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Thursday, April 18, 2013

New suspect in Boston bombing: North Korea

Pyongyang's history includes terror proxies, links to al-Qaida

F. Michael Maloof

WASHINGTON – The Boston Marathon bombing that killed three people and wounded more than 180 was on the same day as the 101st anniversary of the birthday of North Korean founder Kim Il Sung, raising questions among analysts whether Pyongyang, as in some of its past terrorism, used proxies to carry out the attack in the U.S.
North Korea in recent weeks has been threatening the U.S. with attacks, including a pre-emptive nuclear strike. Pyongyang also has a history of committing terrorist attacks without taking credit for them.
President George W. Bush removed North Korea from the U.S. terrorist list as a compromise to the Hermit Kingdom to halt its missile and nuclear weapons development programs.
But a number of analysts say there is a history of a relationship between North Korea and al-Qaida, which raises further concerns since at least one of the two bombs exploded in the Boston Marathon attack Monday used a pressure cooker loaded with ball bearings and nails, which accentuated a low-yield explosive.
Pressure-cooker bombs for years have been used by Islamist militants in Afghanistan and Iraq against U.S. troops.
Calls by WND to the FBI to comment on this prospect were not returned.
Instructions to make pressure-cooker improvised explosive devices, or IEDs, are well-documented in al-Qaida’s first volume of Inspire magazine, which was published in the summer of 2010.
Written by “The AQ Chef,” the article is titled “Make A Bomb in the Kitchen of your Mom.” The detailed instructions show how to use off-the-shelf kitchen ingredients to make a powerful pressure-cooker bomb.
The North Korea-al-Qaida relationship has been known to U.S. intelligence officials for years.
In 2010, for example, a U.S. intelligence report released by Wikileaks stated that in November 2005, then-al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden’s financial adviser flew to North Korea from Iran. In that meeting was Hezb-Islami party leader Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, who for years has been in Afghanistan killing U.S. troops.
They had gotten together to negotiate the purchase of ground-to-air missiles from North Korea.
“While in North Korea,” the U.S. intelligence report said, “the two confirmed a deal with the North Korean government for remote controlled rockets for use against American and coalition aircraft.”
The report went on to say that the shipment of the weapons was expected beginning in 2006.
In 2007, there was a separate report that a CH-47 Chinook helicopter was downed by a missile.
“The impact of the missile projected the aft end of the aircraft up as it burst into flames followed immediately by a nose dive into the crash site with no survivors,” according to a May 30, 2007, intelligence report also leaked by Wikileaks.
The Inspire magazine article, which went into considerable detail on how to make a pressure-cooker bomb, was meant to provide instructions at home instead of “risking a dangerous travel abroad.”
“Look no further,” it said, “the open source jihad is now at hands reach.
“The open source jihad is America’s worst nightmare,” the magazine warned.
The magazine asked the question, “Can I make an effective bomb that causes damage to the enemy from ingredients available in any kitchen in the world?
“The answer is yes,” it said.
The magazine pointed out that ingredients are readily available.
“Buying these ingredients does not raise suspicion,” it said. “It is easily disposed of if the enemy searches your home. Sniffing dogs are not trained to recognize them as bomb making ingredients. In one or two days the bomb could be ready to kill at least 10 people. In a month you may make a bigger and more lethal bomb that could kill tens of people.”
Many details remain unclear, but it appears no TNT, C4 or other high explosives were in the Boston Marathon pressure-cooker bomb.
Inspire magazine gave instructions on a mechanical explosion using a flammable material which, when ignited within a confined space, causes great pressure.
It could be gunpowder, or, as instructions in Inspire magazine point out, a mixture of two ingredients of shavings from matchheads and sugar that would go into the preparation of the explosive substance.
The substance then would be placed in the pressure-cooker or an iron pipe, using the head of a lamp as an igniter, along with an electricity source – a 9-volt battery – along with a basic clock with its minute hand wired to touch a pre-positioned nail to detonate the device.


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