IED Primer

An examination of the precursor chemicals used in the manufacture of explosive compositions found within Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs)


H/T to Greg over at Active Response Training.

The Full Report can be Donwloaded HERE. (pdf)


Examining Terrorist Tactics: TATP and the New Breed of Homemade Explosive Devices


By Hammerhead

It appears the Homemade Explosive Device that detonated in Central Park over the 4th of July Weekend was indeed made with TATP.

The actuating trigger on the device was a pressure sensitive plate, which leads me to believe this WAS NOT a hobbyist left behind experiment, but an actual IED booby trap left behind by a TERRORIST for a cop or civilian to step on.

TATP has a long and bloody history when it comes to being used in Terrorism.

This begs the question how do we as Civilian Operators avoid being victims of such nefarious devices?


Be Aware of your surroundings at ALL times.

Do you remember that show the Electric Company back in the day? They had this bit on their called “One of these Things Don’t Belong” Basically it was an exercise to teach kids about conformity (and non-conformity). They would have like 4 dudes with red shirts and one guy with a blue shirt and then everybody would sing a little song like “Which one of these People Don’t Belong?”. Yeah Cheesy, I know. But when you are like 5 years old Television does not have to be mind-blowing to be effective…..just look at what Kid’s watch today….Good Lord!

My point in telling you that retarded story is as CO’s, we have to be AWARE of our surroundings in a manner that NOTICES things that are OUT OF PLACE. WHY? Because IED’s (like the pressure cookers that the Boston Bomber Tsaranev brothers placed in a backpack and the sack with the TATP Explosive in it in Central Park) when looked at from the perspective of “WHICH OF THESE THINGS LOOKS OUT OF PLACE? Should set off alarm bells and red lights in your head.

We have got to come to the conclusion folks that with each Terrorist attack that happens, our AWARENESS and DANGER level should automatically go up a notch. Maybe before the Boston Bombings a lone backpack sitting on the sidewalk or in  a trash can would not raise any concerns, NOW in 2016, it should send off Major Alarms! Maybe before the Central Park Explosion on the 4th of July, a Lone Sack sitting on some rocks should not raise any concern at all, NOW, present day, It should be AVOIDED like the Plague! Contact Law Enforcement of it’s location and KEEP YOUR DISTANCE!

Things are Getting BAD out there folks, Time to get Serious about Your Safety!

Stay Alert, Stay Armed and Stay Dangerous!



Military News: USMC Bomb Sniffing Dog Receives Highest Honor

Lucca is the first U.S. Marine service dog to receive the medal, considered the world’s top honor for war animals.

A bomb-sniffing U.S. Marine Corps German shepherd who survived an IED blast while on patrol in Afghanistan was awarded the world’s highest honor for service dogs on April 5.

The 12-year-old canine, named Lucca, joins a small pantheon of war animals who’ve received the prestigious People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals Dicken Medal, which has been awarded to dozens of dogs, messenger pigeons, three horses, and a cat since it was introduced in 1943. She is the first U.S. Marine Corps dog to receive the medal, considered the world’s top military honor for non-humans.

“Lucca’s conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty makes her a hugely deserving recipient of the PDSA Dickin Medal,” Jan McLoughlin, director general of the PDSA, said during a special ceremony at the Wellington Barracks in London. “Her ability and determination to seek out arms and explosives preserved human life amid some of the world’s fiercest military conflicts.”

A veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan, Lucca completed over 400 missions with American troops over the course of a six-year career. No American casualties were sustained on any of the patrols she was on.

Life on the line ended for Lucca when she was struck by a roadside bomb during a routine patrol in Afghanistan’s restive Helmand province in March 2012.


“The explosion was huge and I immediately feared the worst for Lucca,” Cpl. Juan Rodriguez, who was Lucca’s handler when she was injured, told The Telegraph. “I ran to her and saw her struggling to get up. I picked her up and ran to the shelter of a nearby tree line, applied a tourniquet to her injured leg, and called the medics to collect us.”

Lucca lost her left front leg and suffered burns to her chest as a result of the blast, but recovered quickly after a life-saving surgery.

“Through all of her treatment, and despite the pain she was in, her temperament never changed,” Rodriguez said. “Her fighting spirit was plain to see and I was so proud of how quickly she recovered.”

Lucca is now in the care of her original handler, Gunnery Sgt. Christopher Willingham, who served two tours with Lucca in Iraq before placing her in Rodriguez’s care.

