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Homeland Security

Bomb Making Materials Awareness Program

The Bomb-Making Materials Awareness Program (BMAP) is a national program developed by the Department’s Office for Bombing Prevention and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). BMAP outreach materials are distributed by local law enforcement to local businesses to help employees more easily identify homemade explosives precursor chemicals and improvised explosive device (IED) components, and recognize suspicious purchasing behavior that could indicate potential bomb-making activities.

BMAP also encourages a stronger relationship between businesses and local law enforcement agencies, reinforcing the foundation of effective community safety and security.

IEDs Can Be Made With Everyday Products

Common Homemade Explosives Precursor Chemicals

BMAP also works to increase public and private sector awareness of how to identify and prevent bomb-making activity. Powerful explosives can be made from precursor chemicals found in common consumer goods that are readily available commercially, making them highly attractive to terrorists attempting to avoid the obstacles to obtaining conventional explosives. Homemade explosives were used in several high-profile incidents, such as the 2005 London transit attacks, the 2001 Richard Reid "shoe bomb" plot, and the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing.

Reporting Suspicious Behavior Is Key to Prevention

Employees Are the First Line of Defense. The importance of educating employees at the point of sale cannot be overstated, as this is the best way to ensure early detection of the sale of precursor chemicals to suspect individuals. Employees' ability to recognize and report behaviors indicative of potential homemade explosive-related activity is crucial to the possible prevention of an IED attack.

Testimony during the trial of the London bombing conspirators revealed that beauty supply clerks who sold them bulk quantities of precursor chemicals did not recognize the implications of this purchasing behavior and did not know how to report the incident.

BMAP Benefits

  • Private sector point-of-sale awareness
  • Law enforcement/private sector partnerships
  • Community-based policing
  • Free, secure access to training & awareness materials

To obtain BMAP materials, contact the Office for Bombing Prevention.

By e-mail:

Office for Bombing Prevention

To report suspicious behavior, please contact your local police department or the Joint Terrorism Task Force immediately.

Last Published Date: September 11, 2014
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