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ISSN 2050-6732 (Print) ISSN 2050-6740 (Online)

Counter-IED Report Autumn 2021

MILENG, EOD, AND C-IED: THE ONLY OPTION IS INTEROPERABILITY ONLINE AND OFFLINE: ISLAMIC STATE'S USE OF INTERNET COMMERCE AND FAMILY NETWORKS FOR PROCURING IED-RELATED MATERIALS IMPORTANCE OF ELECTROMAGNETIC COMPLIANCE FOR BOMB SUITS AND HELMETS REPURPOSED DANGER FROM OLD WEAPONS: IMPROVISED USE OF CLUSTER MUNITIONS TOWARDS A BETTER UNDERSTANDING OF NEAR-FIELD EXPLOSIONS NEW ISCAP ATTACK TTPS, BENI, DRC VBIEDS – SCREENING VEHICLES WITH PORTABLE X-RAY SCANNERS EXPLOSIVE ORDNANCE DISPOSAL / IMPROVISED EXPLOSIVE DEVICES DISPOSAL EQUIPMENT CATALOGUE E-D-M CONCEPT IN IED RECOVERY: REDEFINING COUNTER MEASURES TECHNICAL EXPLOITATION IN WATER ENVIRONMENT: DO NOT LET WATER SILENCE EVIDENCE!


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REPORT CONTRIBUTORS

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CONTENTS

CONTENTS

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ICOR TECHNOLOGY

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GARRETT METAL DETECTORS

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MED-ENG – A BRAND OF SAFARILAND GROUP

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FOREWORD By Rob Hyde-Bales, Consulting Editor, Counter-IED Report

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MILENG, EOD, AND C-IED: THE ONLY OPTION IS INTEROPERABILITY By Colonel (DEU-A) Ludwig Thorsten, Director MILENG COE

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TELEDYNE ICM

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SECUREONE INTERNATIONAL BV - UVISCAN

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NP AEROSPACE

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ONLINE AND OFFLINE: ISLAMIC STATE'S USE OF INTERNET COMMERCE AND FAMILY NETWORKS FOR PROCURING IED-RELATED MATERIALS By Mike Lewis, Conflict Armament Research (CAR)

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COUNTER-IED REPORT, Autumn 2021


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CONTENTS

CONTENTS

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IMPORTANCE OF ELECTROMAGNETIC COMPLIANCE FOR BOMB SUITS AND HELMETS By Doug Wong1, Jean-Philippe Dionne1, Aris Makris1, Alex Leask2, Trevor Yensen2 1

Med-Eng, 2 Allen-Vanguard

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3DX-RAY LTD

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EUROSATORY 2022

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REPURPOSED DANGER FROM OLD WEAPONS: IMPROVISED USE OF CLUSTER MUNITIONS By Lieutenant Colonel Jose M Rufas, Chief of Attack the Networks Branch, C-IED Centre of Excellence

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TOWARDS A BETTER UNDERSTANDING OF NEAR-FIELD EXPLOSIONS By Dr Sam Clarke, Prof. Andy Tyas, Prof. Genevieve Langdon and Dr Sam Rigby - The University of Sheffield

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DSEI JAPAN 2022

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NEW ISCAP ATTACK TTPS, BENI, DRC By Chief Superintendent (ret.) Michael Cardash Terrogence Senior CIED Analyst / Author of Mobius reports

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COUNTER-IED REPORT, Autumn 2021


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CONTENTS

CONTENTS

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VBIEDS – SCREENING VEHICLES WITH PORTABLE X-RAY SCANNERS By Tony Kingham, journalist and PR consultant

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EXPLOSIVE ORDNANCE DISPOSAL / IMPROVISED EXPLOSIVE DEVICES DISPOSAL EQUIPMENT CATALOGUE By LTC (Ret.) Ing. Libor Nyéki, NATO EOD Centre of Excellence, Slovakia

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MILIPOL ASIA-PACIFIC 2022

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E-D-M CONCEPT IN IED RECOVERY: REDEFINING COUNTER MEASURES By Ashwani Gupta

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TECHNICAL EXPLOITATION IN WATER ENVIRONMENT: DO NOT LET WATER SILENCE EVIDENCE! By Lieutenant Colonel Jose M Rufas, Chief of Attack the Networks Branch, C-IED Centre of Excellence

