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Bin Laden in the classroom (teacher obtains illegal explosives & builds bombs in mommy’s basement)
Sydney Morning Herald ^ | May 11, 2006 | Les Kennedy, David Braithwaite and AAP

Posted on 05/10/2006 10:19:02 AM PDT by dead

JOHN HOWARD AMUNDSEN said it was all a misunderstanding: that the explosives he stockpiled in the home he shares with his elderly mother were to be used as special effects in a TV production.

But the discovery of four homemade bombs, one packed with razor blades and nails, had police puzzled last night.

Counter-terrorism officers around the country were conferring on how Amundsen was able to buy 53 kilograms of the mining explosive Powergel.

The high school teacher, 40, told a Brisbane magistrate he made the bombs for use in an unnamed television production.

Police bomb squad experts had spent the previous night removing the explosives and the crude bombs from his home at Aspley, a northern suburb of Brisbane.

Seized...the Bin Laden book and other items police say they found when they raided
the home of John Howard Amundsen. Inset: John Howard Amundsen and other
items found by police. Photos: Paul Harris and Channel Nine

Amundsen, a metalwork and woodwork teacher at Ferny Grove High and former teacher in media studies, emphatically denied he was a terrorist. The former television cameraman said he held one of the country's highest security clearances, granted by ASIO after heavy background screening. He claimed to have access to secure areas of Brisbane Airport.

The magistrate, Lindy Bradford-Morgan, refused Amundsen bail on the basis he was a risk to public safety and adjourned the case until today.

Police will not rule out the possibility that four bombs and 10 detonators allegedly found at Amundsen's home were being stockpiled for a terrorist attack.

Police also allegedly found a book entitled Bin Laden: Behind the Mask of a Terrorist.

According to the charge laid yesterday, Amundsen allegedly "dishonestly obtained explosives and detonators" from Orica Quarries, at Yatala near Movie World on the Gold Coast between April 11 and May 10 this year.

Ferny Grove High was closed for most of yesterday morning as police with sniffer dogs checked classrooms, before declaring it safe for students and staff to resume lessons.

Explosives experts and counter-terrorism sources said last night that Powergel was specifically designed for use in moving large rocks and earth in the mining industry.

Amundsen's neighbours spoke yesterday of a man who had become agitated in recent weeks and who loved to hoard things.

Some spoke of seeing him in the past month carrying large plastic barrels in his car, raising their suspicions.

One neighbour, Sharyn Sneddon, said she and her husband had seen Amundsen transport five large plastic barrels in his car about eight weeks ago.

Lilly Boccalatte, who lives across the road, said her husband saw the man walking down the street with rubber gloves on at the weekend "but didn't take much notice of it".

A 69-year-old neighbour who did not want to be named said Amundsen, who is single and has no children, had appeared agitated recently. "He was getting around the place a bit, just marching up and down the street," she said.

TOPICS: Australia/New Zealand; Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; Government; News/Current Events; War on Terror

1 posted on 05/10/2006 10:19:04 AM PDT by dead
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To: dead

Well, everybody needs a hobby.......ahem.

2 posted on 05/10/2006 10:30:02 AM PDT by lovecraft (Specialization is for insects.)
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To: dead
Razor Blades??????

Sure they are for a television production, sure they are .....

If you believe that have I got a deal for you
3 posted on 05/10/2006 11:00:30 AM PDT by Russ_in_NC
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To: Russ_in_NC

Yeah...razor blades in homemade bombs...sounds like this jerk has been taking lessons from the Pali terrorists. Is he a Muslim? A Liberal who thinks the terrorists have a point? (No pun intended.)

Better give this guy a mental evaluation...although it's pretty obvious to me and anyone with a brain what he was building that stuff for...and it weren't no TV production.

4 posted on 05/10/2006 11:12:14 AM PDT by demnomo
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To: DieHard the Hunter

what is the story on this wacko down your way?

5 posted on 05/10/2006 11:13:29 AM PDT by alpha-8-25-02 ("SAVED BY GRACE AND GRACE ALONE")
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To: alpha-8-25-02

> what is the story on this wacko down your way?

Crikey! To be truthful, the first I heard of this story was on the Free Republic!

(No surprizes here -- the first I heard of the Tsunami was on the Free Republic, from your fine self alpha-8-25-2)

I shall check Pravda-ummm-the-NZ-Herald and see what the official line is. Stand by...


6 posted on 05/10/2006 11:27:38 AM PDT by DieHard the Hunter (I am the Chieftain of my Clan. I bow to nobody. Get out of my way.)
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