Potential Indicators of Peroxide-Based Explosives

What Should I Consider Suspicious?

  • Unknown customer or customer from out of the area.
  • Customer has little or no legitimate working knowledge of the chemical being purchased.
  • Individual requesting or purchasing:
    • Information or books about using peroxide to make explosives.
    • Unusual quantities of a chemical, such as more than a gallon of hydrogen peroxide.
    • Hydrogen peroxide in a concentration of 30% or higher.
  • Individual seeking to purchase the precursor chemicals for the compound TATP (triacetone triperoxide) in combination or in large quantity.
    • Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2)
    • Sulfuric acid (oil of vitriol, battery acid)
    • Acetone (propanone, dimethyl ketone)
  • Individual seeking to purchase the precursor chemicals for the compound HMTD (hexamethylene triperoxide diamine) in combination or in large quantity.
    • Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2)
    • Hexamine (methenamine, solid fuel tablets)
    • Citric acid (hydrogen citrate, concentrated lemons and limes)

Hydrogen peroxide may be purchased on the Internet or from a pharmacy, food store, home improvement or hardware store, chemical distributor, health store, or beauty supply store.

Note: It is important to remember that just because someone’s speech, actions, beliefs, appearance, or way of life is different, it does not mean that he or she is suspicious.

What Should I Do?

Be Part of the Solution

  • Know what chemicals are distributed by your business.
  • Know what quantities are usual for purchases by customers at your business.
  • Know your customers.
    • Require valid ID from all new customers.
    • Ask customers questions about their intended use of the chemical, and listen to and observe their responses.
    • Make note of suspicious statements, people, and/or vehicles, especially if the customer displays an out-of-state driver’s license or is driving a rental vehicle or a vehicle with an out-of-state license plate.
  • Keep records of purchases.
  • Report any missing or stolen precursor chemicals to law enforcement authorities.
  • If something seems wrong, notify law enforcement authorities.

Do not jeopardize your safety or the safety of others.

Preventing terrorism is a community effort. By learning what to look for, you can make a positive contribution in the fight against terrorism. The partnership between the community and law enforcement is essential to the success of anti-terrorism efforts.

Some of the activities, taken individually, could be innocent and must be examined by law enforcement professionals in a larger context to determine whether there is a basis to investigate. The activities outlined on this handout are by no means all-inclusive but have been compiled from a review of terrorist events over several years.


Osceola County Sheriff’s Office
407-348-2222