back to article Maker of ATM bombing tutorials blew himself up – Euro cops

A 29-year-old man alleged to have been part of a group that blew up at least 15 cash machines in Germany managed to kill himself and injure an associate last year while filming a video tutorial on how to blow up ATMs, according to European authorities. Europol in a statement this week said the Dutch and German police had …

  1. Tom 7 Silver badge

    History repeating itself.

    It must be a few centuries since someone was genuinely hoisted by their own petard!

    1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

      1. Hubert Cumberdale Silver badge

        Re: History repeating itself.

        (This ≠ funny.)

        1. Gene Cash Silver badge

          Re: History repeating itself.

          Don't know why the downvotes, it's not funny except in a really really black way because people got really hurt and disfigured. And speaking of which:

          Trouble at the 'ol mill - Wherein Lassie learns the fate that awaits us all

          Woof! woof! woof!

          What is it, boy? Trouble at the 'ol mill?

          Woof

          What happened? Did Johnny fall in the wood chipper?

          WOOF

          Well, then, Johnny's gone, boy. Go find someone else to play with.

          Woof?

          (Edit: "Lassie" was a US TV series in the '50s, where "A smart and fearless collie named Lassie performs a series of heroic tasks for her human owners and friends" and the costars apparently knew how to speak "dog" or something because they'd figure out a serious and involved issue from just the dog's barks)

          1. Hubert Cumberdale Silver badge

            Re: History repeating itself.

            Indeed; I reckon there's a fine line with black humour, and I admit I often teeter on it myself. However, while nobody except the bomber died in this blast, it permanently deafened the driver and injured several others, probably causing PTSD etc. in various people. While nothing should be beyond humour, the Troubles are still very raw for many people. If it had been funnier, I might have accepted it, but there are more relevant things he could have linked to.

            1. bombastic bob Silver badge
              Stop

              Re: History repeating itself.

              yes but if they're CRIMINALS (and were injured or killed by their own criminal actions) then WHY should anyone feel SORRY for them... ?

              Darwin awards for those "hoist by their own petards" and laugh at the others. Who knows, maybe it will discourage others in the future from doing similar things [like PRISON is supposed to do].

              self-inflicted PTSD. no sympathy.

              (or are we discussion others, like crime victims? if so I missed that)

              1. demon driver

                "but they are CRIMINALS"

                Aren't they still people? Would death penalty be a just punishment for someone dabbling in blowing up ATMs who might not have really hurt anyone in his life before?

                I was born into a police family and I believe I do know my right from wrong. It's been three decades, but I clearly remember when my father was still active as a criminal officer and, for some time, a criminology lecturer at a polytechnic, that it seemed to become common understanding that 'human being' is still the most important property of a 'criminal', and that, in the long run, the only proper way to reduce crime is to ask the question why people become criminals, and then to prevent that to happen in the first place.

                And who knows, maybe a hint towards what makes people do such things could already be drawn from the question of where those involved come from. Socially, not geographically, that is. After all, I suppose we rarely find ATM bomber gangs the members of which were sons and daughters of university professors, CEOs, high-ranking attorneys or chief physicians.

                1. jake Silver badge

                  Re: "but they are CRIMINALS"

                  We're not talking "the death penalty" here, though, are we?

                  It's suicide, caused by greed, a feeling of entitlement, and gross ignorance of the very dangerous tools they are attempting to deploy. You really expect the proverbial Thinking Man to feel some sort of sympathy for people like this, as we get on with our legal and above-board method of putting a crust on the table?

                  1. demon driver

                    Re: "but they are CRIMINALS"

                    Yes, I do... And right, we're not talking "death penalty", but we're talking about whether someone deserves death for training others on how to do a—limited, we're not talking WTC here—damage to property with no obvious intent to hurt people.

                    1. Helcat

                      Re: "but they are CRIMINALS"

                      I would rather the criminal die by their own stupidity than they kill someone else by it.

                      First, they need to obtain the ATM. This could be a ram raid (Hiring a digger for example), resulting in a lot of structural damage to a building, which would need to be made safe, then repaired. Meanwhile there's a risk of something breaking free from the building and falling on someone. Fortunately when that happened here, it was a near miss.

                      Second, you need to set the explosives and detonate them. This isn't going to be where it's safe - it'll be as soon as the criminals can do it so they can get the money and run. This could easily be close to where they've pulled the ATM from the wall, and because there'll be an explosion, they might hide out of sight... so not see the person who turned up to either use the ATM or to investigate the noise of it being removed from the building... and so when things go BANG! that's an innocent bystander caught in the blast. Fortunately when that happened around here, they weren't killed, but they were hurt.

                      There have been a number of ram raids around here, with some stores that housed ATMs hit several times, in addition to the armed robberies. Unfortunately, innocent people have been hurt as a result, with more having near misses. Hence my lack of sympathy for criminals.

                  2. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: "but they are CRIMINALS"

                    It is NOT suicide. Suicide is when a person deliberately kills themselves. Pretty sure that was not the case in this incident.

                2. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

                  Re: "but they are CRIMINALS"

                  I agree with the first two paragraphs, but have doubts about the third. Sons and daughters as per your list may well still have suffered from parents who don't know how to bring up their kids. To give an example, I knew a nit nurse who worked at a clinic in possibly the wealthiest community in London. She regularly complained that it was the wealthiest parents who refused to listen to advice about lice ("what could a nit nurse possibly know about our child, that we didn't know from reading the books?"), whereas the poorer families rarely had such problems, but her behavioural observations went far deeper than that, hinting at potential psychological issues, bottling things up to erupt in later life.

