War on Terror Leads to Bomb Sensors in the Sewers

By Gary Cutlack on at

Highly sensitive sensors able to detect the chemicals used in the making of explosives are being tested in Stockholm, as part of an initiative to figure out when someone up above is flushing leftover explosives down the toilet or rinsing out the bell jars and beakers in a DIY bomb lab.

The test is part of the EMPHASIS project, an EU-wide initiative to help detect the telltale signals of explosive production. As well as being able to detect the remnants of equipment being cleaned, the team are also looking at using data from air sensors above ground to find signs of fumes from known bomb chemicals like hydrogen peroxide and some fertilisers.

Swedish police officer Torbjoern Liwang told the BBC: "The criminals and terrorists are ahead of us. They're really good at finding new ways to create bombs... and we need new technologies, new ways of finding bomb factories." [BBC]

Image credit: Sewer from Shutterstock