Ban gasoline!

Referenced from: http://muller.lbl.gov/TRessays/02 _Cropduster_Terrorism.htm ^word-wrapped
What terrorist weapon is more destructive than TNT and more available
than nukes? It's gasoline.
By Richard A. Muller
Technology for Presidents
from Technology Review Online
March 11, 2002
Before murdering thousands at the World Trade Center, Mohammad Atta made repeated trips to rural airports, trying to learn everything he could about crop dusters. Why? Most people think he was interested in spreading chemical or biological terror over a major city. But there is no evidence that al Qaeda had stores of such materials. Searches in Afghanistan turned up no major chemical or biological facilitiesnor is there evidence the group somehow had access to stockpiles in the United States. New facts amplify the mystery. A crop duster manual was found in the possession of Zacarias Moussouai, who prosecutors think would have been the 20th suicide hijacker, if he hadn't been arrested first. A federal witness, Essam al Ridi, testified at U.S. trial of the four men accused in the 1998 U.S. embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania that Osama bin Laden wanted to buy a crop-dusting business.
Why? Maybe bin Laden just wanted to dust crops. (I know nobody takes that one seriously.) Maybe he actually did have stores of chemical or biological agents, and we'll uncover them soon. But I bet they don't exist. I have a totally different interpretation of al Qaeda's interest in crop dusters. Let me lead you to my conclusion by starting with a review of what happened on September 11and more importantly, what didn't.
When Mohammad Atta boarded American Airlines flight 11 in Boston that morning, the only illegal things he carried were his intentionsno guns, no explosives, no long knives. Despite all the well-documented weaknesses of our airline inspectors, the risks of being caught with a weapon were too great for Atta et al. to take that chance.
The brilliance of the operation was its low risk. No purchases of explosives. No illegal weapons. Virtually no infrastructure needed. The danger of someone finding out was nil, since even most of the terrorists didn't have to know the mission. (And many of them may not have known right up to their deaths, despite bin Laden's subsequent assertion that they were told just before they boarded.) Atta's plan depended on the airline policy that directed pilots to cooperate with hijackers. Don't argue; don't threaten; just do what they ask. This approach had saved lives (and airplanes) in the past.
Atta and his co-conspirators took early flights, minimizing the risk that the flights would be behind schedule and making it easier to attack New York and Washington simultaneously. But even more importantly, they took transcontinental flights. That was to make sure the planes were fully loaded with fuel.
Gasoline, mixed with air, releases 15 times as much energy as an equal weight of TNT. That fact astonishes most people. The numbers are simple: one gram of TNT releases 0.65 kilocalories of energy; one gram of gasoline, mixed with air, releases 10 kilocalories. TNT is not valued for its high energy, but rather for its ability to deliver the material- shattering force that accompanies rapid energy delivery (high power). Even chocolate chip cookies have nine times the energy content of TNT. To tear down a building, if you're in no hurry, don't use TNT; hire some teenagers, give them sledgehammers, and feed them cookies.
The history of gasoline as a weapon dates at least to the Molotov cocktail of the 1930s. In World War II, what the flame throwers really threw was burning gasoline. Vietnam made gasoline-based Napalm famous. Recently, in Afghanistan, the U.S. killed and demoralized Taliban troops with "fuel-air" explosives. Why were these so dreadful? Because 7 tons of gasoline, mixed with air and detonated from a parachute, release the energy of over 100 tons of TNT. So don't drop TNT if you can drop gasoline. It gives 15 times the bang per ton.
Atta and his terrorists hijacked a Boeing 767 that carried 60 tons of fuel, equivalent to 900 tons of TNT, nearly a kiloton. When it hit the north tower of the World Trade Center, it didn't all explode, but it continued to burn for over an hour. A long slow burning can be more terrible than an explosion. The building's structure finally failed, the columns buckled, the upper floors fell like a pile-driver on the lower floors, and they collapsed in turn. A near-identical attack felled the south tower.
Atta knew that September 11 would be the last day on which an airplane could be hijacked with ease. After September 11, sky marshals are hardly necessary. No pilot ever again will willingly hand over the controls to a terrorist. Even if a hijacker kills the pilots, the courage and the fury of the passengers and crew will be unleashed.
An Air Tractor 502 Crop Duster airplane is far smaller than a 767, but it is also a flying tanker. It has fertilizer containers that hold roughly 1,200 liters of liquid, plus a 500-liter fuel tank. It flies close to the ground, where it cannot be seen by most radar technologies. Fill 'er up with 1,700 liters of gasoline, and you are carrying roughly 2.1 to 2.4 tons, the energy equivalent of 32 to 36 tons of TNT.
What could a single suicide pilot do with a full crop duster? Crash into Yankee Stadium during the World Series, or into the Superbowl, or the Olympics opening ceremony. The deaths, including trampling, might exceed those at the World Trade Center, with everything broadcast live on international TV. (I virtually held my breath during these recent events.) Or the pilot might target a petrochemical plant, or a nuclear waste facility near a large city. (Can we please move those radioactive wastes to the relative safety of Yucca Mountain in Nevada?)
