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Dr. Salma Abbasi, David Oliver US Correspondent

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Mariel Tabora Foulds CBNW Xplosive is published by React Media Publishing, 15 Heritage House, Chase Side, London N14 5BT, UK. Telephone: +44 20 8886 2133 E-mail:

Printed by The Manson Group, 8 Porters Wood, Valley Road Industrial Estate, St Albans AL3 6PZ Tel: 01727 848440 ISSN 2059-7894. © React Media Publishing 2016. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be used, reproduced, stored in an information retrieval system or transmitted in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of React Media. This publication has been prepared wholly upon information supplied by the contributors and while the publishers trust that its contents will be of interest to readers, its accuracy cannot be guaranteed. The publishers are unable to accept, and hereby expressly disclaim any liability for the consequences of any inaccuracies, errors or omissions in such information whether occurring during the processing of such information for publication or otherwise. No representations, whether within the meaning of the Misrepresentation Act 1967 or otherwise, warranties or endorsements of any information contained herein are given or intended and full verification of all information appearing in the publication of the articles contained herein does not necessarily imply that any opinions therein are necessarily those of the publishers.


COVER Neutralizing an IED by hand ©Chris Hunter

Andy Oppenheimer looks at current trends in terrorism and the need for resilience. 08 SCORCHED EARTH

Andy Oppenheimer reviews ISIS deployment of IEDs in a summer of carnage. 12 STOCK OF COURAGE

Chris Hunter describes what it’s like to be up close and personal to an IED. 16 DEADLY SACRIFICE

Frank G. Rando explains how to respond to suicide bombings.



David Oliver looks at Afghanistan’s fragile future. 24 PROTECTING THE ATO

Brian Clesham and Richard Mead highlight new ways to protect against CBRN and explosives. 30 INTERVIEW: LASTING ENDEAVOR

CBNW Xplosive meets Sean Bielat, CEO of Endeavor Robotics. 34 COUNTRY PROFILE: CAMBODIA

Anna Paternnosto relates achievements in mine clearance in Cambodia. 37 ATATÜRK ATTACK

Robert Shaw describes the Atatürk Airport bombing and incursion of ISIS into Turkey. 40 KEEP YOUR POWDER DRY

Dr. A. Roxana Nicolaescu puts the case for dry reagent colorimetric systems for HME detection. 43 COLOUR MATCH



Kim Pricenski examines colorimetric chemistry in explosives detection.


Jasper Schoenmakers describes the invaluable role of dogs in countering IEDs. 50 KICKING OVER THE TRACES

Clint Wichert and Chris Skrocki outline explosives trace detection. 54 THE MOTHER OF SATAN

Charles C. Harb and Andrzej W. Miziolek present emerging technology for TATP analysis. 58 INTERVIEW: X-RAY EYES

David Oliver talks to Laurent Colson of Teledyne ICM about portable X-ray systems. 60 SEVERE AND SUBSTANTIAL

Andy Oppenheimer reviews the IED threat from dissident Irish Republican groups.





