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Was it the potassium nitrate or the anti-personnel mines?

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A 35-year-old man from the country town of Castlemaine in Victoria has been remanded in custody to face court after spending $AU17,000 on eBay buying bomb-making equipment.

Phillip Marsh has told the Bendigo Magistrates Court his intention was to “make fireworks”, after amassing a collection that included potassium nitrate, charcoal powder, sulphur, detonator cord, and military paraphernalia including anti-personnel mines.

While police don’t seem to agree with the firework hypothesis, they told the court that Marsh does not appear to be linked with any terrorist groups.

eBay has told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation that it notified police of the suspicious sales Marsh was making. He was then reportedly placed under ASIO surveillance before his arrest.

Police told the magistrate the materials Marsh had collected could make “five kilograms of explosives” that could be “activated within 15 minutes”.

Police also told the ABC they will continue monitoring Marsh’s home, since they are expecting further deliveries from eBay purchases.

Marsh will face court again next week. ®

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