By Ian Bush
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — There are pressure cooker bombs being made right now in Pennsylvania, but the company doing it is creating them to help prevent future attacks.
At Inert Products in Scranton, you can get everything from a pipe bomb to an improvised explosive device built into a pack of cigarettes, a shoe — even a pizza box.
Well, you can’t, but military and law enforcement can.
“Everything is inert; none contains any energetic material,” says Don Buza, the company’s vice president. “All designed to meet the training objectives of the people that defend us on a daily basis.”
He says the stuff they make looks identical to the real thing.
“Law enforcement will contact us and give us more information so we can make a more accurate depiction of what actually happened,” Buza explains. “Let’s use what just happened in Boston. Right now we have guys putting together a device exactly like the one that was used.”
Pressure cooker bombs are nothing new — just ask American servicemembers who had to deal with IEDs so deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan.
“We’ve sold many of them, and we know the scenarios in which they’re being used,” says Buza. “They’ve been trained with since we’ve been in business — since about 2007.”
Inert Products can add effects like a popping sound or a siren that wails if it’s not defused properly in training.
Buza says those who work to spot and stop these devices use the inert models to learn how they can be concealed and what they look like when they’re in the real world. Agents study the design and how it can be dismantled as they train to stop an attack before it starts.
“We’re doing all we can to mitigate that particular threat,” Buza says. “That’s what our business was founded on. We just hope to save lives.”