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Former FBI bomb expert weighs in on Boston bombings

By: Brittany Pelletz Email
By: Brittany Pelletz Email

RICHMOND, Ky. (WKYT) - Tom Thurman used to be a bomb expert with the FBI, now he is a professor at EKU. After the explosions in Boston yesterday, being in the classroom is the last place Thurman wanted to be.

"After the time I have spent out doing bombing investigations and what I've seen...I wanted to get in the car and go," says Thurman.

Thurman's investigated several explosions, including the Pan Am Flight 103 bombings of 1988 in Scottland.

"It's in my blood. It'll always be there," Thurman says.

Thurman explains that the key to investigating the Boston Marathon explosions is to first establish a perimeter and work from the outside in,"It's very possible you could pick up valuable evidence on your shoes or destroy it."

Thurman believes it's the thousands of shoes that could be carrying the evidence away. Thurman says, "Particularly the runners with those soft soles and shoes, picked up in their metal pieces are going to be embedded right in the shoes."

With countless cameras rolling, Thurman believes the footage will help investigators zoom in on the origin.

"We will have an outside container. In other words a backpack or something that disguises the bomb as to what it is They will go to the video and start looking," says Thurman.

While Thurman won't be investigating the Boston bombings, he will be paving the way for future investigators, "We're talking IEDs today, I think I will have everybody's undivided attention today."

Thurman does not believe these bombings were that of a suicide bomb. If that was the case, he says the bomber would have explosive strapped to his chest and would have lead to various chest injuries to those nearby. Instead, most of the injured in Boston suffered from lower body injuries. Therefore, Thurman believes the bombs were on the ground.

Thurman says there are more than 2,000 explosions in the United States every year but that we just don't hear as much about the smaller ones.

"With the two bombs there, in my opinion yes. It's been planned for a good amount of time. As far as the sophistication, who knows," says Thurman.

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