Police detain two found with powerful homemade bomb

TAIPEI, Taiwan, The China Post Staff

Police detained two brothers in Yungho City of Taipei County yesterday for their alleged bomb production. The duo could be linked to a perpetrator who has caused a series of public scares with homemade bombs. Police booked Huang Chun-ju, 28, and his elder brother after they found one powerful, fully completed bomb that able to blast half a mass rapid transit (MRT) coach to smithereens. Huang, a graduate of medical testing department from a junior college, accumulated his knowledge of explosive chemicals in school. He gained practical expertise in building explosives with chemicals at special training courses when he served in the civil engineering section to fulfill his military conscription obligation. Huang was only recently discharged from the army.

Police discovered the apartment when they first tailed Huang Chun-jen, the elder brother aged 32, for the alleged possession of marijuana and other illicit drugs. But the search of their apartment turned up not just illegal drugs, but also weapons including a homemade shotgun, modified toy guns and bullets, not to mention the finished bomb. The chemical materials stored in the apartment were sufficient for making another 40 bombs, police estimated. The Huangs told police the chemical materials were accumulated through repeated theft from school labs.

The two said they were simply doing some experimentations for personal interest and they normally set off the bombs on the rivers to enjoy the sight of water cascading down, without harming anyone. Police are looking for evidence to determine if the two are linked to the elusive “rice bomber” who had planted homemade bombs at railway and MRT stations as well as other public places with large gatherings of people. The “rice bomber,” who is still wanted by the police, sought to create widespread public fear as a way to protest what was described as the new and unfair trade rules that allow imports of foreign rice at the expense of Taiwanese rice growers.