Fortunately (for us), it turns out that the Air Tractor is notoriously difficult to fly, particularly when fully loaded, and even more so if kept at very low (radar-avoiding) altitude. Maneuvering a Boeing 767 is probably easier, as long as you don't have to land. Moreover, the crop duster community is very close, small, and wary. Even before September 11, they didn't let Atta photograph their planes or even sit in the cockpits. For the next few years, you can be assured that every suspicious visit to a crop duster facility will be reported immediately to the FBI.
But don't take too much comfort in the difficulty of obtaining and flying a crop duster. Other kinds of small planes can be used. At the World Trade Center, jet fuel, a kerosene-based equivalent to gasoline, killed more people and destroyed more property than bin Laden had dreamed possible. Gasoline is a low-risk explosive, and doesn't require any special license to buy. So beware. If any al Qaeda agents are left in the U.S. and they want to kill and terrorize, then their weapon of choice may well be one that you can buy at the corner station.
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After reading this I believe that any person purchasing over 62.5 grams of gasoline should be required to have a LEUP. Gasoline of any quantity that will be transported across state lines should be reported to the DOT and ATFE: time that the material will be transported, final destination of the material, and intended use at destination. Also _any_ gasoline that will be used in an engine producing over 25 pounds of torque should require a LEUP.
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27CFR555.141 a-8
Sec. 555.141 Exemptions.
(8) *Gasoline*, fertilizers, *propellant actuated devices*, or propellant actuated industrial tools manufactured, imported, or distributed for their intended purposes.
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I bleieve it is policy for rmr readers and TRA members and NAR members to violently ignore that code section as if it does not exist.
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Jerry Irvine, Box 1242, Claremont, California 91711 USA
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You forgot about BATFE and their disregaurd... anyway.
I'm just being silly and trying to stress how futile it is for them to reduce their effort of enforcement of perceived terrorism to zero (see earlier thread under: ATFE to produce anti-rocketry video). It seemed humorous and at least on track with recent topics here, if not directly on-topic.
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not exist.
Jerry, you still don't get it. We are all aware of the exemption for PADs. We are not the ones who are ignoring that exemption, it is the ATF who ignores it. Even if the law specifically stated in plain language that all rocket motors are exempt, if the ATF chose to ignore that we'd still be stuck with whatever they enforce, until we could get the court to stop them.
That's the whole problem right there. They are a renegade agency that "interprets" the law to suit their own agendas. They have the power of the government behind them and can only be stopped by the courts.
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Unfortunatly, the government has virtually unlimited resources when it comes to courts. I mean, the ATF can spend a billion bucks on a lawyer if they can justify it. All it will become is playing word games in the court and the federal government is really good at it. Then if they fail they will somehow get congress to remove rockets from PADs, or rewrite the law so that rockets wont be PADs (like "blah blah blah... that cannot fly up in the air" or something like that) or even worse they can rewrite the National firearms act (you know using the terrorist acts and stuff) to include rockets. That means paying the 200 dollar tax and all that stuff just to get ONE rocket/motor! They did all kind of funny stuff with gun laws, nothing to stop them from doing that with rocketry. By the way the NFA DID list "rockets with propellant of more than 4 ounces" as destructive device! so be careful here...
Here's the definition in 18 USC 921 (a) (4) (4) The term "destructive device" means - (A) any explosive, incendiary, or poison gas - (i) bomb, (ii) grenade, (iii) rocket having a propellant charge of more than four ounces, (iv) missile having an explosive or incendiary charge of more than one-quarter ounce, (v) mine, or (vi) device similar to any of the devices described in the preceding clauses;
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No. Read the definition you supplied. If you expand the hierarchy, it says "any explosive, incendiary, or poison gas rocket having a propellant charge of more than four ounces"
len.
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but its not hard for the ATF to change the law to say "readily convertable to" which is already there (something thats almost a machine gun is considered a machine gun to the ATF, you know, like open bolt sten, AR-15 with M-16 trigger group in it but cant fire full auto) and whats to stop them from saying that a high power rocket is readily convertable to a destructive device?
Say if they were to raid your house and told the society at large you're a illicit explosive manufacturer, and you beat them on technicalities, then they go looking in stuff they take from you, and oops, finds a illegal copy of Photoshop or some movie you borrowed and copied. Then they hit you with that and gives you some time as well... One thing is, when they raid they take anything that can be potentially be used to create indictments. This includes your computers, any igniters you have, fireworks, ammo, guns, rocket motors, CD-RW's.. Then there's the nasty conspiracy stuff that apprantly (from what I heard) all they need is 2 people testifying against you and they can give you time with _no_ evidence whatsoever.
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tai fu wrote:

