Do you remember the “But Did You Check eBay?” slogan from a few years ago the company used in its TV commercials? A French man may have remembered it to find the materials he needed to build pipe bombs!
According to a report, a 26-year-old man built four pipe bombs with materials bought on eBay, which he allegedly threatened to use against public buildings.
But these were not ordinary pipe bombs, but pipe bombs filled with radioactive dust.
Last week, police in the city of Colmar (Haut-Rhin), France arrested the man in possession of the bombs at his parent’s workshop. Three of the nuclear material filled pipe bombs were complete and ready to use.
Teachers Alerted Police
Several teachers at the vocational training center he attended alerted the police after the man announced at the school he had built four pipe bombs loaded with radioactive dust purchased on eBay.
While the police did not specify the nuclear materials used in the bombs, according to the report, uranium ores and powdered uranium had to be isolated by the fire department’s hazmat unit.
Although this type of pipe bomb could be described as a dirty bomb, officials said the health impact of the material found in the bombs would have been minimal, but the public relations impact would have been great.
For a long time, governments and intelligence agencies have feared terrorists could one day obtain enough nuclear material to detonate a bomb with nuclear material. While a dirty bomb does not rival the power of a nuclear bomb, it could have a significant health impact on people in a narrow radius from the detonation.
If this man, who was previously unknown to French intelligence sources, had been able to follow through with his plans, it would have been the first operational use of a dirty bomb.
The exact motives are not clear, but officials learned the man is in psychiatric care and has an interest in KKK and Nazi materials. He is being held by authorities for manufacturing explosive devices while the investigation continues.
Radioactive Materials on eBay?
eBay forbids the sale of radioactive materials on its platform. Uranium Ore, which appears to have been used in these bombs, is still available today on eBay and it seems the company is not enforcing its policy very well.
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