Calhoun: Wake-Up Call

Wake-Up Call: When peroxide is outlawed, only outlaws will have peroxide

Before the Balloon Boy story blew up around the globe, Colorado's Najibullah Zazi was reportedly getting ready to blow up New York City. Our hometown terrorist is now being held without bail in New York on charges of conspiring to detonate explosives in the United States; his father has a December 7 trial date in U.S. District Court in Denver on charges of lying to federal investigators.

Yesterday, President Barack Obama visited the Manhattan FBI office that led the investigation, and praised the agents for their work. But the job's not done yet: New York Senator Chuck Schumer is calling for a nationwide "awareness" program on sales of peroxide, which Zazi picked up in bulk at an Aurora beauty-supply company. He told the clerk that he had a lot of girlfriends in need of hair care -- but concentrated peroxide can also be used to make a liquid bomb known as TATP, and plans for the device were allegedly found on Zazi's computer.

It could have been the ultimate blonde bombshell...

KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Patricia Calhoun co-founded Westword in 1977; she’s been the editor ever since. She’s a regular on the weekly CPT12 roundtable Colorado Inside Out, played a real journalist in John Sayles’s Silver City, once interviewed President Bill Clinton while wearing flip-flops, and has been honored with numerous national awards for her columns and feature-writing.
Contact: Patricia Calhoun