Take a close look at the subsection numbering. The section prohibits any of several delivery devices if used to carry an "explosive", an "incendiary", or "poison gas".
We don't build the kind of rockets (or grenades, mines, etc.) that they are specifying here...
-dave w

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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com (RayDunakin) wrote:

Yes "we" are.
Read NAR S&T requirements Read NAR policy re HPR motor access Read NFPA codes Read TRA TMTrequirements Read TRA policy re HPRmotor access.
Lying does not help Ray and Len.

With NO consequences at all ever.

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Jerry Irvine, Box 1242, Claremont, California 91711 USA
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Intended use is hilarious and shows the absolute insanity of the BATF position. If gasoline is as dangerous, but you are not to use it other than the way it is intended, then why not put the same restriction on rocket motors? Not for use in land to air missiles, bombs or incendiary devices.
The deaths that a creative terrorists can cause using gasoline and a few other ingredients and few easy to purchase pieces of equipment is mind boggling.

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That is actually already a law.
Cite not handy.

Reread this last sentence.
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Jerry Irvine, Box 1242, Claremont, California 91711 USA
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Jerry, you have been told repeatedly that we acknowledge this code section, but as long as the ATF insists it does not apply, the assertion is academic.
You are always free to not renew your LEUP and "test the law", putting your money (and perhaps freedom) where your mouth is. But don't insist that others do it for you.
len.
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<< What could a single suicide pilot do with a full crop duster? Crash into Yankee Stadium during the World Series, or into the Superbowl, or the Olympics opening ceremony. >>
Or just spray the gasoline over a couple city blocks and wait for the descending vapor to hit a spark. Instant fuel-air bomb.
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com (RayDunakin) wrote in

Actually no, the proportion of gasoline to air would be all wrong. It would be rather "lean" to put it in engine terms and they would get nothing but a very strong gasoline smell as their final outcome. It took the military a lot of research to find the exact proportions to make the best explosion with a gas-air bomb. They call them poor man's nukes; look also into MOAB (Mother Of All Bombs) that was so hyped up by the media. For calculations involved with creating such a weapon you would need to know how much explosive to distribute X amount of gasoline into Y amount of air and having a second "fuse" to ignite the fuel/air mix at _PRECICLY_ that instant that the fuel is at it's highest combustible point. I'm not going to reference the exact points where gasoline goes through its permissibility when mixed with air, but I know that it's far, far less than a gas such as acetylene or even butane. Why do you think modern cars have so much carburetor equipment? (Oxygen sensors etc.)
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BrundlFly wrote:

The theoretical limits for complete combustion of gasoline is 14.7:1 air to fuel. Anyone who has played with a modern computerized fuel injected motor knows that one by heart.
Mark Simpson NAR 71503 Level II God Bless our peacekeepers
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On 06 Nov 2003 00:13:41 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com (RayDunakin) wrote:

Or imagine a flying flame thrower that starts a 500 mile long forest fire front in a dry California forest on a windy day with no rain in sight. Then what are you going to do, turn an Arab desert into glass?
Alan
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According to some panphlets I read one time, a gallon of gas is equivilent to 14 sticks of dynamite! (could just be hypes though)
That means a tank of gas sprayed over a city block, then the vapor hits a spark
KABOOOOMMM!!!
I think a High explosive permit/blasting permit should be required!
How about natural gas/propane? very available and still explosive as well...
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That couldn't possibly be true. It's just like the arguments about wether or not our hobbies motors are are explosive. In the car's case if the gas was anywhere near as explosive as dynamite the engine would just blow up instead of running. I don't know about you but I don't wanna be driving that car.
Randy D Co-Prez, SoJARS
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