                  1. demon driver

                    Re: "but they are CRIMINALS"

                    I absolutely agree that "sons and daughters as per [my] list may well still have suffered from parents who don't know how to bring up their kids", and depending on how we might want do define "suffering", maybe even more so. The point I wanted to make was rather that those "rich kids" never get to know how it is to not know where the money for living through the next month will come from. And while some of the "poor kids" turn to blowing up ATPs, I would also guess that an at least similar share of the "rich kids" will find less obvious (and less punishable) ways to do substantial amounts of harm after they grow up, harm that won't necessarily be limited to just property, either.

                3. steviebuk Silver badge

                  Re: "but they are CRIMINALS"

                  Would you say the same about serial killers then? "They are still people" they killed loads of people including a relative (hypothetical) but they are "still people"

              2. W.S.Gosset Silver badge
                Happy

                Re: History repeating itself.

                (Your username is spot-on for this topic!)

              3. Hubert Cumberdale Silver badge

                Re: History repeating itself.

                RTFP, bob. The PTSD was not self-inflicted: I was talking about the bystanders who were injured (but not killed) by the blast, including, as noted, the driver, who was deafened.

          2. RegGuy1 Silver badge
            Happy

            Re: History repeating itself.

            Shirley those were 'click, click, click' and the man fell down a mine shaft? (Thanks Skippy.)

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: History repeating itself.

            >costars apparently knew how to speak "dog" or something because they'd figure out a serious and involved issue from just the dog's barks

            Boring serious point - if a service dog approaches you on its own barking it expects you to follow it - they are trained to find the nearest human and bring them back to their owner if they collapse or send for help.

            1. jake Silver badge

              Re: History repeating itself.

              My dawgs come to get me when they detect things out of the ordinary about the place. I have a repatriated feral cat who detects water leaks and brings them to my attention[0]. The brood mares let us know about intruders pretty much 24/7 ... and will defend the place against them if they feel threatened.

              Seriously, if you start to pay more attention to your critters, I'll bet you a plugged nickle that you'll find they are telling you a lot more than you think they are. You just have to learn to adjust your mind-set ... dawgs speak dawg, cats speak cat, horses speak horse, etc. They can't speak human, but humans are flexible enough to learn their lingo.

              [0] I have no idea why. She decided it is her job for some reason. It's been going on for over 7 years now, I no longer question it ...

              1. Wellyboot Silver badge

                Re: History repeating itself.

                Maybe the feral cat has had a bad experience with a water leak suddenly becoming a near drowning in the past?

              2. Stoneshop Silver badge
                Coat

                horses speak horse, etc

                Hoarse? Neigh, just plain horse.

            2. Kubla Cant Silver badge

              Re: History repeating itself.

              if a service dog approaches you on its own barking it expects you to follow it

              I agreee that this is a serious point, and I don't want to detract from it. But how do I know it's not just a dog barking at me?

              1. Stoneshop Silver badge

                Re: History repeating itself.

                The service dogs I know all wear not just collars but harnesses indicating they are one. Also, they are trained to attract attention in a particular and non-threatening way[0] indicating even to most people not speaking dawg that there's something they want you to take a look at.

                [0] except maybe people inherently afraid of dogs, but I expect a service dog to recognise that and go "Leave this one alone and find someone else."

                1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

                  Re: History repeating itself.

                  The "service dogs" I know all wear vests - that their owners bought off Amazon so they can take the untrained little yap-rats on public transport.

                  1. Stoneshop Silver badge

                    Re: History repeating itself.

                    Little yap-rats may qualify as support animal; if people need those I can understand, but don't mis-label them as service/assistance dogs. And if that's to just get them on to PT is gross fuckery.

                    Service dogs are commonly a bit bigger than yap-rats: Golden Retrievers, German Shepherds, Labradors/Labradoodles/Poodles, the occasional Great Dane. They're also extremely well-behaved and calm. Most recent action I saw was at a campground. Apparently momcat had had a litter in what she thought was a quiet place in a storage shed, but then an event got underway and momcat bolted, leaving three kittens not two weeks old. Maybe there were more and she managed to move some, we don't know. SD noticed the mewing, notified handler, kittens located, taken to the nearest vet. Video shows them doing alright a few days later.

                    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

                      Re: History repeating itself.

                      Sorry, as a responsible dog owner it pisses me off when people over here use fake service dog tags on their badly behaved creatures.

                      Especially since there is now a big overlap with those who can't wear a mask for unspecified medical reasons.

                      Ps if you are walking your dog and an obvious assistance dog is passing. Make sure your dog is under control. The other dog is trained to ignore it but your dog might not understand

                  2. rototype

                    Re: History repeating itself.

                    The only 2 service dogs I know belong to my boss who has a potentially life threatening alergy. The first she had was a little black toy poodle who could sit on her lap quite comfortably when traveling (and very often went to sleep there), his replacement a year or so back is a big black labradoodle who's really cuddly but you know when he barks. Both religiously wear/wore their service jackets and are/were very well behaved.

              2. John Robson Silver badge

                Re: History repeating itself.

                Even if not wearing a harness (highly unlikely)

                The way they bark is very much follow me - they bark, back away, make sure you are following.... repeat.

              3. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: History repeating itself.

                >But how do I know it's not just a dog barking at me?

                They kind of are, all barking means is 'I'm here' and is kind of neutral in itself - growling, lip-curling or focussed silence are the things you should worry about....

                Service dogs are selected to be non-reactive and trained to avoid frightened people and animals - usually dogs respond to fear with defensive behaviour or aggression as in their psychology frightened animals are dangerous and might attack them.

          4. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
            Pint

            Re: History repeating itself.

            Or a kangaroo, if your Australian*.

            Sonny: (looking worried) What is it Skip?

