Hebrew University scientist’s spray detector can catch terrorists red-handedNovember 14th, 2007 - 8:13 am ICT by admin
When sprayed on cotton swabs taken from the hands of a suspect, if they have had recent contact with urea nitrate, the chemical will turn a blood red hue.
According to Professor Almog, his spray can detect minute traces of the improvised explosive on hands of suspects, door handles, luggage containers and vehicles, and it can distinguish between sugar or any innocent looking powder and urea nitrate.
Urea nitrate is a powerful improvised explosive, frequently used by Palestinian terrorists in Israel. It was also used in the first World Trade Center bombing in New York in 1993.
Urea nitrate is a colourless crystalline substance that looks very much like sugar, which makes it very difficult to detect. Non-professionals can prepare large amounts of this material in “back-yard” facilities.
The development of a colour test will therefore be a significant aid to forensic scientists.
The test is based on the formation of a red dye in the chemical reaction between p-dimethylaminocinnamaldehyde and urea nitrate under neutral conditions.
The initial findings of the project, which was supported in part by the US/Israel Bilateral Committee on Counter-Terrorism, were published in the Journal of Forensic Sciences.
The second part of the work, carried out by research student Nitay Lemberger, involved unequivocal structure elucidation of the red dye.
Although instruments do already exist to detect urea nitrate, they are much more sophisticated and quite expensive.
Professor Almog, who says the spray detector is easy to use and inexpensive, sees it being adopted as a standard arsenal of law enforcement agencies, security services, and the military and at certain check-points at air and sea ports.
Professor Almog is a former Israeli Police Brigadier General and Director of the Identification and Forensic Science Division of the Israeli Police. (ANI)
- Traces of potassium chlorate, nitrate in explosive: Police - Feb 15, 2012
- No consensus on explosives used in Delhi blast - Sep 10, 2011
- Phone calls made to Israel, Iran, Lebanon being examined (Lead) - Feb 15, 2012
- Mumbai bombs may have been deadly cocktail of explosives - Jul 14, 2011
- Car attack: Krishna meets Israeli envoy, assures security - Feb 15, 2012
- India assures Israel full support in probe, no Iran link (Second Lead) - Feb 15, 2012
- From IIT-M, nano-scale device to detect big explosives - Aug 28, 2012
- IEDs were prepared with sophistication: Home secretary - Jul 14, 2011
- India to provide extra security for Israeli mission - Feb 15, 2012
- Krishna meets Israeli envoy, assures full support in probe (Lead) - Feb 15, 2012
- Israeli victim saw Delhi bomber - Feb 14, 2012
- Terrorist was 'very well trained', says India (Roundup) - Feb 14, 2012
- YouTube launches Hebrew interface - Sep 06, 2010
- Blast in Israel embassy car injures four, Iran blamed (Intro Roundup) - Feb 13, 2012
- Fertiliser bomb fears persist despite ammonium nitrate ban - Aug 09, 2011
Tags: arsenal, colour test, contact, crystalline substance, first world trade center bombing, forensic scientists, hebrew university, improvised explosive, israel, minute traces, neutral conditions, professor, red dye, red hue, structure elucidation, terrorists, unequivocal, university scientist, urea nitrate, yard facilities