The ingredients that turned an SUV into a smoldering car bomb in Times Square were all cheap and ordinary: propane tanks, gas cans, powder from fireworks. In its reliance on components that are easy to come by and almost impossible to detect, Saturday's failed bombing looks a lot like other recent US terrorism attempts, and the trend has counterterrorism officials worried, the Washington Post reports.
"'Unsophisticated' can still cause a lot of pain and misery," one official said, pointing to recipes that require items easily found on the shelves of hardware or beauty supply stores. Homeland Security and the FBI have been warning for years about the use of propane tanks and gas cylinders as bomb components, an approach that has gained favor with al-Qaeda. "What that means is now you worry about the 'underwear bomber,' and the Zazi case with backpack bombs on subway trains,"a counterterrorism expert said.