ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) - The military and cops call the devices at the Boston Marathon Bombings APIED's, Anti-Personnel Improvised Explosive Devices. They've been used by everybody from anti-abortion radicals to the Taliban.
There were two bombs reported at the Boston Marathon on Monday. At least one was inside a metal pressure cooker inside a duffle bag. Both contained explosives surrounded either by ball bearings or nails. The first thing to hit victims was the shockwave called overpressure.
"The overpressure is the pressure from the device going off itself. It pushes out a shockwave which those in the immediate surrounding area will be affected from the overpressure from that. It can actually kill people and cause limbs to be blown off." said Sgt. Gerald Shepard of the St. Louis County Bomb & Arson Unit.
Then comes the shrapnel, "If its on the ground what's going to happen is those munitions are going to go down and skip up about eight inches to twelve inches. That's probably why we had all these traumatic amputations and your lower leg injuries." said University of Missouri St. Louis Criminologist David Klinger.
Everyone from the anti-abortion radical who bombed the 1996 Atlanta Olympics to the Taliban have used them. They're cheap and they're easy to build. Police know it's easy to find instructions on how to make these things from white supremacist websites to YouTube.
Since anti-personnel bombs are so easy for both foreign and domestic terrorists to make police and federal agents will reverse engineer the pieces. Made all the harder because those pieces nd the knowledge of how to make a bomb with them. are all widely available.
Meanwhile, Boston police have recovered an electronic circuit board near the blast site. They think it may be part of the bomb's timer or detonator.