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WHEN, NOT IF Paris, San Bernadino, Brussels, Ankara, Orlando, Istanbul, Nice, Munich, Ansbach, St-Étienne-du-Rouvray: by the time I've finished writing this, there will, sadly, be more. Since our first edition last autumn the roll call of terrorist events is too long to document here. Attacks intensified to at least one a week, with the modus operandi to take lives and limbs becoming ever more varied, including more use of guns and knives, or combinations of bombs and bullets, and in Nice in July, an articulated truck. There were three such incidents in Germany in one week in July. A failed Syrian asylum seeker self-detonated and injured 12 people with a backpack IED near a festival in the south German town of Ansbach. A teenage gunman killed nine people in Munich. An Afghan refugee armed with an axe injured four people on a train. Somewhat overshadowed were attacks elsewhere in that same week: more than 80 people were killed and hundreds injured in a massive bombing in Kabul, claimed by ISIS, on 24 July, and an ISIS suicide bomb attack killed more than 20 in Baghdad – where on 12 May over 100 were killed in one of the worst attacks, even for there, in years. After each atrocity come the endless questions about why it is happening with such regularity and ferocity, and how we can stop it. An ever-growing number of attackers are not integrated into society and often come from a criminal, maladjusted underclass. The poisonous ISIS message, on all media, is also being used as a flag of convenience for severely disturbed individuals. And motives are not always clear. The Munich gunman was thought to be ISIS-connected but then said to be obsessed with the mass killings by right-wing extremist Anders Breivik five years ago. We are ever more dependent on the invaluable and constant work of the authorities and intelligence services to pre-empt attacks and trace supply chains for weapons, explosives and accomplices. French intelligence was warned that one of the perpetrators of the lethal knife attack on an a priest in St-Etienne-du-Rouvray, Normandy, on 26 July, was about to strike four days before, and that his accomplice had passed a background check to become, of all things, an airport baggage handler – and was reportedly wearing an electronic tag which was turned off each morning to allow him a “break” from probation. In this our second issue, we present The immediate priority now is resilience, following a star cast of experts in the the warning in July by London Metropolitan forefront of counter-IED. Chris Police Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe Hunter vividly describes what it means that the risk of an attack in Britain is a question to take the bomb tech’s Long Walk; Robert of “when, not if.” The response teams must Shaw analyzes the suicide-bombing at Atatürk deal not only with varied means of attack – Airport; we review the use of IEDs by ISIS; often with commonly acquired weapons as well as homemade IEDs – but, as ever, with country focus is on EOD training in Afghanistan their ghastly outcome. Response may take and mine clearance in Cambodia; special more novel forms: in one of many mass attention is devoted to explosives detection, shootings in the US, Dallas police deployed and on protection for EOD teams; Frank G. an EOD robot’s manipulator arm to fire Rando offers ways to respond to the prime off an explosive charge at an active shooter threat of the suicide bomber, and David who killed five police officers and wounded Oliver interviews leading equipment firms seven others. Whatever governments try to do Endeavor and Teledyne. And as ever, to stem the flow of blood exacted by terrorism, we extend our thanks to all of you it is the responders who have to deal with it in who work so hard to help all its terrible forms. ✺ keep us safe.




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The military onslaught on ISIS is being met with hundreds of booby trap IEDs and mortars in large areas of ISIS-controlled territory in Iraq, as well as a substantial increase in suicide bombings in the Middle East and beyond


SIS military leaders are reverting to guerrilla warfare to prolong the war as before with their forebears, al-Qaeda in Iraq, and other insurgents. This follows the retreat from Tikrit, Sinjar and Palmyra where ISIS used snipers, booby traps and IEDs. Kurdish-led forces dismantled roughly 1,000 IEDs in Sinjar after routing the terrorists. ISIS is deploying ‘daisy chain’ IEDs that produce with snipers targeting EOD techs: the widely spread webs of IEDs, connected to one trigger wire, produce an explosive domino effect which acts as a force multiplier against advancing forces or anyone who ventures into these areas. It is also the oft-tried-and-tested basic principle of asymmetric warfare: insurgents holding onto territory – in this case, whole cities – against overwhelming troop numbers, by denying them safe entry through IED emplacement. The combination of conventional, guerrilla and terrorist tactics also makes ISIS arguably unique among terrorist groups and especially hard to beat beyond the short term. Its hold on local populations and infrastructure, financing from multiple sources such as oil and human trafficking, and as yet unrivalled Internet-based recruitment and propaganda, makes ISIS a

long-term threat over and above military defeat and reoccupation of ISIS-held areas.

Some circuits and chemicals used in ISIS IEDs in Libya.

