Bombs, IEDs, and Explosives: Identification, Investigation, and Disposal Techniques, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Bombs, IEDs, and Explosives

Identification, Investigation, and Disposal Techniques, 1st Edition

By Paul R. Laska

CRC Press

285 pages | 149 B/W Illus.

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pub: 2015-08-10
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A guide on procedures, administration, and equipment, Bombs, IEDs, and Explosives: Identification, Investigation, and Disposal Techniques introduces concepts, basic knowledge, and necessary skill sets for bomb technicians. It covers topics such as training resources, bomb threat and incident response, legal aspects of bomb disposal, explosives and improvised explosive devices (IEDs), bomb technology, bomb disposal equipment, and explosive evidence handling.

The book outlines where bomb squads and technicians have historically been placed within the public safety system and suggests where they should ideally fit according to their function. It details specific standard operating procedures (SOPs) for various bomb threat and response scenarios, discusses protocols for requesting and supporting a bomb squad response, and addresses legal and forensic aspects of handling and associated recordkeeping.

With the growing threat of chemical, biology, and radiological terrorism, the book recommends a stronger alliance of bomb disposal and hazardous materials response teams. Such alliances—in conjunction with increased interorganizational coordination between public safety divisions, such as police and fire departments—will lead to more effective responses to incidents and threats.

The field of bomb disposal is constantly evolving. Bombers and bombmakers, especially those associated with terrorist organizations, study emergency responses to incidents to modify their devices for increased effectiveness. This book stresses the need for flexibility and creativity in response. Bombs, IEDs, and Explosives provides a ready reference on a wide variety of technical, administrative, and legal information that makes it indispensable to bomb disposal professionals and units.

Table of Contents

Bomb Disposal and Investigation within the Public Safety Field

A Short History of Bomb Disposal

What Is Bomb Disposal

Bomb Disposal Organization

Training and Training Resources

Legal Aspects of Bomb Disposal

Bomb Incident Responses

Bomb Threats

Suspicious Item Response

Postblast Response

Tactical Support

Explosives and Bomb Technology

Technical Aspects of Explosives

Manufactured Explosive Materials

Improvised Explosives

Bomb Technology

Bomb Disposal Equipment

Commercial Products

Improvisation of Equipment

Response Concepts and Considerations

The Gunpowder Plot

Suspicious Items/Device Response

Vehicle Responses

Fire and Medical Support

Tactical Support Responses

Suicide/Surrogate Bombers

Weapons of Mass Destruction Response

Explosives Disposal

Event and VIP Support

Military Ordnance

Bomb Disposal and Explosive Detection Canines

Explosive Evidence Handling

Documentation and Record Keeping

The Mad Bomber

Looking Ahead

Case Study 1: Mass Murder

Case Study 2: Explosive and Ordnance Cache


Case Study 3: Post Blast Investigation of a Clandestine Explosives Factory


Case Study 4: International Delivery of a Chemical Device

Case Study 5: 1300 Miles of Contract Bombings

Appendix A: Listing of Explosives—Manufactured and Improvised

Appendix B: Explosive Precursors

About the Author


Paul R. Laska holds a BS in criminology from Florida State University. He served with the police department of Belle Glade, Florida as an identification officer until moving to the Martin County Sheriff’s Office as a detective with the Crime Scene Unit. In 1979, he attended the Hazardous Devices School and then established the bomb disposal function for the MCSO. In his 25-year career in Martin County he was a crime scene investigator, fingerprint specialist, bomb technician, bomb squad commander, supervisor of the Forensic Science and Records Units, and environmental investigator. Since his retirement he has been active in the United States Department of State Anti-Terrorism Assistance Program as an instructor in postblast investigation and explosives incident countermeasures classes. He has also published a number of articles for a variety of law enforcement and other public safety periodicals.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LAW / Forensic Science
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Freedom & Security / Terrorism