            Skippy: A funny clicking sound like someone tutting disapprovingly

            Sonny: What kind of accident, Skip?

            Skippy: The tutting sound again

            Sonny: Better run and tell dad to get help, Skip

            Skippy: More bloody tutting . . .

            Sonny: Oh alright then Skip. You go and get the helicopter – I’ll wait here.

            Icon = Castlemaine XXXX or Fosters

          5. ICL1900-G3 Bronze badge

            Speaking 'dog'

            Hey...I know how to speak dog, and probably most caring dog owners do, too.

        2. Hubert Cumberdale Silver badge

          Re: History repeating itself.

          (A moderator evidently agreed. FYI I did not report the post myself.)

        3. Nightkiller

          Re: History repeating itself.

          The subjects are German.

          The German word for this reaction is Schadenfreude.

          An excellent example of its usage.

          1. Stoneshop Silver badge
            Headmaster

            Wrong

            As they are/were Dutch, not German, the word you'd be looking for is "leedvermaak".

            The ones doing the actual ATM heists are, in most cases, Dutch too, operating out of the Utrecht area, about 80km from the nearest part of the German border, and nearly always using (stolen) Audis as transport. The haste with which they desire to return after the crime has them occasionally wrapping said Audi around some solid piece of scenery; hardly the intended outcome, nor a very healthy one.

            I live 5km from said border; it usually makes the local paper if there's been a chase, and definitely if that chase ended abruptly, nearby.

    2. jake Silver badge

      Re: History repeating itself.

      Happens all the time. Just ask at your local Emergency Room (A&E, EW, depending on jurisdiction). Making homemade explosives is so easy that any idiot can do it. And frequently, they do.

      We won't get into the "sport" of sitting on airbags removed from cars.

      As we say around these here parts, "Stupidity SHOULD hurt!".

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: History repeating itself.

        "As we say around these here parts, "Stupidity SHOULD hurt!"."

        Yes, as a mean to cleanse the genes pool.

        Same thing as the idiots trying to disassemble railways copper cables, ... only they forgot what 20kV + hundreds Amps can do to the human body.

        I don't think anyone mourn them.

        1. Wellyboot Silver badge

          Re: History repeating itself.

          Especially the clean up crew

    3. PhilipN

      Re: History repeating itself.

      Pedantry on

      … hoisted WITH …

      Pedantry off

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: History repeating itself.

        It's "hoisted by", see: Hamlet, Act 3, Scene 4.

        If you want to be both petulant and archaic, it's "hoise by".

        1. Hubert Cumberdale Silver badge

          Re: History repeating itself.

          Okay, I raise you and link the second quarto (bottom of the left-hand page), which is the only early version in which the phrase actually appears. It's clearly "Hoiſt with his owne petar" [sic]. There. Are we happy now?

          (Apparently, he also "ſhall goe hard", but the less said about that the better.)

    4. Danny 2 Silver badge

      Re: History repeating itself.

      @Tom 7

      I was once corrected online by a smartarse who explained that the past tense of 'hoist by their own petard' is 'hoist by their own petard', not 'hoisted by their own petard'. I couldn't understand the argument myself, but I was amused to learn petard comes from the Latin pedere, to fart.

      I admit I've sometimes been hoist by my own fart.

      1. hopkinse
        Coat

        Re: History repeating itself.

        I fart in your general direction :-)

  2. Neil Barnes Silver badge

    Think of it

    As evolution in action?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Think of it

      Yes, soon to be the unfortunate recipient of a Darwin award I imagine...

      1. Timbo Bronze badge

        Re: Think of it

        "soon to be" ??

        I thought Darwin awards were given immediately as soon as the deceased found an interesting and perhaps unique way to bring their life to an end.

        No need to wait for the annual awards ceremony or for a "best of" video to appear on YT !

        1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

          Re: Think of it

          the deceased found an interesting and perhaps unique way to bring their life to an end.

          The award winner doesn't necessarily need to die, he (or she, but those are rare) only has to terminate the possibility to pass his genes to the next generation in an interesting and perhaps unique way. A case in point is this tale about a lobster thief.

          NB: By definition a Darwin award winner hasn't procreated yet.

          1. Dave314159ggggdffsdds Silver badge

            Re: Think of it

            "By definition a Darwin award winner hasn't procreated yet."

            Or manages to take out his/her offspring too. Most commonly by driving dangerously :/

          2. ecofeco Silver badge

            Re: Think of it

            NB: By definition a Darwin award winner hasn't procreated yet.

            Oh god, not this bollocks again. What self appointed authority moved the goal posts?

            1. rototype

              Re: Think of it

              Reminds me of the story of a couple of good 'ol boys who were on their way back from a fishing trip when the pickup they were driving blew the headlight fuse. Apparently they replaced the fuse with a .22 long cartridge (yes, a live one) and were found in the ditch a couple of miles down the road with the driver now being said Darwin award candidate.

      2. A.P. Veening Silver badge

        Re: Think of it

        Only if he didn't already pass his criminal genes to the next generation.

  3. _LC_ Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Pretty much standard

    If you look into the matter you'll find that many of those experimenting with explosives are missing some fingers.

    The problem is creating the charge that is strong enough to set off the actual explosive. These are often substances that have the tendencies to blow-up when you look at them cross-eyed. For instance, during the production of lead azide, which is often used, extremely fragile crystals are formed. At the slightest vibration, the whole shebang flies up in your face.