Suicide-homicide bombings As ISIS is forced onto the back foot in Iraq, it is continuing its campaign of attacking civilians and locations with massive suicide bombings. As with previous and simultaneous violent jihadist groups, person-borne and vehicle-borne suicide IEDs (PBIEDs and VBIEDs) are the standard and constant tactic against fortifications, for demoralising the enemy, and for terrorising civilians. This was seen in one of the worst single attacks in years. Just one week after the Iraqis reclaimed the all-important city of Fallujah from the terrorists at least 165 were killed and 225 injured in a huge explosion claimed by ISIS, when a lorry bomb exploded on a busy street in the mainly Shia Karrada district of Baghdad. A second roadside bomb was detonated in the suburb of Sha'ab, killing at least five. At least 28 suicide bombings were launched during the end stage of the battle for Ramadi, 96 km west of Baghdad, which remained uninhabited after the ISIS retreat and surrounded by farmland that ISIS infested with IEDs, particularly ©Ayman Oghanna for BuzzFeed News

©Asian Defence News

roadside bombs. These included a new layer of devices containing even more powerful explosives alongside its earlier ‘spring planting’ in the area, and have left in homes petrol cans filled with explosives. As for the trigger mechanism, TODAY THEY’RE USING CELLPHONE IEDS. BY THE TIME WE FIGURE OUT HOW TO STOP THAT, THEY’LL HAVE THE NEXT THING AMMAR SADOUN, EOD ENGINEER ADVISING ON OPERATIONS IN RAMADI, IRAQ

Iraqi EOD engineer Ammar Sadoun said: “Today they’re using cellphone IEDs. By the time we figure out how to stop that, they’ll have the next thing.” This is set to be repeated as Iraqi and other forces fight to re-take Mosul, occupied by ISIS since summer 2014 and where several old CBRN research and storage centres are located, reportedly providing access to radiological materials. In tune with the ISIS use of psychological warfare, many of the IEDs have been laced with chlorine. In Fallujah, undergoing the all-important intense battle to retake it from ISIS through June, the only safe port opened for families by the security forces was booby-trapped by ISIS.

A Peshmerga fighter covers his ears after a Kurdish EOD team detonates a car filled with explosives following the capture of the northern Iraqi town of Mullah Abdullah from ISIS.

Supply and training In early June the Conflict Armament Research group published a report stating that ISIS had developed a quick and effective supply chain for chemicals, fuses and cell phones –






components regularly used in the construction of IEDs that are not subject to traditional arms export controls because of their viable commercial and industrial uses. The terrorists can acquire many of these items in weeks from legal sales in neighbouring countries. Turkey is a choke-point for many IED parts, particularly key chemicals such as ammonia nitrate, aluminium and petroleum jelly. In many cases, these components have legal documentation for sale, but are then exported illegally into Iraq and Syria. At least 51 companies in 20 countries have been linked to IEDs deployed by ISIS. In January 2016 highly sophisticated training videos were obtained by Sky News, handed over by the Free Syrian Army (FSA) who had captured an ISIS trainer with the material. The eight hours of video footage shows weapons experts training ISIS operatives to modify heat-seeking warheads capable of targeting passenger jets, and to fashion remotely controlled vehicles as mobile bombs, with lifelike mannequin ‘drivers’ fitted with self-regulating thermostats to produce the same heat signature given off by a human driver. A large THE APPEARANCE OF THESE COMPONENTS IN POSSESSION OF [ISIS] FORCES, AS LITTLE AS ONE MONTH FOLLOWING THEIR LAWFUL SUPPLY TO COMMERCIAL ENTITIES IN THE REGION, SPEAKS TO A LACK OF MONITORING BY NATIONAL GOVERNMENTS AND COMPANIES ALIKE CONFLICT ARMAMENT RESEARCH, LONDON, JUNE 2016



range of explosives are shown, with a Different connectors are also being used in RCIEDs and booby-trapped high level of advanced improvisation. IEDs in other arenas. Trainees are from Syria, Iraq, Sudan, Somalia, Tunisia, Egypt and Pakistan and the courses are in Summer of carnage facilities based in the ISIS ‘capital’ On 5 June Intelligence chiefs warned of Raqqa in Syria, under attack by about “a summer of carnage” after coalition forces. Even if Raqqa is retrieving data from the laptops and recaptured, concerns persist as mobile phones of terror suspects to how far the training Mohamed Abrini, the “man in has reached the the hat” linked to the This mortar-type growing number of Brussels bombings in device used in an attack on Kafr Zita in ISIS supporters beyond March which killed 32, northern Syria in April 2014 the MENA regions. and Salah Abdeslam. was claimed to have contained chlorine, as the markings indicate the container has chlorine gas inside it. The Syrian government claimed the al-Qaeda group Jabhat al-Nusra launched the attack.

