Bomb components found in 'frequently bought together' section on Amazon - probe

Updated: 

Amazon shoppers are being offered the chance to buy bomb-making components while innocently purchasing other items, an investigation has revealed.

Channel 4 News showed that an algorithm used by the retail giant suggested purchasing chemical ingredients which are harmless on their own, but can be combined to make explosives, incendiary devices and pyrotechnics.

The programme said recipes for explosive black powder and thermite are grouped together under the "Frequently Bought Together" heading during searches for other common chemicals, while steel ball bearings, often used as bomb shrapnel, are also recommended in the "Customers Also Bought" tab.

The news service demonstrated ignition systems and remote detonators were also readily available, and were frequently offered as part of the "Customers Also Bought" suggestions.

Amazon
(Chris Radburn/PA)

Channel 4 investigators were able to show that it was possible to create an Amazon shopping basket of up to 45kg of ingredients needed to create explosive black powder, against legislation that allows an individual to create just 100g of the substance for private use.

Other items included push-button switches, igniter cord, battery connectors and cables - all of which can be used in the construction of bombs incendiary devices.

While many of the ingredients, including one commonly used for food production, are not illegal to buy or sell in the UK, the news programme said there had been successful prosecutions of people who bought multiple chemicals and electronic components necessary for the production of explosives.

The revelation came three days after commuters were injured when an explosive device was detonated on a packed London Underground train at Parsons Green, south-west London.

Police have been granted extra time to quiz an 18-year-old and a 21-year-old man on suspicion of terror charges in relation to the offence.