    You may want to watch videos about iodoacetate and what happens once it is dry, alternatively. ;-)

    1. G R Goslin

      Re: Pretty much standard

      Ah, iodoacetate! I remember it well. The favoured substance for the toilet seat humorists

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. disgruntled yank

      Re: Pretty much standard

      A co-worker of my father's was holding a tube containing picric acid when it exploded. The man and another chemist in front of him suffered a lot of cuts. Their eyes were fine, for the steel company they worked for was strict about matters such as safety glasses. The fellow who was holding the tube did not lose any fingers, but bits of glass kept working their way out for quite some time.

      Why was a chemist at a steel company working with picric acid? I don't think I ever heard.

      1. _LC_ Silver badge

        Re: Pretty much standard

        Pension reduction measure?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Pretty much standard

        Probably experimenting with different acids for etching metallographic samples. E.G. certain types of microscopic grain structure. Alternatively, in the days when wet chemistry was the best means of determining composition it might have reacted to indicate the presence of a certain element.

        1. Graham Dawson Silver badge

          Re: Pretty much standard

          In this case it was the element of chance.

      3. Manolo
        Mushroom

        Re: Pretty much standard

        I recall, from my practicals in analytical chemistry, that picric acid had some use there, but the details elude me now, about thirty years later.

    3. Arthur the cat Silver badge

      Re: Pretty much standard

      If you look into the matter you'll find that many of those experimenting with explosives are missing some fingers.

      Years ago I had an old (~1930s) chemistry book. Not only did it tell you in detail how to make explosives(*) but it had little potted biographies of the chemists who did major research on them. To this day I remember the bio for the chap who researched nitrogen trichloride(**) started "In spite of losing three fingers and an eye …"

      (*) To the extent that these days it would attract a charge of possessing material likely to be of use to terrorists.

      (**) Nitrogen triiodide's roid-rage big brother.

      1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

        Re: Pretty much standard

        (**) Nitrogen triiodide's roid-rage big brother.

        That got me a ban from school chemistry. Still passed my O-level though. I figured it'd be fun to make some, and leave it to dry along the hallway to the chemistry classroom. I also learned that chemicals with lots of N in them are often just waiting to break their bonds, and be free.

        Since then, I've found some fun chemistry YT channels that have been rather educational. And also explained that one of the hazards in chemistry is not forming potentially lethal stuff. I think one of NileRed's videos making something innocuous casually mentioned that an 'oops' could result in producing phosgene.

        There's some great stuff on YT, like how fireworks are made. One had a gathering of amateur and semi-pro makers, with a great interview with an ATF agent. Who pointed out they're mostly interested in safety, not spoiling the fun. But I learned about black powder coated rice husks, and that a lot of the chemicals involved in making the effects are quite toxic.

        But I have little sympathy for this latest Darwin Award winner. I do wonder if you could make a spoiler ATM which destroyed the bank notes if explosives were used.. But then criminals also cause a lot of damage just yoinking ATMs out of walls with JCBs.

        1. Stork Silver badge

          Re: Pretty much standard

          I remember stumbling over an article about FOOF - fascinating!

          1. Bent Metal
            Mushroom

            Re: Pretty much standard

            That FOOF article may be from Derek Lowe - and it's well worth a read. Apologies in advance, as I don't know if I can paste direct links...

            https://corante.com/things-i-wont-work-with/things-i-wont-work-with-dioxygen-difluoride/

            See also "Sand won't save you this time" about chlorine trifluoride, which ranks up there with FOOF.

            1. MJB7

              Dereck Lowe on FOOF:

              Up to date link for Dereck Lowe on FOOF:

              https://www.science.org/content/blog-post/things-i-won-t-work-dioxygen-difluoride

              also, while I'm at it:

              https://www.science.org/content/blog-post/sand-won-t-save-you-time

              1. ButlerInstitute

                Re: Dereck Lowe on FOOF:

                A friend who works in the industry (university lecturer - industrial chemist) recommended

                Ignition! An Informal History of Liquid Rocket Propellants, by John D. Clark

                1. PerlyKing
                  Mushroom

                  Re: Ignition!

                  Seconded! Most of the chemistry went over my head, but it's an entertaining read all the same. It's out there somewhere on the Internet for free, and it's recently been reprinted.

                  I can't recall the exact wording, but one of the oxidisers that was investigated was "hypergolic with fuels, sand, asbestos and lab assistants"!

                  1. Stoneshop Silver badge
                    Mushroom

                    Re: Ignition!

                    I can't recall the exact wording, but one of the oxidisers that was investigated was "hypergolic with fuels, sand, asbestos and lab assistants"!

                    Chlorine trifluoride.

                    >>It is, of course, extremely toxic, but that's the least of the problem. It is hypergolic with every known fuel, and so rapidly hypergolic that no ignition delay has ever been measured. It is also hypergolic with such things as cloth, wood, and test engineers, not to mention asbestos, sand, and water —with which it reacts explosively. <<

                    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

                      Re: Ignition!

                      " a stronger oxidizing agent than oxygen itself,"

                      " it’s bad enough when your reagent ignites wet sand, but the clouds of hot hydrofluoric acid are your special door prize if you’re foolhardy enough to hang around and watch the fireworks."

                      " the operator is confronted with the problem of coping with a metal-fluorine fire. For dealing with this situation, I have always recommended a good pair of running shoes.”

                  2. Stoneshop Silver badge
                    Coat

                    Most of the chemistry went over my head,

                    Well, that's actually what rocket propulsion is supposed to achieve, at least for non-military uses.

                    It doesn't always work out that way though.

                    (yes, the one with that book in it)

            2. Stork Silver badge

              Re: Pretty much standard

              Yes, that’s the one

        2. Sam Therapy

          Re: Pretty much standard

          Hoisting ATMs out of walls with JCBs, you say? A lad round here was doing that a couple of years ago. A nearby Jet petrol station was his last victim. He's now banged up.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Pretty much standard

            Today, I expect he'd be stealing petrol/diesel.