IEDs in Libya From March to late May 2016, according to a Mobius report from intelligence service Terrogence, scores of IEDs planted by ISIS in the Libyan city of Derna after their retreat from the city have been neutralized by the Mujahideen Shura Council (MSC). The IED initiation system booby traps are mainly clothespin-based tripwire traps. One example used a two-prong plug and socket to connect between the detonator and battery system and the clothespin. A similar item was documented in a ‘sticky bomb’ attached to the undercarriage of the vehicle of a retired colonel in April. Plug and socket connectors are commonly used in the initiation systems of the IED as protective mechanisms during their transportation, assembly and arming.

Both are accused of being involved in last November’s Paris atrocity, in which 130 people died. The tried and tested M.O. of PBIEDs extends beyond the ISIS main military arena, as witnessed by the attacks in Brussels and Paris before – and in shootings such as the mass killing in an Orlando nightclub on 12 June, in which 49 were killed and 53 injured. And other simplistic M.O. are being employed, most notably the driving of a rented truck – not the emplacement of a truck bomb – into crowds celebrating Bastille Day in Nice on 14 July, killing 84 and injuring over 200. National head of counterterrorism policing Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley has warned they Daesh is likely planning a "spectacular" attack in the UK, and that there was evidence was "trying to build bigger attacks" globally, including in the UK. From massive emplacement of IEDs, mass shootings and vehicle attacks, ISIS is dug in for some time to come and exerting maximum lethality – on all fronts. ✺

©Brown Moses blog


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Here an IED is being neutralized by hand.

All photos ©Chris Hunter


n late 1996, several months after my first tour as a young Army Troop Commander in Bosnia ended, I was driving into the British Army’s HQ in Northern Ireland and witnessed two deadly IRA car bombs explode in a packed car park inside the barracks. It was rush hour, so as you can imagine, the first bomb caused numerous injuries; the second exploded a few minutes later, this time outside the medical



centre. It had been placed there deliberately to target the wounded. I was truly sickened by the callousness of the attacks, but hugely inspired by the bravery of the bomb disposal operators who searched the remaining hundreds of parked cars by hand while those at risk were busy being evacuated. That was the moment I decided I was going to be a bomb technician. That moment was my calling.

Learning the tradecraft Over the years I endeavoured to learn my tradecraft inside out, first pitting my wits against the criminals, cranks and domestic terrorists on the British mainland, before finally graduating to the Provisional IRA – the world’s leading bomb-makers. After cutting my teeth with the IRA, I spent a further four years as a bomb technician with the Special Forces. Walking up to a terrorist bomb



Battling against some of the world’s most hardened and technically advanced bomb makers – and knowing that death is often inches away – are the counter-terrorism operators drawn from law enforcement and intelligence circles who have one of the most challenging jobs in some of the most dangerous places on earth. Not only do they have to find and neutralise every deadly device they encounter; their perilous profession also requires them to investigate and exploit every piece of available evidence at a bomb scene.


and neutralising it is one of the most gratifying experiences imaginable. When you and your team witness the truly terrible effects of a terrorist bomb and the devastating effect it has on people’s lives it really is heartbreaking. But when one is found and you are able to make it safe, and prevent that scene of carnage from recurring, there’s no feeling like it. It’s also one of the most exciting and adrenalin fuelled ‘rushes’ I’ve ever

experienced, and those two aspects combined made it a potent and very addictive vocation. The world’s most dangerous place On 8 May 2004 we’d neutralised three bombs in Southern Iraq over the course of the day and had been out on the ground for over 16 hours without a break. Just as we were entering the city, my team and I were ambushed in one of the most terrifying incidents I’d ever experienced. But as the bullets and grenades exploded into life around us, and in spite of our natural instinct to want to curl up in the foot-wells of our vehicles, we realised that the only way we’d stand any chance of survival was to overcome the paralysing fear and take the fight back to the enemy. I was convinced that my team and I would probably all be killed, but when you’re staring death in the face, it’s amazing how natural the body’s desire to survive really is. We took a deep breath, summed up a deep dark fury from the pits of our stomachs and violently fought fire with fire. Miraculously, we all managed to come out of it alive. But the next morning we had to go straight back out to deal with more bombs – and had to drive through the ambush site again. There wasn’t time to get over the shock; it was truly unsettling. On reflection, not only did I realize that life is finite. I also realised the true importance of staying focused and keeping your sense of humour when things go pear-shaped. The Long Walk Obviously, being ambushed and shot at was extremely traumatic but

