Explosive-laden Calif. house set to be destroyed

By Julie Watson

Associated Press

Published: Thursday, Dec. 9 2010 9:09 a.m. MST

Officers said they found the same types of chemicals used by suicide bombers and insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan. The materials included Pentaerythritol tetranitrate, or PETN, which was used in the 2001 airliner shoe-bombing attempt as well as airplane cargo bombs discovered last month by authorities.

The chemicals were found after a gardener accidentally set off an explosion at the home by stepping on what authorities believe was a byproduct of HMTD.

Defense attorneys wanted to delay the burn to allow more time to collect evidence, including notes scribbled on graph paper and a hardcover book about mining.

But U.S. District Judge Larry Burns accepted testimony of FBI bomb expert James Verdi, who said it would irresponsible to allow anyone to enter.

Verdi, a veteran of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan who was inside the home several times, testified that the HMTD found was "an amount we had never seen, either domestically or internationally."

"My first entry into the backyard, it was like we were entering into a minefield," he said.

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