Read the Original Article at Task and Purpose

Crusader Corner: How ISIS Gets it’s Bombs


Nearby farming and mining mean easy access to explosive components


Islamic State builds its improvised explosive devices using components from 51 different companies in 20 countries. That’s the startling conclusion of a new report from Conflict Armament Research.

“These findings support growing international awareness that [Islamic State] forces in Iraq and Syria are very much self-sustaining — acquiring weapons and strategic goods, such as IED components, locally and with ease,” said James Bevan, CAR’s executive director.

The group’s investigation, spanning 20 months, took researchers to Kirkuk, Mosul and Kobani alongside anti-Islamic State groups including the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Unit, the Iraqi Federation Policy and the Kurdistan Regional Security Council.

Some products Islamic State used in its IEDs are commercially available, including cell-phones and transistors. Products such as aluminum paste, urea and other chemicals as well as detonators are also widely available in the region.

CAR map


Turkey and Iraq boast large mining and agriculture industries that rely on these products. For this reason, these products are rarely, if ever, subject to transfer controls and export licensing that could help prevent such goods from moving across border with such ease.

Potential bomb components that are subject to controls, such as detonators, are still easy for Islamic State to acquired due to their popularity among farmers. “Licensing alone has not been sufficient to prevent acquisition by IS forces,” CAR reports.

Islamic State IEDs. Photo via CAR


“In all identified cases, producers have lawfully traded components with regional trade and distribution companies,” the investigation concludes.

“These companies, in turn, have sold them to smaller commercial entities. By allowing individuals and groups affiliated with IS forces to acquire components used in IEDs, these small entities appear to be the weakest link in the chain of custody.”

Due to their proximity to Islamic State territory, Turkish firms have been the main supplier of IED parts. “With 13 companies involved in the supply chain, Turkey is the most important choke point for components used in the manufacture of IEDs by IS forces,” CAR explains, adding that “proximity is a major reason why the goods traded by Iraqi and Turkish companies appear throughout the supply chains of components that IS forces use to manufacture IEDs.”

Dual-purpose technologies with civilian and military uses have long played a role in irregular warfare. In Vietnam, the Viet Cong made small bombs out of rubber bands, mason jars and drink cans. Similarly, the Irish Republican Army became highly adept at building out IEDs out of commercial materials and explosives the group smuggled from Libya.



The device the IRA used in the bombing of Brighton’s Grand Hotel on Oct. 12 1984 — Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and her cabinet were the targets — used a delay made from a video recorder and a memo park timer, which allowed for the bomb to be planted almost a month before its detonation. Five people died, but Thatcher and the cabinet survived.

In the post-9/11 wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, IEDs have become insurgents’ weapons of choice. In 2007, IEDs were responsible for three out of five combat deaths in Iraq and one in four in Afghanistan. The Pentagon’s Defense Casualty Analysis System found that in 2009, 56 percent of casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan resulted from IEDs, a figure that increased to 63 percent in 2011.

CAR’s report should make it clear — with Islamic State benefiting from an extensive, albeit informal, bomb-supply network, the IED problem is not going away.

Read the Original Article at War is Boring

IED Awareness: The Blast Zone

(Note: This is a companion piece to the article I re-posted titled IED Awareness for First Responders and Civilians.)


In this companion piece to my previous article, IED Awareness for First Responders, I cover the basics of what every first responder should know about the area around a bomb which is affected by the blast. This area is known as the blast zone.

Many are only mistakenly concerned about shrapnel, those small, solid bits and pieces of a bomb, which radiate out from the epicenter of a blast, that can kill and maim. However, there is far more to be concerned with. Many injuries and deaths associated with bombings are a result of other forces within the blast zone. Certainly, shrapnel is of great concern, as it can travel great distances at very high velocity. But one must also consider other forces within the blast zone, namely heat and over-pressure.

One characteristic behind explosives is that they instantly release great amounts of energy. Physics tells us any time that happens; a vast amount ofheat is generated and radiates outward from the blast. This is why detonation is always accompanied by a flash of light, the telltale sign of rapid energy release. The heat from this energy release can reach over one thousand degrees, and can cause severe injury and death to anybody within the blast zone. A secondary effect from such blasts is the ignition of flammable material in the area. So, first responders are not only immediately concerned with the injured, they must often contend with controlling resultant fires.

An example of heat released in the form of light. The shock wave is visible as a semi-transparent outline around the resultant light.


Read the Remainder at Medium

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