every bomb I walked up to was also highly stressful. As you take that long walk up to the IED, often carrying in excess of 150 lbs (68 kg) of equipment, your pulse is racing and every sense is on full alert. You clear your mind of all day-to-day nonsense and focus solely on the bomb. Where it is, how it might be constructed, and what the bombmaker who designed that attack is trying to achieve. Is he trying to kill innocent civilians? Is he trying to kill the police or members of the security forces; or is he trying to kill me? The device might just be an obvious come-on that’s been placed to lure me into the area so that I can be killed by something more sinister. In essence, you’re playing a game of extreme chess with the bomber every time you take that long walk. But while you never fixate on death or failure – ever – in the back of your mind you have to maintain a healthy measure of paranoia...because at any moment you know that your time or luck could run out. Total failure or complete success... Then, when you reach the bomb, you can feel the drumbeat of your heart rhythmically pounding away as you examine the bomb’s circuitry, following the bird’s-nest loop of wires obsessively with your eyes until it makes sense. Only then can you cut in to the deadly device and make it safe. Total failure or complete success... I suppose the real question is what makes EOD operators continue doing the job? There’s something immensely gratifying about neutralising a weapon designed to kill and maim large numbers of people. Not a single day goes by now when somebody isn’t killed





The author pictured on operations in Afghanistan.


by an IED. Every device I could neutralise took me one step closer to tracing and bringing down the groups responsible. But I guess that the biggest, most powerful incentive was the buzz. Rendering safe a terrorist bomb is probably the most exciting thing I’ve ever done without getting arrested. Standing at the cliff’s edge It comes at a cost, of course. One minute you’re standing at the cliff’s edge, just you and the bomb, pushing it to the max; the next you’re at home with your wife and kids, trying to come down and be normal again. And if you’re living on the edge, eventually you’re going to go all the way over. If you’re lucky, you see the signs and decide it’s time to pull back and step away. But maybe by then it’s already too late. It’s worth noting that the number of soldiers who died through suicide or who received open verdicts after returning home from the Falklands is more than a third of the 237 who were lost there in action. An investigation by BBC Panorama also revealed that 21 serving soldiers and 29 veterans were thought to have committed suicide in 2012, a number that exceeds the 40 soldiers who died fighting over in Afghanistan during the same period. And there are more ex-military in prison, on parole or serving community sentences than are currently deployed in Afghanistan. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a very real phenomenon.




In Libya

Bomb hunting

Stock of courage But on the plus side, the more we are exposed to stress and trauma, the more resilience we build up, and the higher our tolerance – or stock of courage – to it, becomes. I definitely witnessed far more traumatic experiences after Bosnia, in places such as Iraq, Afghanistan and during the 7/7 bombings. But, by recognising my critical levels of tolerance to stress, and by learning to rationalise what I witnessed and experienced, I seem to have learned to cope with virtually any traumatic experience that has comes my way so far. I’ve learned to see the positives following a traumatic incident. I remember vividly on the evening of 7 July 2005, walking back along the Embankment, desperate to get home to my family, I thought of the images that flashed across the TV screens throughout the day, and of those people who weren’t going to make it home that night. I thought of the bravery, humility and selflessness of all those passers-by who stopped to help and comfort the injured as they lay bleeding and dying, and I thought of the millions of calm, resigned Londoners who got on with their



lives as four twisted fanatics tried to rob them of everything they cherished. When I watch the news, return from a war-zone or indeed speak with other friends London suffered its first who’ve recently returned suicide IED attacks on from conflict, I realize that 7 July 2005, when 52 little changes. The world were killed and over 700 injured by four bombers continues to be dangerous carrying homemade and unpredictable and, organic peroxide-based for the bomb disposal devices in backpacks. teams still operating, the switch continues to flick rapidly and repeatedly from full-off to full-on. But they love what they do. It’s a vocation, a way of life. I’ve yet to meet a member of a bomb disposal team who isn’t completely, intellectually, and spiritually absorbed by what he does. Operators desire only two things: to try to save the lives of the innocents and to make it back home to their families. We’re

