Cold packs, packaged and sold commercially, contain chemicals—usually 30 to 85 grams of ammonium nitrate or urea—that, when extracted in sufficient quantity, can be used as precursors for improvised explosives. The chemicals are packaged in prill form, and can be used directly or ground into powder when being used in homemade explosive production. Five hundred packs would yield 30 to 90 pounds of precursor material for use in an improvised explosive device (IED).
This publication provides joint doctrine for planning and executing counter-improvised explosive device (C-IED) operations. It outlines responsibilities, provides command and control considerations, discusses organizational options, details the C-IED process and attack the network methodology, and introduces models for coordinating with C-IED supporting organizations.
An example of a monthly report released through the Department of Homeland Security’s TRIPwire program that documents bomb threats and other incidents related to the domestic use of improvised explosive devices. The report is compiled from open source information gathered around the country. The reports are not released publicly.
International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) IED Detector Dogs Standard Operating Procedures 3402 from May 2011.
TSA informational poster from October 2011 explaining that flood water sensors often resemble improvised explosive devices (IEDs).
There is likely to be an IED threat in all military deployments and this should be a key consideration when undertaking the preparation, planning and execution of current and future NATO deployed operations. Generic detail of the threat environments and the C-IED approach are described in Reference A but for each deployment further specific operational analysis must be undertaken to ensure a mission focussed approach. Key to this is the generation of C-IED awareness and capability within the staff at every level of command. This handbook sits under References A and B and is intended to be complimentary to existing NATO doctrinal publications and formation HQ operational planning and capability development. It should be noted that although the handbook is aligned with the AJP 3.15A, it seeks only to provide an operational and tactical level staff perspective. It is designed for use within military HQs at all levels and is equally applicable for National C-IED capability development. It will be a living document and updated and amended in conjunction with NATO publications and the lessons identified/ lessons learned process.
FBI-DHS Joint Bulletin from May 2008 providing assessment for general awareness of the potential threat posed by terrorists using radio-controlled model aircraft as an improvised explosive device delivery platform.
This Recognition Guide focuses on images of VOIED switches, components, and materials. Common IED indicators (observables) are listed and when found, indicate a high probability of IED activity. Refer to this material if something looks: suspicious, out of place, or out of character. This guide is organized by switches (Pressure Plate, Low Metallic Signature, and No Metal Content), main charges, containers, power supplies, initiators, and finally a section on IED factories.
Recent plots and attacks in the Homeland and overseas demonstrate a continuing terrorist focus on acquiring commercially available materials and components that can be used in constructing improvised explosive devices (IEDs). Heightened public and state and local official awareness, as well as tightened legal controls, have made it more difficult to purchase certain products that contain explosive precursors in bulk quantities or concentrated forms. Operatives are now more likely to use surreptitious, though legal, methods—such as multiple purchases in smaller quantities—to acquire sufficient amounts to create explosives.
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Commerce in Explosives: List of Explosive Materials published in the Federal Register October 19, 2011.
Route clearance (RC) operations for Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan are much different from RC operations for Operation Iraqi Freedom in terms of the terrain, seasonal weather, level of infrastructure, volume of insurgent threats, sources of improvised explosive device (IED) components, and motivation for IED emplacement. The purpose of this supplement is to focus on RC in Afghanistan.
Department of Homeland Ssecurity Bomb-Making Awareness Program (BMAP) Law Enforcement and Private Sector User Guides along with accompanying promotional posters from 2009.
“Body packing” is a well-documented concealment method criminals have used to smuggle drugs or other contraband. Body packing in humans and animals may involve several forms of concealment — including insertion into body orifices, ingestion, or possibly surgical implantation—of illicit items or material inside or hidden on the body to escape detection by security systems and personnel. Terrorists often assign high priority to concealment in planning attacks, and such methods—to include surgical implantation—offer potential means for suicide operatives to deliver improvised explosive devices to targets.
Hotels, motels, and other lodging facilities have been used by extremist individuals and groups as locations to manufacture improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in close proximity to their intended targets. Hotels, specifically rooms with kitchens or kitchenettes, allow these groups or individuals to greatly reduce the potential for a premature detonation. Given the short distance to the intended target the risk of premature detonation during transportation is minimized.
Terrorists can acquire precursor materials legally through a variety of commercial transactions, secondhand from individuals with access to such substances, or through theft. Many precursors can be purchased legitimately and without special authorization from chemical supply stores. They also are available at retail stores that sell beauty supply products, hardware and home improvement materials, groceries, and swimming pool supplies, and are used widely in hospitals, universities, construction sites, industrial facilities, farms, and mining operations.
FOUO Iraq Improvised Explosive Device Smart Card from October 27, 2004.
