• Kyodo


Police referred to prosecutors Tuesday a 23-year-old man suspected of producing the same explosive used in the terrorist attacks in Paris in 2015 and one in Brussels last year.

The man, whose name has not been released, is suspected of making a small amount of triacetone triperoxide, known as TATP, at his home in Ichinomiya, Aichi Prefecture, in February last year, according to the police.

He posted on YouTube last year footage showing how to make the explosive from chemicals and drugs sold in stores. The three-minute video has been deleted.

The man told police he learned online how to make the substance and reportedly told investigators: “I wanted somebody who watched the footage to produce TATP and detonate it.”

The Metropolitan Police Department is beefing up vigilance against terrorist plots — in particular those by lone-wolf attackers who do not belong to any extremist groups — ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics.

Police began investigating the case after the online footage was found at the end of last year, according to investigative sources.

Police raided the man’s house in February and confiscated chemicals, tools and a personal computer, but did not find any explosives. The man told police he had burned all that he had produced.

The powerful explosive, dubbed the “mother of Satan” overseas, has been used in many attacks for which the Islamic State militant group claimed responsibility. Police so far have found no link between the man and the Islamic State.

TATP, made of such materials as hydrogen peroxide, acetone and hydrochloric acid, has about 80 percent of the explosive power of trinitrotoluene, or TNT used in dynamite, when the same amount of ingredients are used. It does not require great expertise to produce, experts say.

Though the footage has been deleted, police are becoming increasingly alarmed at the amount of information available online about how to produce explosives and bombs using chemicals sold in stores.

Police in Japan have investigated other cases involving TATP. In 2007, a Tokyo man who wanted to blow up a railway line was arrested for allegedly producing the explosive.

Last December, TATP was found at the house of a man in Gifu Prefecture after he was arrested on suspicion of theft.

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