©CC BY-SA 3.0/Wikimedia

not men of the system. We’re not even particularly interested in the cause. Just like every other British serviceman we’re here to do a job – nothing more, nothing less. ✺ Maj (Ret’d) Chris Hunter QGM joined the British Army at sixteen and following officer training at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst he deployed to The Balkans, Northern Ireland, Colombia, Afghanistan and Iraq, and was awarded the Queen's Gallantry Medal. His 17-year career as a high-threat bomb disposal operator with specialist counter-terrorism units also included four years with the UK Special Forces and on attachment to the Security Service (MI5), and he was a special advisor to the Home Affairs Select Committee on Counter-Terrorism. He is the author of Eight Lives Down and Extreme Risk and is a regular contributor to news and current affairs programmes.


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Vehicleborne IEDs tend to be the most devastating of suicide devices.

The damage to the US Embassy, Beirut, caused by a 2,000-lb (909-kg) suicide truck bomb planted by Hezbollah that killed 63 and injured 120 on 18 April 1983.




rom World War II Japanese kamakazi pilots and Viet Cong and North Vietnamese ‘sappers’ entering US military outposts and self-detonating, the first major modern-day suicide bombings were launched in the early 1980s. A prime example was the exploding of a vast 2,000-lb (909-kg) truck bomb on 18 April 1983, killing 63 and injuring 120 in the US Embassy in Beirut, Lebanon. It was carried out by a previously unheard-of-group: Hezbollah, the ‘Party of God.’ The rise of violent Jihad There have been, and continue to be, numerous attacks worldwide. On 7 July 2005, four separate suicide terrorist attacks occurred on rail and



transportation systems in London, killing 52 and injuring over 700. Before and since, there have been thousands of deaths from suicide bombings. Today, they are conducted mainly by radical Islamist terrorist groups. ISIS and associated individuals are in the forefront of incidents along with al-Qaeda, Hamas, Hezbollah, al-Dawa, al-Gama'a al-Islamiyya of Egypt, and many others. From a tactical and operational standpoint, suicide bombings are among the most complex and challenging problems facing planners and responders today. Suicide bombing intensifies fear by undermining faith in the most fundamental human value of

©US Army



The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recognizes eight indicators of an attack: ◗ Surveillance ◗ Elicitation or gathering information ◗ Testing security ◗ Finance ◗ Acquiring supplies ◗ People who do not belong ◗ Dry run/rehearsal ◗ Deploying assets or getting into position


self-preservation. In terms of interdiction, law enforcement officials are more successful if the suicide bombing operation is thwarted in the early phases before the deployment stage, when it is often too late to thwart deployment and detonation. But unlike other emergencies, one cannot predict this – even with the most credible intelligence – although many terrorism plots have been thwarted by combined intelligence and law enforcement efforts.



Type I attacks: Suicide bombers carry an explosive device concealed in a bag, box, briefcase, suitcase, or similar container that ‘fits’ the target environment Type II attacks: Body-borne – bombers wear the device (suicide vest or belt) Type III attacks: Vehicle-borne (VBIED) – a conveyance car, truck, boat or aircraft to deliver the explosive device. This also includes body-borne devices and bicycles Interdiction The best opportunities for detection and successful interdiction depend on public awareness and vigilance, and active surveillance at potential or anticipated target locations. Successful prevention occurs when terrorist suspects are selecting targets and conducting reconnaissance against them as well as when they are purchasing explosives components and fabricating explosive devices. In a tactical-operational setting, responders must use zones of control when confronted with a suicide bombing situation: • Hot zone: Where the suicide bomber is located and injuries, fatalities and damage will occur. • Warm zone: Where the large and flexible perimeter area will be established. • Cold zone: Location of a unified command post, staff and staging.