        3. rototype

          Re: Pretty much standard

          A fun one to look at on YT is the way the dutch use 'Carbide' for some celebrations. DON'T have the subwoofer turned on when you watch them though.

      2. Neil Barnes Silver badge

        Re: Pretty much standard

        I have a book of early photographic chemistry - hydrofluoric acid was a common ingredient.

        For its time it was surprisingly safety-conscious, suggesting the use of a clean silk neckerchief over the mouth and nose, and heavy leather gloves.

        1. _LC_ Silver badge

          Re: Pretty much standard

          Hehehe, which is fine if you are dealing with 0.2 grams or less. ;-)

          1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

            Re: Pretty much standard

            >Hehehe, which is fine if you are dealing with 0.2 grams or less. ;-)

            LD50 is 20mg/Kg

            'Nice' thing is that apparently contact hurts like fsck - so at least you know to get treatment.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Pretty much standard

        Years ago I had an old (~1930s) chemistry book. Not only did it tell you in detail how to make explosives

        The first act of domestic terrorism was Guy Fawkes; which failed to go off. After this, we have the Clerkenwell explosion in 1867 which blew up a prison wall killing half the people in a tow of terraced houses next to the prison followed up with an entire bombing campaign in the 1880's.

        I'd suggest it probably occurred to the people writing the textbooks that people might decide to blow things up with the knowledge in them, and that it would be convenient if the knowledge was incomplete, and required a shopping list that includes unusual combinations of chemicals that can easily be put on a watchlist.

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: Pretty much standard

          "The first act of domestic terrorism was Guy Fawkes"

          Representation from the Sicarii are on line one ... something about prior art.

        2. jake Silver badge

          Re: Pretty much standard

          "that it would be convenient if the knowledge was incomplete"

          No. The publications were as accurate as they knew how to make them. Their reputation depended on it.

          "that can easily be put on a watchlist."

          Again, no. That kind of thing is fairly modern. I remember my grandad and uncles purchasing dynamite over the counter at the local hardware store, no ID required or even asked for. Usually they just bought enough to set off their own mix of ANFO, though ... made a better bang for rolling Redwood stumps out of the ground.

        3. Danny 2 Silver badge

          Re: Pretty much standard

          "The first act of domestic terrorism was Guy Fawkes; which failed to go off."

          Even Hamlet, which gives us the phrase, predates Fawkes and terrorism wasn't new.

          Interestingly (arguably?) the word terrorism back then meant the opposite of what it means now. It used to solely mean state terror against civilians, not citizens trying to blow up the state.

        4. Tom 7 Silver badge

          Re: Pretty much standard

          As a teenager I did have a collection of various books on how to make fireworks. Some quite old, and now I cant find them, seriously valuable. You could even work out how to make saltpetre from your own urine if you could a) collect enough of the stuff, b) wait till the crystals grew out of the ground once you'd processed it.Fortunately my dad was a uni prof and we could get hold of that shit without too much difficulty as he liked to play stupid too.

          1. _LC_ Silver badge

            Re: Pretty much standard

            Gunpowder doesn't even count as explosive. The explosives we're talking about come around 5000-8000 meters per second. They pulverize everything, including fingers.

      4. rafff

        Re: Pretty much standard

        <quote>Years ago I had an old (~1930s) chemistry book. Not only did it tell you in detail how to make explosives(*) [snip]

        (*) To the extent that these days it would attract a charge of possessing material likely to be of use to terrorists.</quote>

        I had, maybe still have somewhere, a Schoolboy's Pocket Book that contained all this info. It also contained much other useful/useless info. I also remember at least one children's novel that described how to make explosives.

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: Pretty much standard

          >these days it would attract a charge of possessing material likely to be of use to terrorists

          Only on sovereignty island.

          Here on the left pond it would be banned because chemistry contradicts the bible.

          However you would be able to buy freedom-dynamite at any Walmart.

    4. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: Pretty much standard

      I remember being told in the military by a guy who worked in ordnance disposal... "If you hear the word "ooops"... it's too late to run".

  4. Mike 137 Silver badge

    "... terminal fraud attacks"

    In this case, I couldn't have put it better.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So the 29 year old effectively banged himself up then?

  6. Hubert Cumberdale Silver badge

    So... why are they blowing up ATMs? I'm confused. Do they actually end up with any (charred) money from them, or is this just a way to stick it to The Man?

    1. emfiliane

      Little of column A, little of column B. Enriching themselves isn't *the point*, per se, but grabbing the cash that's left is a tidy bonus to the violent middle finger to the corporations.

      1. MiguelC Silver badge

        Money drawers on ATMs protect the bank notes from the explosion, if the amount of explosives is carefully planned: too little and you just alert the neighbours, too much and the building hosting the ATM end on top of you.

        Attacks using gas bottles to fill the ATM and blow it up used to be pretty common in southern Europe, bus they seem to have stopped being in the news for some years now.

        Might be related to the anti-theft measures put in place, that detonate bags of indelible ink inside those money drawers if a phisical attack is detected.

        1. GrumpenKraut

          The counter measure against gas explosions is to fill all greater voids inside the ATM with some material.

        2. Clausewitz 4.0 Bronze badge
          Devil

          I read it somewhere a while ago (dunno where) that powerful solvents can clean the ink from the notes. Chemistry-lads can make some bucks from the process.

          Also, you can still put the inked bill into slot machines and they will be accepted.

          1. jake Silver badge

            Wow!

            Who knew that those in charge would have left such huge loopholes! And you read it on TehIntraWebTubes, so it must be true!!!!!1!111one!1111eleven!

