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Breivik sourced chemicals and components on eBay

By Chris Dawson July 31, 2011 - 1:04 am

Following the massacre on the Island of Utoya in Norway a fortnight ago on the 22nd July, The Telegraph now reveals Anders Behring Breivik used eBay to source armaments.

The Telegraph says he purchased with the User ID which he used to source chemicals, components and tools from around the world. Each of the purchases on it’s own looks fairly innocuous and it would be hard for eBay or the authorities to figure out what Breivik’s intentions were from the buying history alone.

It does open the question how easy is it to buy armaments on the Internet and Breivik himself said “eBay is your friend” in his “personal reflections and experiences” whilst preparing for the massacre.

The truth is that if someone really wants to source chemicals and components it’s almost impossible to stop them as there are plenty of legitimate uses. The Internet simply makes it easier.

  • 10 years ago
    • Chris
      10 years ago

      Having gone through the list of items purchased on eBay it is obvious that the main items are not on the list. The main items of course are the Fertilizer that he used for the bomb and the guns and bullets he used for the massacre and of course the fake Police Uniform that he used to gain victims on the island. I would guess that if the security forces were to look at the list of eBay purchases in isolation they would agree that there is nothing on that list that would convince them that this bloke was a lunatic. I will agree that none of the items is even similar to anything that I have purchased from eBay but each item he purchased has a reasonable legitimate use. Indeed it is possible that some of the items on the list were not even used in conjunction with his attacks. So if the security agencies are going to pick up dangers from such as eBay purchasing history they would have failed from this list.

      As a matter of interest I noticed your posting about the Spa Valley Railway. I would be careful about expressing an interest in such. I said that I used to take my Specialist Book Stall to Traction Engine Rallies and all Hell broke loose from “Experts” who find the idea of selling to customers at a Pleasant Event in the Countryside to be totally beyond the pale. One Clown described a Traction Engine Rally as a “Trainspotter Event”.

  • northumbrian
    10 years ago

    I can go to any town high st shopping centre etc and buy a lot of everyday things that will harm people if misused its perfectly possible you could be battered to death with a tin of baked beans,[or gassed]
    though I cant buy a gun

    where did he get his hands on those ?

    • Chris
      10 years ago

      My understanding is that while Sweden has strict Gun Laws it also has an enormous amount of Forest where many go Hunting. In such an environment there must be legitimate ways of obtaining guns. After all he lived on a Farm. Many Farmers in the UK have guns(usually Shotguns or .22 Hunting Rifles) for such as vermin control

    • northumbrian
      10 years ago

      I know there are guns availabe
      and why my point is
      the focus seems to be on how the bomb was aquired rather than the gun that killed the most

    • Chris
      10 years ago

      As I understand it he bought several tons of fertilizer and processed it into the explosive for the bomb. Fairly basic chemistry and my understanding is that there are several places on the internet where you can find bomb making instructions(I have never looked but I am so assured). My understanding is that they are not certain how he set it off. There are several methods. As an example he can use a mobile phone to trigger it or an alarm clock. I also understand that when comparing his purchases of fertilizer with the bomb plus what they have found there is a couple of tons of fertilizer missing. So there could be another bomb somewhere. The trouble is that he lived on a Farm so purchases of fertilizer in bulk is probably justifiable. As an example I know that farms around here buy fertilizer in bulk(often the suppliers will only deliver a minimum of so many tons). After all if you have say 200 acres you cannot go into the local garden centre and buy enough in small packets. You need big bags that are delivered by truck and then loaded onto your tractor and spreader. There is a farm just down the road he often has several bags just inside his access road within a few yards of the road. Sometimes I go there and there are 5 or 6 or more then over the next week or so it all goes because he has been out spreading it on his fields.

    • Chris
      10 years ago

      If there is another bomb somewhere this could be as very significant danger. Let us imagine that there were 2 bombs and he planned them to go off at the same time. For some reason one did not go off. It could be sitting somewhere in a vehicle or perhaps in the basement of a building or even a lock-up. It will be unstable(such terrorist bombs are always unstable). If the timer was for example an alarm clock or similar it could have stuck(he might have used an old or faulty alarm clock). A slight knock could set it ticking again(during World War II some German Bombs were on a time fuse and were being de-activated some started ticking again). In which case there could be a massive explosion(2 tons of fertilizer bomb going off is something to avoid like the plague). Obviously he is likely to have put it in a crowded location(his intentions seem to have been to kill wholesale) so in hours, days, weeks etc there could be an explosion unless somebody can find it and de-activate it.

