More self-made explosives used in attacks on houses
Criminals are shifting from hand grenades to improvised explosives when attacking houses and vehicles in the Netherlands, according to the Ministry of Defense’s Explosive Ordinance Disposal Service (EOD). The number of incidents involving self-made bombs using, for example, fireworks is on the rise, while incidents with hand grenades are plummeting, EOD Major Peter said to NOS.
Last year, the EOD responded to 11 incidents of self-made explosives attached to homes or cars. This year, the counter is already at 17. On the other hand, incidents involving hand grenades dropped from 14 last year to only four so far this year.
Major Peter, who asked that his surname be withheld given the nature of his work, can’t give an exact cause for the shift. The EOD pointed out that in the past, self-made explosives were mainly used for things like ATM bombings, the number of which has decreased in the past months due to investments by banks and the police to boost security around the machines. It may also be that hand grenades are harder to come by. Grenades mainly come from the Eastern Bloc, according to the major.
The EOD is concerned about the development. Improvised explosives are extra dangerous to defuse. “We have a manual for a hand grenade, and there is quality control on it,” said Peter. “If people manufacture an explosive themselves, then the question is how it works.”