What’s under your kitchen sink? Charles Schumer and the government want to know, just in case you were radicalized by al-Qaeda and might be a lone wolf terrorist.
Schumer, a top ranking Democrat Senator from New York, said people can too easily make bombs from household items such as chemicals from ice packs, nails and ball bearings, in addition to black powder and fireworks.
Schumer wants legislation making it illegal to mix chemicals together that may produce an explosive.
“Because it’s so easy to obtain the rudimentary devices, people can make these things in their homes relatively easily,” Schumer said. “If they’re caught simply making explosive devices in their home, they haven’t done anything illegal.”
In short, if Schumer’s proposal becomes law, U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives officials will arrest and charge people who have not committed a crime beyond mixing household chemicals together. A trip to a fireworks store on the Fourth of July might make an individual a person of interest for the BATF and the FBI.
“As potential terrorists are incited by al-Qaida and others to act more individually, to act as lone wolves, our legal system and law enforcement tools must keep up,” Schumer said.
Schumer cited the arrest of Christopher Lee Cornell, an Ohio man with a history of mental illness who told an FBI informant he wanted to bomb the U.S. capitol. The FBI said he planned to manufacture pipe bombs, although he had not purchased bomb components and apparently had no knowledge on how to build a pipe bomb.
Schumer’s bill will allow the government to claim suspects were planning to manufacture bombs if they had household chemicals or fireworks in their possession.
In the future, this will make FBI entrapment schemes more effective and will bolster the government claim there are al-Qaeda or ISIS sleeper cells in the United States plotting to kill Americans with ice packs and fireworks.