The Bomb Lurking in the Garden Shed

Ammonium nitrate is a double-edged chemical. Spread it on a field and it becomes a benign fertilizer that helps produce bumper crops. Mix it with fuel oil and it becomes the kind of deadly bomb that shook Oklahoma City last week. The U.S. makes 8 million tons of the white crystalline compound each year, and it is widely available in gardening centers, supply warehouses and at construction sites. But just because anyone can buy ammonium nitrate for about 11ยข a pound doesn't mean that anyone can make it explode at a particular time and place. The act of terror that demolished...

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