Monday, October 25, 2004
Wondering just how deadly the explosives looted from Al Qa Qaa might be? In an e-mail to Nick Confessore of TAPPED, Philip Carter of Intel Dump explained "how much boom you get" for 380 tons of RDX, HMX, and PETN:
OK City = 5,000 pounds/2,300 kg of ammonium-nitrate and nitromethane.
This mix has a TNT equivalent ranging from 3%-10%, i.e. the OK City bomb is the equivalent of 150 - 500 pounds of TNT.
AQQ = 380 tons of RDX, HMX and PETN. RDX and PETN have a TNT equivalent value of 170%. Converted into TNT, the AQQ stockpile equals 646 tons or 1,292,000 pounds of explosives.
Convert this back into my OK City metric, and this means that the lost material at AQQ equals betwen 2,584 - 8613 OK City-size bombs. That's one hell of a lot of material to be on the street -- enough to fuel a car-bomb and IED-based insurgency for years, if not decades.