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Potassium Nitrate in the Mix

September 11, 2008

Potassium nitrate is an ingredient of fertiliser and widely available from garden centres.

It is a stable substance until mixed with certain other materials. Once this happens, a chemical reaction takes place as it releases carbon dioxide.

It was favoured by IRA bomb-makers.

Bombs usually rely on large quantities of potassium nitrate – more than can usually be bought without attracting attention.

This is why groups of people tend to buy small quantities each to avoid attention.

Five kilogrammes on its own would not be enough to cause large- scale damage.

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