          2. Aussie Doc
            Mushroom

            Depends

            I guess it depends what the notes are made from.

            Here in Oz we have polymer notes that are quite tough and durable - don't crease, don't tear and are (supposedly) difficult to permanently deface ie can be 'cleaned'.

            Genuine money laundering, I suppose.

            No idea what sort of 'solvent' would be used to remove the indelible ink or whatever.

            Must say, I'm quite surprised to see the somewhat large number of blowing up of ATMs across Europe as some sort of 'norm' over there.

            1. W.S.Gosset Silver badge

              Re: Depends

              I spent 20yrs over there mate, you would be staggered at the level of sophistication, dedication, and organisation of the crime sector.

              Australia is bewilderingly open to crime. And ignorant. Eg, myGov urges you every time you log in, to set up login via SMS confirmation. They believe it ADDS security, rather than cracking you wide open for an EU-standard SIM-swap. Truly stratospheric ignorance.

              1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

                Re: Depends

                >Australia is bewilderingly open to crime

                Nice to see they're remembering their heritage.

            2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

              Re: Depends

              "Must say, I'm quite surprised to see the somewhat large number of blowing up of ATMs across Europe as some sort of 'norm' over there."

              Me too! With all those explosive attacks, using construction machinery to rip them out of walls, and all the jackpotting going on, I am wondering just what the actual costs are compared to, you know, having actual banks with people. I know the cost isn't all directly born by the banks. Insurance companies are paying out. And the people paying the insurance costs are the small shops, supermarkets, network operators, supply companies etc I wonder if anyone has done a totalling of the costs involved and a breakdown of who is paying it? (Yes, in the long run, it's you and I paying for it it fees and charges)

              1. Clausewitz 4.0 Bronze badge
                Devil

                Re: Depends

                @jake - I believe you cannot understand subtlety

                @Aussie Doc - I believe it said fiber in the article, not polymer. But I doubt the chemistry-lad is willing to share his process for free

                @W.S.Gosset - SMS 2FA if used together with another authentication actually improve security, despite we all know how easy it is to intercept SMS / SIM swap

                @John Brown (no body) - God bless the insurance companies. The value is already in place even if there are no withdraws. Those guys are just making their profit smaller

                1. W.S.Gosset Silver badge

                  Re: Depends

                  @Clausewitz: no.

                2. jake Silver badge

                  Re: Depends

                  @Clausewitz: Oh?

      2. GrumpenKraut

        There is no "middle finger to corporations" element. This is all about the money.

        1. Snowy Silver badge
          Coat

          All about the money

          If you wanted to stick it to the man a quick squirt of super glue would effectively gum up the works.

          1. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

            Re: a quick squirt of super glue would effectively gum up the works.

            I can just imagine the look of astonishment when the perp makes a big purchase and hands over a blob of twenties, encased in glue. "It's alright, you can keep the change".

          2. Stoneshop Silver badge

            stick it to the man

            Well, you have to complete that task before the glue is cured.

        2. chivo243 Silver badge
          Terminator

          Calling John Connor? That was a pretty slick way of hacking an ATM!

        3. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
          Facepalm

          No Middle Finger

          As others have already pointed out "Experimenting with explosives", usually causes the lack thereof of the quoted digit(s).

          Icon = Seems to have 2 fingers & a thumb.

          1. Stoneshop Silver badge
            Mushroom

            Icon = Seems to have 2 fingers & a thumb.

            Quoting Derek Lowe: "Hexanitro? Say what? I'd call for all the chemists who've ever worked with a hexanitro compound to raise their hands, but that might be assuming too much about the limb-to-chemist ratio. "

    2. Chris G Silver badge
      Mushroom

      These are attacks on the economy, they think that blowing up money has an inflationary effect.

      1. Hubert Cumberdale Silver badge

        I'd say it would do the opposite. But now I think about it I'm guessing that was some kind of inflammatory joke...

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Difference between the KLF and IMF - one was effective

    3. T. F. M. Reader Silver badge

      @Hubert Cumberdale: charred banknotes probably were not a concern for these dudes - it looks like they thought that selling spades to the real gold-diggers was a better way to prosper.

  7. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge
    Coat

    Well

    we know his eyes were blue

    1 blew over here... 1 blew over there.....

    I'm outa here

    1. elsergiovolador Silver badge

      Re: Well

      He certainly loved it to bits...

      Where is my jumper, gotta go too.

  8. Forget It
    Joke

    At.m bomb

    anyone?

    1. gotes

      Re: At.m bomb

      Disappointed you didn't use the nuke icon.

  9. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
    Mushroom

    The ATM Job

    He only meant to blow the bloody door off

  10. Gene Cash Silver badge

    You can just ORDER ATMs???

    I'd think that ANY order of ATMs by someone that wasn't a financial institution would be an unusual order, and would put you instantly on a watch list!

    Famous last words of an explosives chemist:

    "Hey, look! There's a solid precipitating out!"

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: You can just ORDER ATMs???

      I can show you several new model ATMs (a year old or less) at a couple of Bay Area scrap yards. When they tear down a building or otherwise do demolition to make way for new structure, they'll often pull the ATM, remove some of the electronics (and leftover cash, if any) & junk the rest. It would seem it is far, far easier to install a brand new unit (if wanted) than it is to adapt the old system to the new building.

      Anybody can purchase the "gently used" ATMs by the pound as scrap. No ID required.

      1. Binraider Silver badge

        Re: You can just ORDER ATMs???

        With Op Systems increasingly short lived I'm not surprised the number you're seeing in scrap.

        BOS had NT4 ATMs for well over a decade. Changed a lot more often since 2005.