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FOREWORD

FOREWORD By Rob Hyde-Bales, Consulting Editor, Counter-IED Report

G

lobally during 2021 to date, the Covid-19 pandemic continues to extract a deadly toll in both deaths and serious illness. Currently the global death toll from the pandemic approaches five million. The developing world, predictably, is suffering most seriously from the pandemic. Wealthier developed nations have implemented national Covid vaccination programmes – some more successfully than others. In this respect the United Kingdom has put in place a highly successful programme with most of the population now having received a double dose of the vaccination. The developing world, however, cannot afford such a vaccination programme and is suffering accordingly. Scientists opine that no nation will be safe from Covid-19 until the global population has been vaccinated – a massive task that will require significant assistance for the developing nations. The most significant security event of the year has been the US withdrawal from Afghanistan after almost twenty years of combat operations with mixed results. As the US withdrew, so did other nations, including the United Kingdom. In 2020 former US President Trump cut a deal with the Taliban that foresaw the departure of US troops in May 2021. Significantly this agreement was reached in the absence of the Afghan government which did not augur well for the deal, and so it transpired. Trump’s successor, President Joe Biden revised the departure date to 9/11 this year, the twentieth anniversary of the Twin Towers and other

Al Qaeda bombings in the United States. In the event, the last US troops departed Kabul airport on 30 August. It had been a chaotic and rushed departure. During August, the Taliban completely occupied Afghanistan – all the provincial capitals were captured within two weeks. Nobody, including the Taliban, had foreseen such a dramatic, rapid, and total collapse of the Afghan government, its armed forces and police and security services. The fact was that Afghanistan had developed a culture of near total dependency on the West, particularly on the United States. This combined with stratospheric levels of corruption throughout Afghanistan led to the very rapid collapse of the country. During the rushed Western withdrawal, a major consideration was the evacuation of Western nationals and Afghans who had supported the West during the war. Western nations undertook this evacuation with a large measure of success. Unfortunately, not all eligible Afghans could be evacuated. The IED continued to plague the country virtually until the Western evacuation was complete. Tragically on 26 August a suicide bomber detonated a PBIED by a Kabul airport gate that killed thirteen US military personnel and more than one hundred Afghans. These were the final US deaths in their Afghan war and provided a tragic epitaph for the longest US war to date. It is now up to the Taliban to govern the recently renamed Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan and the

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FOREWORD

weeks since the western departure have revealed major problems in this respect. The Taliban predictably do not have the skills or experience to administer a country and they will require much external support. It remains to be seen whether or not they will permit secondary education for females, and this will be a major benchmark of progress and consequent support as far as the West is concerned. In his informative article Colonel Ludwig Thorsten, Director of the NATO affiliated Military Engineering Centre of Excellence in Germany, emphasizes the necessity for interoperability between the functions of Military Engineering (MILENG), Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) and Counter – IED, drawing on the expertise and experience of the three associated Centres of Excellence (COEs) – MILENG, EOD and CIED. He explains that Military Engineering incorporates five areas of expertise – Engineering, EOD, Environmental Protection, Military Search and Management of Infrastructure. Both MILENG and EOD are critical enablers of Counter-IED. The COEs undertake an extensive range of activities in support of NATO. These include teaching courses using innovative methods including distance learning. Additionally, a regular programme of demonstrations, trials, conferences, and seminars takes place. It is essential to maintain a close nexus between C-IED,

component of Home-Made Explosive. The paste was destined for IS forces in Syria. Over the next two years CAR found and photographed over a hundred drums of this aluminium paste in neighbouring Iraq – all from the same dealer in Istanbul. IS has developed sophisticated procedures, international supply chains and below the radar payment procedures in their quest for IED manufacturing materials. To conduct their business, they rely on online anonymity and offline security provided by closely knit family groups. IS registered a company in the UK to facilitate business with component and technology suppliers in North America, Europe, and Asia. The author points out the need for key industries that may inadvertently be involved in the IED supply chain, particularly those close to regions of conflict to be sensitised to IS and other terrorist groups’ IED materials procurement patterns. Based on this detailed research by CAR it is suggested that global customs and security services also need to be aware of, monitor and disrupt such procurement patterns. In their timely article the authors of Med-Eng, Canada and Allen-Vanguard, Canada emphasise the importance of electromagnetic compliance for bomb suits and helmets worn by bomb technicians. Such compliance is critical given the ever-increasing use by insurgents and terrorists of command-initiated Radio-

