Police have found a series of dry ice "bombs" in secure areas of LAX: three today and one on Sunday. The articles don't say much, but presumably these "bombs" are plastic beverage bottles crammed full of dry ice and water and then screwed shut. As the dry ice sublimates the pressure in the bottle builds up and eventually bursts. These explosions would be loud, but relatively harmless to people and entirely harmless to buildings or aircraft.

So what's going on? Some theories:

  • The bombs are a warning from some misguided do-gooder that the secure areas at LAX aren't very secure.
  • The bombs are dry runs by real terrorists. But why draw attention to vulnerabilities?
  • The bombs are a prank.
  • The bombs are a cry for media attention. The single bomb on Sunday didn't get any national news coverage, so the "bomber" spent Monday building two more and then planted them today. Voila! Top story on Drudge.

From Sunday:

LAX Police confirm that a bottle filled with dry ice exploded inside an employee bathroom at Terminal 2 at LAX Sunday.

The "bomb" exploded about 6:30 p.m. in an restricted access bathroom near Gate 27.

Officials said that no one was injured.

The FBI and the Los Angeles Police Department were investigating.

Sunday evening, FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller released the following statement: "Earlier this evening, law enforcement and airport officials responded to a report of an explosion in an employee bathroom in Terminal 2 ... In a restricted area of the terminal (not accessible to the general public), responders found evidence of a plastic bottle containing dry ice. A chemical reaction caused the explosion. The area is being examined for evidence. The FBI and partners with LAPD, LAX PD, LA Fire, CBP, TSA and other officials will investigate the incident to determine the individual or group responsible."

"A chemical reaction caused the explosion." That makes it sound much more dangerous than it was. A chemical reaction! As if chemicals aren't reacting around us at all times.

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