        OS2 was famously a holdout in ATM usage though even that had now moved along.

        Anyone would think there was a demand for a stable, PLC grade os kernel with a GUI on top...

    2. Boo Radley

      Re: You can just ORDER ATMs???

      I remember a few years back there were a large variety of used ATM machines available on ebay. Don't know if that's still true tho.

      1. Stoneshop Silver badge
        Headmaster

        a large variety of used ATM machines

        Next you'll be telling me they're automated ATM machines, and to operate them you enter your personal PIN number.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: You can just ORDER ATMs???

      Every convenience store in greater Atlanta has an ATM owned by one of many private companies.

    4. PRR
      Boffin

      Re: You can just ORDER ATMs???

      > You can just ORDER ATMs???

      At least in the US, privately owned (or "Independent Sales Organization") ATMs are somewhat common. Some guy (not a big company) looks for small locations the Big Banks won't bother with, drops a machine, charges a high fee. Near here Carols Market has a no-name ATM, $3, but the nearest real bank is 10 miles away so it is hardly worth going to town, especially at quitting time.

      Now I learn that ISO ATMs are useful for money laundering. Large deposits of cash are suspicious. Instead put your drug proceeds into an ATM. Innocent users trade bank credit for your ill-gotten currency, never knowing where it came from. Also if the ATM operator can hack, re-play attacks are possible.

      Own your own legit ATMs sell for $2k-$4k: https://bpsands.com/

      In Oklahoma the important part of the ATM law is the $50 state tax per machine:

      https://oklahoma.gov/banking/institutions-lists/atms-privately-owned.html

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: You can just ORDER ATMs???

        Instead put your drug proceeds into an ATM."

        Although I've heard of that, I don't think I've ever seen a cash machine that takes cash deposits in the UK. Are they more normal in other countries? Actual physical banks almost always had a "night safe", a chunkey metal one-way hatch/chute thing where deposits could be made, primarily business users who needed to cash-up after the banks closed.

        1. agurney

          Re: You can just ORDER ATMs???

          I read it as the dealers run their own cash machines and stuff them with the cash they want laundered.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: You can just ORDER ATMs???

          TSB ATMs usually do deposits - you generally need to pick the "more options" button to get to the second menu screen.

          It'll give you an envelope to put your paper money or cheque in, I think it then prints your account details on the envelope after you put it back in. Your account isn't credited until the next day after it's been counted.

          1. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
            Holmes

            Re: You can just ORDER ATMs???

            Here in Alberta, they collect the envelopes, ship them back to Calgary when they might get counted in 2-3 days if lucky.

            Made that mistake once with a bank teller assuring me the funds would be counted & credited the next working day, UNTIL I did that & discovered that wasn't the case when on the phone, at least on that instance, I beat the Brinks security to the branch by 5 minutes, so didn't have to wait a further day.

            1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

              Re: You can just ORDER ATMs???

              >ship them back to Calgary

              That's where they keep the reader , ie the employee who can read

          2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: You can just ORDER ATMs???

            "TSB ATMs usually do deposits - you generally need to pick the "more options" button to get to the second menu screen."

            Ah, thanks, that's interesting. I probably have seen one then, but not noticed. I've never had a need to make a deposit like that. The very, very rare occasions I've received a cheque, I just took it to the bank :-)

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: You can just ORDER ATMs???

      > I'd think that ANY order of ATMs by someone that wasn't a financial institution would be an unusual order

      Don't places like strip clubs have them? Apparently

      Just asking for a friend

      1. Dagg

        Re: You can just ORDER ATMs???

        In aus they have them in pubs and pokie (slot machines) venues

      2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: You can just ORDER ATMs???

        >Don't places like strip clubs have them? Apparently

        Covid restrictions mean you now need to use the tattooed QR code to Apple pay him/her

  11. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

    Playing with Chemicals that Go Bang

    There are many chemicals that can go boom if not respected. Besides the ones mentioned above perchlorates are notoriously unstable and have a bad habit of going boom in the presence of many organic compounds. A small amount goes a long way. One would assume who makes bombs would know how to properly handle unstable chemicals but there are numerous occasions of bombers blowing themselves up while making a bomb.

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Boffin

      Re: Playing with Chemicals that Go Bang

      Actually there are a handful of specific elements that form compounds that generally go boom in the right conditions, usually those with covalent bonds that are difficult to form [but easy to break], along with plenty of Oxygen that is released in the process, plus fuel like carbon or sulfur. I wouldn't recommend trying any of that, being as I minored in chemistry and understand how dangerous most of them are to make. You often need to do the right thing in the right order at the right temperature (etc.) to avoid an unintended explosion.

      Handling explosives (once created) requires expertise if you do not want to lose body parts. Any idiot with the right chemicals can possibly make them and probably blow himself to Mars in the process. It's kinda why home made fireworks aren't legal here.

      even low-level stuff (like the 'joke' explosives made with nitrogen and iodine) could potentially do serious damage as it's almost impossible to stabilize when dry [from what I've read].

    2. The Basis of everything is...

      Re: Playing with Chemicals that Go Bang

      Cornflower / custard powder can make an fun little chemistry experiment. Or at bigger scale lead to the loss of the silo, factory roof and workers.

      Nitram fertiliser in the UK has had a retardant added for a long time to stop certain groups abusing it, and also keep farmers barns intact. What happened in Beirut a couple of years ago is an example of what the pure stuff can achieve.

      And yet so many of us walk around with little packets of lithium and oxidiser in our pockets without even thinking about it. Or even sit in a car full of the stuff.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Playing with Chemicals that Go Bang

        Lithium and oxidiser aren't dangerous or we wouldn't be allowed to take them on aeroplanes - it's not like they're bottles of water !

