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$50,000 reward offered for info on missing explosives

ATF: 550 pounds of explosives missing in New Mexico

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Albuquerque (New Mexico)
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(CNN) -- Federal authorities on Tuesday boosted to $50,000 a reward for information about 550 pounds of explosives missing from a business near Albuquerque, New Mexico.

About 400 pounds of high explosives and 150 pounds of commercial plastic explosives were taken from the business, which is licensed to store them, said Tom Mangan, spokesman for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

The explosives were military-like, but not military-issue, Mangan said.

The theft, discovered Sunday night, included detonators, commercial explosives, sheet explosives, prima cord and shock tubes, he said. (Watch a report on what explosives were stolen -- 1:15)

In a written statement, Gov. Bill Richardson said state agencies have been urged to report any suspicious activity.

"There is no specific threat," Richardson said, adding that "it is my understanding that the explosives were stolen from a private magazine."

Rand Corp. terrorism expert Brian Jenkins said such thefts are common, with 1990s figures showing more than 100 such incidents each year.

Several hundred bombings occur each year, most of which have nothing to do with terrorism, Jenkins said. "Most have to do with insurance fraud, organized crime, personal vendettas, extortion, revenge, vandalism and protest."

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