However, throughout all of this process I've always accepted the general thrust of the official narrative. I do appreciate that the official narrative has some very serious shortcomings such as putting the bombers on a train to London that was cancelled but I haven't allowed this to lead me to doubt various threads of the narrative.
But now I'm beginning to doubt one of these threads.
That is, I'm beginning to doubt the nature of the bombs: namely, were they really a mixture of concentrated hydrogen peroxide and pepper?
It was thought that the bombers bought bottles of hydrogen peroxide, concentrated the hydrogen peroxide by boiling away water, and after cooling back, mixing the hydrogen peroxide with pepper to form a slurry. The slurry was transported to London in rucksacks cooled by freezer bags packed amongst the contents. Subsequently the rucksacks were detonated by the bombers.
From the perspective of a chemist, the preceding paragraph has a number of flaws. When hydrogen peroxide is heated it begins to decompose. Hydgrogen peroxide is prone to catalytic decomposition from materials such as rust, metals, metal salts, the list goes on - see Brethericks Handbook of Reactive Chemical Hazards, which suggests that heating up hydrogen peroxide in a saucepan wouldn't be wise. Mixing the concentrated hydrogen peroxide with an organic substance (pepper) is fraught with hazards; not least that it would be anticipated to react with the organic material in an uncontrolled chemical reaction.
But simply saying that these decompositions and thermal runaways would happen is not possible.
To understand what I'm trying to say, look at the pictures at the other side of this link,
Getting back to the hydrogen peroxide bombs: although on paper their preparation - from start to finish - shouldn't have been possible, maybe the bombers did manage to do it. Maybe if they had done it one more time, like the chemical plant example above, it would've ended in disaster. From the information given, it isn't possible to know.
The above analysis was gleaned from newspaper and internet reports prior to the inquest.
Now, courtesty of Mr Clifford Todd we have clearer details of what is known about the 7th July bombs because of his contribution to the 7th July inquest, beginning at p38 line 7 of the 1st February 2011 hearing transcript, afternoon session.
Reading the details of his contribution one comes to p58 line 2 where we have the following exchange between Mr Keith (the questioner) and Mr Todd,
"2 Q. You then turn to consideration of the main charge, theI don't believe there is sufficient evidence to come to the conclusion that the bombs were hydgrogen peroxide/piperine mix. A working hypothesis may be that the bombs were a piperine/hydrogen peroxide mix but this isn't a conclusion. The 'absence of traces of piperidine at the scences,' could be because there wasn't any there in the first place and considering the sophistication of the analytical equipment available to the forensics department is the more likely explanation. '[T]he absence of any other recognised high explosive,' means that an explosive was used that was not recognised; I appreciate that this is trite, but it doesn't mean that the piperine/hydrogen peroxide mix was used.
3 hydrogen peroxide/piperine mix, but you've covered that
4 area to a great extent already.
5 You concluded, in essence, in relation to all four
6 scenes, that despite the absence of traces of piperine
7 at the scenes, the absence of any other recognised high
8 explosive, together with the material found at
9 Alexandra Grove, led you to conclude that the main
10 charge was an improvised mixture, a home-made mixture of
11 pepper and hydrogen peroxide?
12 A. That's correct, yes."
To state that the explosive charge was a piperine/hydrogen peroxide mix is multiplying entities beyond necessity. The narrative would gain a lot more credibility by stating that the nature of the explosive charge was not known.
This would lead to the evaporation of the scepticism around the processing and associated hazards of concentrating hydrogen peroxide and mixing it with an impure organic substance.
There is another piece of evidence that would shed a lot more light on what the alleged bombers were doing at the purported laboratory at Alexandra Grove.
During the proceedings, evidence was lead (p3 line 24 - p4 line 2 of the 1st February Session of the Hearing) in order to connect the alleged bombers to Alexandra Grove. One piece of evidence found at Alexandra Grove was a piece of paper with Tanweer's handwriting on it which contained a chemical formula. Unfortunately this evidence was not made available for publication, for all we know it could give the proportions of pepper to hydrogen peroxide; similarly, it could give the procedure for making piperonal from piperine using hydrogen peroxide, alternatively it could be about anything else.
Lastly, I have alluded to the question of whether or not Alexandra Grove was a drug factory or a bomb factory. I will leave analysis and discussion of that question for another post.