Chemical engineers as terrorists

Maybe I am overly sensitive, but why is it that chemical engineers show up on this side of the equation? One of the WTC bombers in 1993 was reported to be a chemical engineer. And I remember another terror circumstance in which the bad actor was a chemical engineer.

Monster Limo recounts news about WMD:

Here we go again Wait - I swear I've read this article before. They're saying that they found trailers that could be mobile weapons labs yet found no banned weapons. Why does this sound so familiar? I wonder if they have one article about found WMD's that they use, only changing the dates and locations periodically. And, like the other articles, the language isn't at all vague or suspicious: "Intelligence officials say the vehicles fit the description of a mobile biological weapons laboratory received from an Iraqi... chemical engineer who claims to have managed one of the mobile labs [who] identified photographs of the captured trailers." I'm no chemical engineer, but I bet I could identify a photo of a tractor trailer, too.

I am a chemical engineer by training. I bet I could do it too. At least chemical engineers are also involved on the prevention side of the fence too, such as this example at Purdue:

An interdisciplinary Purdue team, led by electrical engineer Supriyo Datta, chemist Clifford Kubiak and physicist Ronald Reifenberger, has shown that "a chemical binding event" can alter the electrical conductivity of an individual molecule. Chemical engineer Ronald Andres and electrical engineer David Janes are using this insight to develop extremely sensitive devices capable of detecting molecules. The technique works by measuring changes in electrical conductivity caused when a contaminating substance sticks to a gold surface that has been coated with molecules that attract the contaminant. The coating is made of molecules that attach to the gold because they contain sulfur, which forms a chemical bond with the metal. When a foreign molecule falls onto the gold surface it sticks to the attractive molecules, changing the electrical conductivity, which can be measured with a device called a scanning tunneling microscope.

1 Comment(s)

alzack said:

Anybody can become a terrorist...a chemical engineer may have a better advantage due to what they learn....?!!!

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This entry was published on June 4, 2003 9:17 PM and has 1 comment(s).

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