Yeah, I hear what all these experts are saying all over the media, but I still feel it’s completely possible these two made their bombs entirely on their own.

I remember when I was around 12-16 years old, kids I knew often made little bombs out of whatever was available. One kid nearly blew off his foot while making a pipe bomb out of some M-80’s and plumbing pipe. Another made a ten-foot crater in the woods with a gasoline bomb. (That was the largest explosion of the time, I wasn’t there but word of it spread through a couple of school districts.) Kids were always thinking of ways to blow shit up, it was discussed often, especially on the schools bus.

Every year (until puberty hit) there were always 3 or 4 explosions of note. Match heads, fireworks, gas, gunpowder from shot guns shells, model rocketry engines, etc. would get fashioned into, dare I say, improvised explosive devices. You’d start small, experiment, and scale up. They’d get set off in the woods, you’d inspect the damage, then run like hell or ride your bike like mad when you heard the sirens. Usually there’d be no sirens though, the cops only came if it was a substantial bang. But if they did come it was all you’d talk about for weeks and weeks. And this all happened way before the internet with its easy access to knowledge and materials.

This one kid made about ten feet of fuse with string, Elmer’s glue, and black powder. We all thought he was a genius.  He was courted by many to get a foot or two, and he carried some around in his book-bag to show off in school.  Another kid fitted an M-80 into a model rocket nose cone making a crude missile. There was a rumor he accidentally blew a hole in his neighbor’s roof “upon reentry”. And I didn’t grow up in some backwater bog, this was all in suburban NJ right between Princeton and Rutgers. The kid that made the ten-foot crater is now a dentist. The one that nearly blew off his foot is a programmer.  So I don’t care what Robert Baer says, these two could have made pressure cooker bombs without Al Qaeda training. All you need is broadband, a credit card, time/practice (start small and scale up) and the will.