EU plans tougher fertiliser regulation after Oslo bomb

Posted on 16 Aug 2011 by The Manufacturer

The EU is fast-tracking regulation to monitor the manufacture and sale of fertiliser and any other materials which can be used to produce homemade bombs after the Oslo bomb attack.

The decision was made during a meeting attended by the Terrorist Working Party, the Centre on Global Counter-Terrorism Cooperation, the Norwegian authorities and other key European state representatives.

Contributors to the debates that have preceded the decision include Europol, the European External Action Service, the European Commission and a selection of other, smaller counter-terrorism groups.

As well as the tighter regulation of fertiliser, other chemicals and materials are likely to face the same measures. After ordering six tonnes of fertiliser, Anders Behring Breivik went to more than 20 pharmacies around the country, purchasing three boxes of aspirin each time. He used the painkillers to produce acetylsalicylic acid, one of the chemicals used in conjunction with the fertiliser to make the bomb.

The EU group that made the decision called on fertiliser manufacturers to closely monitoring of orders placed with them by new clients on a consistent basis. The group pointed to the US, where authorities are planning to restrict the distribution of ammonium nitrate and other agri-chemicals. They are also planning more stringent monitoring of the use of chemicals and explosives in industries such as mining.

George Archer