The Strait of Hormuz is the narrow waterway that allows maritime access into and out of the Persian Gulf from the Gulf of Oman and Arabian Sea. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has identified the Strait of Hormuz as one of six critical chokepoints in the global distribution and trade of oil. The concentration of valuable maritime traffic passing through such a relatively small area makes the Strait of Hormuz a strategic area for the targeting of maritime objectives by groups or nations looking to threaten or disrupt global trade. Iran, located on the north bank of the strait, has made repeated threats to strangle maritime traffic passing through the strait in retaliation for any strike against its nuclear program. In addition, al-Qaeda has reportedly been planning strikes at critical maritime chokepoints over the past decade, including the Strait of Hormuz. Al-Qaeda continues to plan maritime attacks, copying successful tactics from other militant groups such as the LTTE. The Strait of Hormuz would be an ideal target for al-Qaeda’s maritime campaign, either through the use of WBIEDs or conventional maritime weapons.
Kevin William Harpham was arrested in Colville, Washington by federal law enforcement on 9 March 2011 in connection with the improvised explosive device (IED) found along the route of a Martin Luther King, Jr. Day “MLK Unity March” in Spokane, Washington on 17 January 2011. On 17 January 2011, three sanitation workers in Spokane, Washington discovered a Swiss Army backpack containing an RCIED immediately prior to the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day “MLK Unity March.” The device was placed along the parade route. Based on preliminary forensic examinations, we assess with medium confidenceii that the IED was designed to fire directional fragmentation similar to a single shot shotgun with buckshot or cannon with a grapeshot round. We likewise assess that the device was viable and could have caused personal injury or death.
The mission of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) includes acting as a focal point regarding natural and manmade crises and emergency planning. In support of the Department’s mission, the primary mission of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is to reduce the loss of life and property and protect the Nation from all hazards, including natural disasters, acts of terrorism, and other man-made disasters, by leading and supporting the Nation in a risk-based, comprehensive emergency management system of preparedness, protection, response, recovery, and mitigation. Consistent with these missions, the Nuclear/Radiological Incident Annex to the National Response Framework (June 2008) sets forth DHS as the coordinating agency for all deliberate attacks involving nuclear/radiological materials, including radiological dispersal devices (RDDs) and improvised nuclear devices (INDs).
On 02/23/2011 Khalid Ali‐M Aldawsari (pictured left), a Saudi national currently attending college at South Plains College, near Lubbock, Texas, was arrested on federal terrorism charges. Aldawsari was charged with attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction (WMD), in connection with the alleged purchase of chemicals and equipment necessary to make an improvised explosive device (IED), in addition to research into possible U.S. based targets. Court documents advise that Aldawsari had performed internet research on how to construct an IED, using chemical components. It has also been alleged he had acquired/taken major steps in acquiring the necessary components and equipment needed to build such a device. According to court documents, on 02/01/2011 a chemical supplier reported to the FBI a suspicious purchase of concentrated phenol, by a man named Khalid Aldawsari. Although the toxic chemical phenol can have legitimate uses; it can also be used to make explosives. Concentrated sulfuric and nitric acids, beakers, flasks, clocks, wiring, and a Hazmat suit were found during 2 FBI searches of Aldawsari’s apartment.
Domestic Improvised Explosive Device (IED) Threat Overview from July 2008.
The Maryland Coordination and Analysis Center (MCAC) reports two potential incendiary devices have activated at state government buildings in Annapolis and Hanover, MD. The first device activated in the Jeffery Building’s mailroom at 16 Francis St, Annapolis; which hosts the offices of the Maryland Secretary of State and the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security. The second device activated at Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) headquarters in Hanover, MD.
On 8 December 2010, 21 year old Antonio Martinez [aka Muhammad Hussain], a recent convert to radical Islam, was arrested after he attempted to blow up a military recruiting center in Catonsville, Maryland, using what he believed was a vehicle borne improvised explosive device [VBIED]. According to the criminal complaint, Martinez came to the attention of the FBI after a confidential source informed them of the following statement he had made on his Facebook page, “Any 1 who ALLAH and HIS Prophet PEACE .Be.Upon. Him I hate u with all of my heart”.
(U) As of 29 October, packages on cargo aircraft containing explosive materials were intercepted in the United Kingdom (UK) and Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE). The packages were shipped from Yemen, with the United States listed as the final destination. On the evening of 28 October,security officials at East Midlands Airport in Lockington, UK identified a suspicious package containing a modified printer-toner cartridge that was later confirmed to contain explosives.
The Multi-Jurisdiction Improvised Explosive Device (IED) Security Plan (MJIEDSP) Planning Guide assists multi-jurisdiction areas in developing a detailed IED security plan. The IED security plan outlines specific bombing prevention actions that reduce vulnerability and mitigate risk against the primary terrorist IED attack method within a multi-jurisdiction area.