Federal explosives licensees and permittees, and others concerned:
On December 29, 1975, a bomb-blast ripped through New York's
LaGuardia airport, killing 11 persons and injuring some 75 others.
This tragic incident is but the latest in an alarming upward
spiral of bombings that have occurred in cities, suburban communities,
small towns and rural areas across America in recent years. Numerous
law enforcement officials fear that this upward spiral will swell into
an epidemic in 1976.
Terrorist groups have vowed to increase violence during the
Bicentennial year; past experience has shown that such groups rely
heavily on bombings as a tool in "publicizing" political dissent.
Reports show, for example, that more terrorist bombings occurred
during the first half of 1975 than in all of 1974. A NUMBER OF THESE
BOMBS WERE MADE WITH STOLEN EXPLOSIVES.
The increase in bombing incidents in this country and the increase
in explosives thefts is of great concern to all segments of the
American public. ATF believes that you, as members of the explosives
industry and as dealers in and users of its products, are particularly
concerned in this regard; we urge your cooperation, therefore, in
reporting thefts of explosives promptly and in providing greater
security for your premises and magazines.
Specifically, we ask you to:
1. Report all thefts or losses of explosives from your
magazines or premises promptly. Notify, by phone, the
nearest ATF office and your local authorities. Follow
this with a report on ATF Form 4712, "Report of Theft of
Explosives." We have learned that some licensees and
users of explosives have failed to report losses or thefts.
Federal law prescribes penalties for failure to report
within 24 hours the theft or loss of explosives from your
magazines or premises.
2. Remember to inspect those magazines not in daily use
at intervals of not more than three days. This would
assist you in detecting any break-in or attempted
break-in at your magazines.
3. Pay closer attention to the activities taking
place on your business premises; take note of
unusual activity or strangers in the vicinity of
your explosives storage areas.
4. Review your recordkeeping practices to satisfy
yourself that no discrepancies exist or that there
has been no juggling of figures in your reported
inventories. Promptly correct any clerical errors
It may have been some time since you last considered the
adequacy of your explosives security procedures, particularly
the degree to which your magazines are secure from forced entry.
We urge you to take this opportunity to consider this vital
If you have any questions or feel you need assistance in
any matter, please do not hesitate to contact your ATF regional
office or the nearest local office.
Rex D. Davis