Pistole knows terrorists continue to plot new attacks. They nearly succeeded last Christmas Day when Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab tried to ignite a bomb concealed in his underwear as Northwest flight 253 approached Detroit.
At a Transportation Security Administration testing facility, Pistole gave CBS News an exclusive look at the type of powerful explosive used in the unsuccessful attack: Pentaerythritol tetranitrate, also know as PETN, which an al Qaeda bomb-maker had mixed with another explosive, TATP, to make the underwear bomb, reports CBS News Justice and Homeland Security correspondent Bob Orr.
"Where the passengers heard what they thought were firecrackers going off, that was actually the TATP initiating," says Pistole. "And by the grace of God and just good fortune, it did not detonate."
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