French Police Arrest Suspect in Possession of Homemade Bombs: Uranium Traces Found
On August 26, a French national was arrested in Colmar, France, after bragging to classmates at the Centre de Formation des Apprentis. The suspect was arrested in possession of four homemade bombs. Further investigation into the situation revealed that the suspect owned several pieces of Nazi paraphernalia. The bombs confiscated from the individual contained traces of Uranium Oxide, a less severe type of Uranium that is still radioactive but not as hazardous. At the site of the suspect’s home, police located a workshop with four explosive devices and Uranium that had been purchased online. The suspect purchased the material used to make nuclear bombs on eBay, according to police accounts.
The suspect intended to use the homemade explosives against public buildings, according to video footage pulled from the individual’s vocational training center in which he boasts about the plans. At the suspect’s studio, police uncovered Nazi badges and a complete Klu Klux Klan outfit. It was also revealed that the man was being treated for a psychiatric illness via prescription medication. Law enforcement also located small amounts of natural Uranium. Police seized computer equipment, files, and other relevant material. The story has gained attention as the suspect was previously unknown to intelligence and the police. According to Le Canard Enchaîne, a newspaper, security forces kept the case quiet as to not stir up public panic. This case would mark the first time that French law enforcement forces have faced what is referred to as “dirty bombs” created by a civilian.
Additional Context: This story seems to be underreported in the media. Although the type of dirty bomb in this case is not the worst in the spectrum of radiological threats, it would pose a serious danger to any exposed and result in expensive cleanup, and would have a terror impact far greater than an IED without uranium.
We believe this is a historically rare event not just for France but for the world. There have been four or five close calls with dirty bombs over the last 30 years. For a list see: