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Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs)

A terrorist attack on the United States remains a significant and pressing threat.  Improvised explosive devices (IEDs) remain the terrorist weapon of choice due to their relative ease of construction, availability, and destructive capacity.

Enhancing Counter-IED Capabilities

The Department’s Office for Bombing Prevention leads and coordinates DHS efforts to enhance the nation’s counter-IED capabilities and reduce the threat of explosive attack against critical infrastructure, the private sector, and federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial entities.  The Office for Bombing Prevention offers a focused portfolio of specialized programs aimed at national and intergovernmental bombing prevention efforts; requirements, capabilities, and gap analysis; and IED awareness and information sharing.

Collaborating to Enhance Prevention Capabilities

The Department has long recognized IEDs as a significant and enduring transnational threat and was instrumental in the implementation of Homeland Security Presidential Directive 19, Combating Terrorist Use of Explosives in the United States, and the development of Presidential Policy Directive 17, Countering Improvised Explosive Devices.

Working collaboratively with Federal agencies, State and local partners, private businesses, the public, and international partners to counter IEDs, DHS has conducted national assessments of bomb squads, explosive detection canine, special weapons and tactics (SWAT), and public safety dive teams to mitigate capability gaps; as well as assisted state and local governments with the development of IED security plans to enhance and coordinate their bombing prevention capabilities.

The Department has also expanded awareness of the IED threat and counter-IED information among federal, state, local, territorial, and private sector partners, and enhanced their ability to recognize suspicious behavior indicative of bomb-making activity through training and other information sharing initiatives.

Other Department Resources

Science and Technology Directorate Explosives Division
National Strategy for CBRNE Standards
Technical Resource for Incident Prevention (TRIPwire)
FEMA - U.S. Fire Administration

Last Published Date: May 24, 2021

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