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This Week Alone, an ISIS-Inspired Plot to Attack U.S. Capitol With Pipe-Bomb Emerged & Al Qaeda Has Called on Followers to Build Bombs to Commit Acts of Terror – Shockingly, The Feds Have Limited Authority to Monitor & Stop Explosive-Makers In Their Homes, Before Their Plots Grow & They Commit Terrorist Acts

Schumer Unveils Plan to Criminalize Explosive -Making Without a License, Which Gives Federal ATF Officials the Authority to Arrest Would-Be Terrorists Before Further Terrorist Activity Takes Place; Law Enforcement Has One Hand Tied Behind Its Back In Combating Elevated Terror Threat


Schumer: Trend of Homemade Explosives Used By Would-Be Terrorists- Plus Boston Marathon Bombers- Demonstrate Law Enforcement Need Every Tool Available To Thwart Terrorists


U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer today revealed the fact that making explosives in the home is not currently illegal, which seriously hinders law enforcement’s ability to combat terrorism and prevent potential homegrown attacks. Schumer therefore launched a plan to finally criminalize homemade explosive-making, which is currently not illegal for an individual and only illegal for a business without a license. Last month’s edition of Al Qaeda’s Inspire Magazine included a new, dangerous bomb recipe to incite terrorist attacks in the United States, and just this week an ISIS-inspired plot to attack the U.S. Capitol using a pipe-bomb emerged.


In light of the recent and disturbing trend of homegrown terrorists using homemade explosives, and the fact that law enforcement cannot currently arrest a potential terrorist based only on suspicion of building an explosive, Schumer is introducing legislation that would criminalize making explosive devices in the home. This would give the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) officials and other law enforcement the authority to go after would-be terrorists when they are in the initial stages of creating explosives, before the plot has time to expand and develop, or potentially be carried out. Federal and local law enforcement agencies have said that this is an obstacle in the fight against terrorism that should be fixed.


“Law enforcement officials in New York and around the country have one hand tied behind their back when it comes to preventing terrorist attacks using homemade explosives, and in light of Al Qaeda’s efforts to incite more homegrown terrorist attacks on U.S. soil, it’s critical that we criminalize explosive-making in the home. We need every possible tool available to thwart future terrorists, including the ability to more effectively pursue would-be terrorists in the early stages of their planning and building of explosives at home,” said Senator Schumer. “The fact that law enforcement and ATF officials do not currently have the authority to go after and arrest at-home bomb-makers is absurd, and that’s why I’m introducing a much-needed legislation that will finally give law enforcement the authority to stop explosive-makers in their tracks.”


Currently, it is only illegal for a business to create explosives without a license. It is not illegal for a person to make explosives in their home. Therefore, if law enforcement agents know about a person attempting to make explosives in their home, they have to wait until the person has committed an illegal act before arresting the individual.


Schumer said that this legislation is critical for several reasons. First, bomb makers that intend to use these devices for criminal purposes often make and test explosives first, and this bill would enable law enforcement arrest them before committing a criminal act with the use of the explosive that harms or kills others. Schumer said that right now, law enforcement is not able to prosecute an individual for sitting in their kitchen and making an explosive – just as was described in Inspire magazine – even if the law enforcement suspect it will be used to commit terrorism in the future. The earlier that law enforcement can arrest a potential terrorist minimizes the complexity and development of their plot, and the number of other people that it could involve. Schumer also said that because criminal law enforcement do not have adequate authority, handling bomb-making, even with criminal intentions, often falls into the caseload of State Fire Marshals who should be otherwise engaged. Finally, even if an act of terrorism is not the intended use of an explosive, this is a general public safety issue, particularly for people living in dense areas like New York City or Long Island.  


Recently, Al Qaeda’s Inspire Magazine included an explosive-making recipe in an article titled, “How to build a bomb in the kitchen of your mom.” The guide also included how to get through airport security and instructed suicide bombers on where to sit on planes. Media reports have suggested that the recipe could pose a problem in smaller airports that don’t use high-tech body-imaging security devices. Prior to the Boston Marathon bombing, Inspire Magazine published recipes on how to make a bomb using a pressure cooker. On January 14, 2015, the FBI arrested Christopher Lee Cornell, who planned to attack the U.S. Capitol using a pipe-bomb. In his ISIS-inspired plot, Cornell planned to set off pipe bombs at the Capitol and then gun down lawmakers and employees using an assault rifle. Cornell was arrested on charges of attempting to kill a U.S. government official.


Given the recent trend of homemade explosives used by would-be terrorists, Schumer today announced that he is introducing legislation that will make it illegal for anyone to manufacture explosive materials for distribution or for their own use without a license. Schumer explained that such legislation will finally criminalize homemade explosive-making and help prevent future terrorist-inspired plots from happening before people get hurt.