Norway attacks raising concern in Iceland

No records are kept about who buys fertiliser products in Iceland and the head of the Icelandic coastguard bomb disposal team says it would be fairly easy to make a bomb similar to that which devastated government buildings in Oslo on Friday.

Four companies import fertiliser to Iceland, RUV reports. One of them, Buvis, imports and sells the amonium nitrate-based fertiliser Kraft 34 — known in Iceland as Kjarni. This is the same fertiliser used by Anders Behring Breivik to bring death and chaos to the Norwegian capital.

It is thought Breivik used around 500 kilogrammes of the fertiliser for his bomb — an amount which would cost ISK 35,000 (EUR 210.50) at Buvis.

It takes more than just fertiliser to make a bomb, however.

Iceland’s chief bomb disposal expert, Sigurdur Asgrimsson, told RUV that the fertiliser needs to be mixed in the right proportions with other materials; but he added that they are often easy to come by as well, and that there are instructions easily available on the worldwide web which cannot easily be removed.

Kjarni comes with detailed handling instructions and it is classed as an explosive with transportation restrictions on land and at sea. Despite this, there is no restriction placed on who can buy the product and no records are kept.

Asgrimsson says that, as far as he is aware, he could go and buy five tonnes of Kjarni (or equivalent); adding that maybe something should be done to close this previously overlooked loophole in the regulation.

He hopes that the events in Norway will bring the issue into the spotlight in Iceland, as it has often been talked about before — but it often takes something bad to happen before things really get done, he feels.

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