More than 15 years after a fertilizer bomb was used to blow up a government building in Oklahoma City, killing 168 people, the federal government is proposing to regulate the sale and transfer of the chemical ammonium nitrate.
The proposal comes nearly four years after Congress gave the Homeland Security Department the authority to develop a program to regulate the compound.
Ammonium nitrate is one of the most common farm fertilizers in the world, and instructions for turning it into a bomb are available on the Internet. Its deadly potential was once again realized on July 22, when a Norwegian man allegedly blew up a government building in his country, killing eight people with a bomb that investigators believe was made with ammonium nitrate.
The Ammonium Nitrate Security Program would require those who purchase, sell, or transfer at least 25 pounds of the chemical to register with the government so that they may be screened against US terror watch lists, according to a homeland security official who spoke on condition of anonymity because the proposal had not formally been published.
Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh used 4,000 pounds of ammonium nitrate to blow up the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in 1995.
(Source: Associated Press)