Experts weigh in following weekend blasts - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Experts weigh in following weekend blasts

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NEW HAVEN, CT (WFSB) -

We’ve seen pipe bombs and pressure cookers packed with explosives before, and it’s exactly what investigators say caused blasts in New York and New Jersey over the weekend.

Jibey Asthappan, of the University of New Haven, is a former bomb disposal technician. He used to defuse bombs, just like the ones found in New York and New Jersey, and said the biggest concern is that these bombs are easy to make.

"As soon as the pressure overwhelms the container, it detonates,” causing a fiery blast, sending shrapnel flying, Asthappan said.

While nobody was killed in the bombs planted in New York and New Jersey over the weekend, Asthappan, who chairs the University of New Haven’s National Security program, said the threat is real.

"The first thing I thought of is this is going to be really difficult to stop if this is a series of events that's connected with a large group,” Asthappan said.

For six years, Asthappan served as an explosive ordinance disposal technician with the U.S. Air Force.

"We had some incidents, one that comes to mind was the militia of Montana, where they had a pipe bomb. They dropped off and were trying to hurt some individuals, we were able to render it safe,” Asthappan said.

He said the bombs found in New York and New Jersey on Saturday and Sunday are nothing new. He said many times they’re filled with BBs, pieces of glass, nails, with directions easily found online.

"You could build these unfortunately, these bombs, with components you can get from the hardware store or probably underneath your kitchen sink,” Asthappan said.

While police believe they have their man, Ahmad Khan Rahami, who was taken into custody in New Jersey following a shootout with police, experts say it is a reminder to remain vigilant.

"If they see someone leave a package and walk away from it, or see something sitting in the corner and doesn't look right, it's important to notify the police, have the bomb squad respond to it, don't get anywhere near it, don't touch it, don't open it, don't try to figure it out yourself because those devices can go off if you try to open up the package,” Asthappan said.

Following the explosions, law enforcement has been making its presence felt at transportation centers in the New York City area, and in Connecticut.

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