"We're talking something with the power to raze whole blocks in an American city"

Afghan national security forces near the border with Pakistan recently intercepted one of the largest truck bombs ever built, a massive “vehicle-borne improvised explosive device,” or VBIED, packed with some 61,500 pounds of explosives.

By comparison, the truck bomb that all but leveled the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City on April 19, 1995, killing 168 people, was comprised of almost 5,000 lbs. of ammonium nitrate fertilizer mixed with fuel oil. The same recipe is commonly used in Afghanistan to make a variety of IEDs that have killed hundreds of ISAF troops in small numbers since 2001 — but typically using dozens of pounds, not thousands…

As another point of reference, the TNT truck bomb that destroyed the U.S. Marine compound in Beirut 30 years ago, killing 241 American troops, was about one quarter the size of the Gardez VBIED.

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