Private citizens in the vicinity of Camp Atterbury are feeling a bit nervous after news sources in Indiana reported today that a bomb detonator, an MPT-30 firebox, was stolen sometime over the weekend. The discovery was made about 11:30 a.m. Monday.
WCSI News indicates that an internet search found the manufacturer of the MPT-30 firebox; It lists this description:
"Battle Effects Simulator used to replicate a Road-Side Bomb, Vehicle-borne IED (VBIED), and other heavy weapons fire. It fires type classified M30 and M31A1 pyro which can realistically and safely simulate the smoke, bang and flash signatures of various weapons fire."
While the military only listed the item as “sensitive”, they have assigned the Anti-Terrorism Investigation Division to the case. The Johnson County Sheriff’s Department and Atterbury’s own Military Police are also working the investigation. The lead agency wasn’t noted.
From the reports the thief or thieves knew exactly what they wanted and where to find it. The Counter IED Integration Cell Building Number 337 was where the detonator was stored; it was obviously the primary intent of the burglary.
The device can be used for remote detonation of homemade bombs or IEDs.
Sheriff Doug Cox indicated that a piece of IED training equipment was used to break a window in the building allowing the burglar or burglars access. The report also indicated that the rear door of the building was missing and an interior door was broken in half.
Also missing was a Kobalt tool bag and tools, wire cutters and wire strippers, screwdrivers, tarps, power inverters and spray paint.
Investigators are not ruling out that this was an inside job by someone who works in the building or on the 33,000 acre Army installation nor have they said if they think the thieves are in the military. What they do know is the stolen detonator and the effort it took to steal it means the person who stole the equipment had specific intent and will likely use it to do harm.
Camp Atterbury is a training base for the Indiana National Guard located near Edinburgh, Ind.