  • northumbrian
    10 years ago

    there are whole train loads and truck loads of nasty things going up and down the country, surprises me we dont have bother with nutters hijacking them and causing trouble, though as most of the loonies are kept busy on ebay were probably safe

    • Chris
      10 years ago

      There are panels on the sides of the trucks carrying the worst of loads. The idea being that if the vehicle is involved in an accident the Police, Fire Brigade etc know what is in the vehicle. After all a Petrol Tanker can be very nasty if it goes out of control and rolls. Where would we be if it was illegal to ship Petrol around the countryside in bulk. Then of course there is the Nuclear Waste and other Nuclear materials. But the worst does not necessarily have to be in large quantities. After all Research Scientist could be carrying viruses that could wipe out a City in a suitcase. Is it perhaps justifiable that I long to live in a much simpler time years ago. At least in the days of Steam Locomotives we had few of the dangerous modern developments.

  • JD
    10 years ago

    I am surprised that the account, although NARU, is still visible on eBay.

    IMO, In the interests of taste and common decency all details should have been taken down.

    The eBay ‘contact member’ facility is still available.

    Items purchased from UK would have required a customs label. I would hazard that ‘sulphur’ did not appear.

    Although apparently not allowed on eBay, items used in pryotechnics seem to be available for sale. Some are not necesarily listed in a straightforward manner.

    Work for eBay methinks.

  • northumbrian
    10 years ago

    yeah but lots of the old fashioned ones
    the odd doodle bug dropping in uninvited could spoil your evening

    • Chris
      10 years ago

      Would be about as welcome as the ex-wife.

  • 10 years ago

    what a tragedy. ebay should probihit dangerous material on listing

    • northumbrian
      10 years ago

      you can be stabbed to death with a pen or or even strangled with a tie

      ebay is not to blame for the misuse of goods

    • Chris
      10 years ago

      “Sulphur”. If you have a bug infestation one method of control is to burn Sulphur inside the building and seal the building up. This will kill all the bugs(in fact it will kill everything). Then after a couple of days you open up the building and allow it to air(do not go into it yourself for several hours(or even a day or so or you could join the bugs). So even Sulphur has a legitimate use(now I am not an expert on bomb-making but is Sulphur an ingredient of a Terrorist bomb?)

    • northumbrian
      10 years ago

      not to mention weedkillers and pesticides caustics and acids available at any garden center, even sugar can be used to make bombs

    • Chris
      10 years ago

      Between me and northumbrian I suspect that we could construct a list of “dangerous” materials that would include just about every category currently listed on eBay. As an example I was once told by a Council Clown that Books were a Fire Hazzard. According to this Clown(who gave every indication of having dropped out of full time education by the age of 7) Books burst into flames by a process similar to Spontaneous Combustion and burnt at such a high temperature that the building would be totally destroyed. As his Council also ran the Libraries I asked him about the Special Measures to safeguard the Buildings(apparently there are none) after all Libraries burning down must be a hazzard. Apparently when he asked at the Library Department they could not stop laughing(at him). But there again Books contain ideas and to many ideas are dangerous(see assorted Left and Right wing Dictators over the years and even the occassional UK Government)

    • Chris
      10 years ago

      Fumigation comes from the fumes of burning sulphur.

  • samsmith
    10 years ago

    There are many items in your cleaning cupboards that can be used too make a bomb. However to make a large blast you need common items in bulk.

    There are many tutorials on the net on pyrotechnics and explosive theorys.

    Just about every explosive recipe is out there. However all the materials are not avaliable too these nutters or joe public.

    There are loads of pyrotechnic stuff on ebay as someone has said.

    Btw is pyrotechnics eg fireworks making illegal in uk???

  • samsmith
    10 years ago

    i think some of the pyro ingredients have a max purchase by law in uk, i could be wrong.

    • Chris
      10 years ago

      It is certainly true that there are rules about quantities. Even the Supermarket can only sell you so many common painkillers. But if you plan a bomb surely you collect the ingredients over time and stock them.

      Also the rules are dependant on need. The nutter lived on a Farm as such he had a need for fertilizer in bulk. It would be impractical to force all Farmers to get their needs from the local garden centre in small packets. If the rules did it would not be long before food doubled in price as it got very rare.

      A lot of bomb making requires a basic knowledge of Chemistry. As few Schools these days teach Chemistry(seem to have mainly replaced it with Media Studies) there are fewer with the basic knowledge. But it is likely that there are places where you could find instructions(after all much of it is similar to baking a cake).

      But most are not nutters. Most,even on eBay, are honest hard working decent people. But we still need to stay safe and secure from such nutters and that requires the authorities to remain vigilant.

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