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An unnamed FBI officialhas told CBS Newsthat at least one of the explosive devices detonated in Boston yesterday appears to have been improvised from a conventional pressure-cooker. Unnamed law enforcement officials don't exactly have the strongest record of credibility in the immediate aftermath of events like these, but federal authorities are well-acquainted with this type of IED.
In mid-2010, the Department of Homeland Security put outa circular, classified "For Official Use Only,"warning of their potential use in domestic attacks:
Rudimentary improvised explosive devices (IEDs) using pressure cookers to contain the initiator, switch, and explosive charge (typically ammonium nitrate or RDX) frequently have been used in Afghanistan, India, Nepal, and Pakistan. Pressure cookers are common in these countries, and their presence probably would not seem out of place or suspicious to passersby or authorities. Because they are less common in the United States, the presence of a pressure cooker in an unusual location such as a building lobby or busy street corner should be treated as suspicious.