits to the Whitehouse to the terrorists (or, in USA speak, freedom fighters). I assume that these facilities are still on offer to terrorists in other lands who are classified, by the USA government, as "freedom fighters".

Do n't give us all that nonsense about USA protecting the world and knowing all about the evils of terrorism. It did not begin with "9/11", that was almost a home-made disaster when one reads the background and details. That was just the first time Americans really found out what terrorism means.

Where is the great USA crusade against murders by shooting almost every day in the great USA? Or against the poverty and ignorance that results in millions in USA having not health insurance and so dying early or living in cripplingly bad health? Or against the daily deaths on the roads? Or against deaths through USA controlled drones in "allied" countries?

Let's keep the gun-ownership chaos. It may just mean fewer people surviving who are clearly not nice people.

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