EOD and MILENG in NATO. As the author explains, the best way to centralise expertise is a permanent forum for information exchange and interoperability between nations and NATO organisations. Close interaction between the three COEs is essential to address the continuing existential threat to NATO – the Improvised Explosive Device. Mike Lewis of Conflict Armament Research (CAR) in his thought-provoking article provides a detailed account of the sophisticated use by the Islamic State (IS) of internet commerce and close family networks in their efforts to procure IED production materials. He describes a case in point based on a southern Turkish town close to the border with Syria. In 2014 a customer in this town using a mobile phone shop as a front address purchased from a major chemicals dealer in Istanbul six tonnes of leafing aluminium paste – a key

Controlled IEDs (RCIEDs) which necessitates protection against the threat of Radio Frequency (RF) initiated IEDs.The primary means of mitigating this threat to bomb technicians is the use of high energy Electronic Counter-Measures (ECM). Such ECM are designed to create a protective “safe bubble” around the bomb technician that blocks RF signals designed to initiate the RCIED. However, such high energy ECM may cause damage to electrical equipment carried by the technician. Strict military standards tests are required to minimise damage from Electromagnetic Interference (EMI). In the past, certain EOD helmets were not intentionally designed to give such protection. The authors describe a series of tests undertaken by Med-Eng and Allen-Vanguard to ensure optimal functionality and safety against RF threats. These include standard electromagnetic tests on bomb suits

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FOREWORD

and helmets and representative tests against an actual jamming device. The use of equipment that is not suitably shielded and validated in a RCIED render safe mission or within range of ECM radiation may place the bomb technician at risk due to the premature detonation of an IED or the malfunction of electronic equipment used during the mission. The NATO EOD Centre of Excellence in Slovakia provides details of its Explosive Ordnance Disposal/ Improvised Explosive Devices Disposal Equipment Catalogue. The aim of the Catalogue is to provide details of EOD equipment for EOD specialists. It also provides information on the EOD/IEDD equipment market to assist the procurement process. Access to details of innovative technologies together with operators’ practical experience and the opportunity for manufacturers to present their products and highlight the latest updates and technical progress to the EOD community are part of this unique publication. The Centre maintains the operational functionality of the document together with regular data updates to its online platform. It comprises various sections – Equipment Producers, EOD Institutions, Detectors, Remotely Operated Vehicles, Protection, Tools, Active Materials and Discussion Forums and is updated annually. A future planned innovation will incorporate users’ opinions on equipment. Finally, opinions will be

capabilities of their products and to help them improve these capabilities. The team is in the process of building an experimental facility to address two key challenges in blast protection engineering. Firstly, synthesising understanding of the loading of the structural/material response when a high explosive detonation occurs very close to the target. Secondly, mapping the blast loading in complex environments where the shielding and channelling of shock waves will lead to complex loading and damage patterns. The author describes the state-of-the art equipment destined for the laboratory which will include a dedicated blast chamber permitting the internal detonation of up to 1 kg of high explosive. The new laboratory will permit enhanced diagnostics capabilities to unlock new ways to protect against explosive threats. ■

sought from Catalogue users covering user satisfaction and the opportunity make proposals for future Catalogue development. Dr Sam Clark, a Senior Lecturer at the University of Sheffield in the UK, describes the work of his team in a detailed technical paper, Towards a Better Understanding of Near-Field Explosions. To date much of the work in characterising the output of explosives has focussed on massive explosions and large standoff distances. The asymmetric attacks that we face today are characterised by close-proximity explosions targeted to cause maximum damage. The paper points out that today’s understanding of near-field loading, where the expanding fireball is still driving the shock wave is not as well established as that of traditional far-field loading. The aim of the current research is to help industry to better understand the protective

in Libya and, more latterly, Afghanistan in the running of the first United Nations humanitarian landmine clearance training programme – Operation Salam. The programme trained Afghan male refugees in landmine clearance techniques, and Afghan women and children in mine awareness and avoidance training. More recently he set up the Caribbean Search Centre in Kingston, Jamaica. The Centre is designed to train security forces across the Caribbean in modern search techniques. After retiring from the army he joined Cranfield University at Shrivenham, near Oxford, and undertook a research project on behalf of the UK Ministry of Defence that examined ways to improve the sharing of IED threat information between the military and civilian organisations in hazardous areas.

Rob Hyde-Bales biography During his career in the UK Royal Engineers, Rob Hyde-Bales was responsible for landmine clearance

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