        1. rototype

          Re: Playing with Chemicals that Go Bang

          You try shipping a laptop battery on it's own by air freight - not going to happen.

      2. KBeee Silver badge

        Re: Playing with Chemicals that Go Bang

        Not just cornflour/custard powder. Just plain old flour too. You should see the regulations for wiring a flour mill.

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: Playing with Chemicals that Go Bang

          It is easy to demonstrate the explosive nature of flour. Take a five or six foot[0] length of 4 inch[0] PVC pipe. Drill four 3/4" holes around the circumference of one end, about 2" from that end. Place a votive candle on the ground, and put the pipe over it. Light the candle through one of the holes. Dump a scant 1.5 tablespoons (10g) of sifted[1] flour into the open end. On a calm day, the minor explosion[2] can be fairly loud, and the resulting smoke-ring can rise & expand far more than you might think. All sizes are approximate. I've never actually measured anything when doing this, yet it always works despite my lack of care and attention.

          NOTE! While I've never had an issue playing with this toy, nor have I ever heard of anybody getting hurt or doing damage to anything, this may be illegal in your jurisdiction. Most such toys tend to get lawmakers upset, probably because they are always vaguely afraid that somebody, somewhere, is having fun. Needless to say, children LOVE it ... and you can sneak a science lesson in without them noticing :-)

          Yes, it works with coffee creamer ... but again, you'll get best results if you sift it. Makes a sticky mess all over everything, so you might want to stick with plain old flour.

          [0] Of course you know what feet and inches are. Don't be disingenuous, it's not becoming.

          [1] If you don't pre-sift the flour, it might fall as a clump & extinguish the candle.

          [2] Depending on pipe size, hole size & number, the grind of flour (cake flour vs AP, for example), the quantity of flour, how well it is dispersed, and other variations, the noise can range from a mild "pop" to a dull "thud" to a deep "bang". Experiment. That's what science is for, right?

  12. Daniel Snowden
    Joke

    Pay attention, I'm only going to do this once...

    1. jake Silver badge

      Hold my beer ... No, really, hold my beer, I'm low on fingers.

  13. sanmigueelbeer Silver badge

    Do not do this at home -- I am an expert

    At least the victim had a blast.

  14. six_tymes

    one less scum of the earth.

  15. Winkypop Silver badge
    Mushroom

    Now chaps here’s what NOT to do, OK?

    See icon

  16. derrr

    Was his name Cillit :-)

    Bang and the stain is gone.

  17. Medixstiff

    Meanwhile downunder in Wait Awhile, we had some people three years back yanking out ATM's with an SS Commodore ute and to my knowledge they were never caught...or perhaps they were caught for something else which is why it stopped suddenly.

  18. JHD

    Bombing, like arson, should always be regarded as premeditated attempt at murder. Both demonstrate utter indifference to the lives of others.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      No you're thinking of bankers

    2. Clausewitz 4.0 Bronze badge
      Devil

      It depends on what your profession is.

      You cannot say to a gardener he is not allowed to touch plants.

      1. Danny 2 Silver badge

        "You cannot say to a gardener he is not allowed to touch plants."

        Actually we do say that for certain plants. I could list dozens of them but this thread is deadly enough. There was a ricin poisoning in the UK about a decade ago and the media were full of stories linking castor seeds to terrorism. Thousands of British gardeners used castor seeds to kill slugs and other pests and so quietly disposed of their stash overnight.

        1. Clausewitz 4.0 Bronze badge
          Devil

          I must say that the use of ricin to kill slugs and other pests is quite an evolution from the previous used methods I am aware of. Gardeners must be very careful manipulating such dangerous substances.

  19. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge

    Explosives? Really?

    I guess nobody has shown them the video of how to make off with an ATM using a JCB (backhoe).

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Explosives? Really?

      Can't get JCB drivers anymore since we told all the foreigners to p**** off.

      And you can't get a visa for a Dutch ATM exploder.

      And no British criminals want to do it, not with IR35 meaning you can't claim for the shotgun.

      By Christmas we will all be living in Sherwood Forest robbing any Tory MPs with Norman names using bows and arrows.

    2. Clausewitz 4.0 Bronze badge
      Devil

      Re: Explosives? Really?

      Torches are more common and cost-friendly.

  20. Teejay

    Reality vs spin

    As a European, I am still waiting for those badly needed doctors and nurses they had promised.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Reality vs spin

      >As a European, I am still waiting for those badly needed doctors and nurses they had promised.

      Instructions unclear - have all retrained as a ballet dancer.

  21. hayzoos

    Not an ATM but similar

    I live in an area where there were a lot of coal mines and therefore coal miners. This was a time before ATMs. A few of the coal miners hatched a plan to blast a bank's night deposit box to obtain the booty. At least one of the miners knew how to figure out how much explosive was needed for a given blast. So they swiped some explosive from work and executed the plan. They chose a small branch office. They took out the entire corner of the building and there was no booty, but charred deposits flying in the air. The bricks, glass, metal, etc. flew more distinctive ballistic paths and fell to the ground rather quickly.

    The incident was responded to by the local police and firefighters. Being this occurred in the US, later the FBI and Secret Service also arrived. It was determined that the miner figuring the explosive charge was adept at blasting rock underground. But, an above ground freestanding building does not present as much buffering mass to contain a blast. Nobody was injured.

    1. Clausewitz 4.0 Bronze badge
      Devil

      Re: Not an ATM but similar

      From what I read in an article, this is a common lack of planning done by newcomers.

      You need to wait until the machines/branches are replenished ($$) to execute the job - usually before federal/city paydays.

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