An early example of a suicide bomber: a Chinese infantryman puts on a hand grenade-explosive vest prior to an attack on Japanese tanks at the Battle of Taierzhuang during the Sino-Japanese war in 1938.

©World War II photographer/Wikimedia


Responding to bombings As in any operational response, the three main issues in after-action briefings and after-action reports (AARs) are leadership, coordination of resources, and communications. London agencies responding to the July 2005 bombings experienced problems with all three, as did the responses to the 1993 and 2001 NYC World Trade Center terrorist attacks. For example, failures in leadership can occur when attacks are multifocal – occurring in multiple jurisdictions or otherwise crossing over, or extending into, non-affected areas from the initial incident site. The size of a jurisdiction and the number and type of agencies within that jurisdiction are also critical.

Unified and area incident commands must be established quickly and efficiently, as required. Multiagency partnerships must be pre-formed and all stakeholders need to train and conduct integrated exercises on a regular schedule. Responders encountered several communications problems in London and NYC during the responses to their respective incidents, including ‘dead spots’ in the London Tube and interoperability issues in both cities. These issues can be addressed via leadership during pre-planning and preparedness activities. Complicating factors The operational response needs to account for collateral armed assaults with handheld or rocket-launched explosives (grenades, RPGs, rockets) and secondary devices. The joint use of assault weapons and suicide bomber detonations (as well as shootings) is a distinct possibility. Render-safe operations of all devices can be coupled with anticipating enhanced explosives utilizing The US DHS antipersonnel Bomb Threat Stand-off Chart shows shrapnel, distances from various addition of IED carriers, the exploaccelerants, sives capacity in TNT equivalent, the evacuation distance and the outdoor evacuation distance.





L ookout: Someone is watching the overall suicide bombing attack scene from a safe distance.

A wareness: All responders on the scene must have situational

awareness and be ready for surprises such as secondary devices.

C ommunications: Responders must have effective communications (voice, hand signals, email, runners).CAUTION: While radio communications are essential, precautions must be in place to assure that transmissions will not activate a detonation based on radio frequencies.

E scape: Plan escape route from unstable scenes. S afety zones: Escape to safe refuge areas that provide distance and shielding. incorporation of radionuclides, or toxicants such as the anticoagulant warfarin (rodenticide) or pesticides. The biohazardous crime scene of a suicide bombing event must also be addressed in planning, and dealt with in response. The possibility that the suicide bomber could be a carrier of a blood-borne pathogen (HIV,

Hep C, Hep B) is also a tacticaloperational consideration. Accurate firepower The objective of military or civilian response to a suicide bombing suspect is to take them down using accurate and superior firepower to de-cerebrate the perpetrator.


The US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives established threat standoff guidelines to include suicide bombing devices. These standoff distances are used to determine building evacuation distances, lethal air blast range, and falling glass hazard and outdoor evacuation distances. Suicide bombing incidents are highly evolving, dynamic and multifactorial tactical situations which pose many planning and operational challenges and the suicide bomber will continue to be a pervasive mechanism for the perpetration of tactical ultraviolence, anytime and anywhere. ✺ Frank G. Rando is a national SME, trainer, and first responder with over 30 years’ experience in emergency management, tactical, disaster and special operations medicine, environmental health and safety, public safety, and counterterrorism.

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MEET US AT: Future Forces Exhibition 2016 in Prague, Czech Republic 19th -21st October / CBRNe World Convergence Conference on October 31st – 2nd November 2016


The Afghan forces battling the militants have suffered extremely BNW high casualties over the past two EPUTY DITOR years, with 16,000 army and police killed or wounded in 2015 AVID LIVER alone. Disunity in government, LOOKS AT an ongoing Taliban insurgency, and a growing threat from AFGHANISTAN S ISIS all threaten FRAGILE Afghanistan's fragile future. FUTURE






GOLDEN HOUR T he head of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) told the UN Security Council on 15 March 2016 that the survival of the government this year would be an "achievement." UNAMA's assessment appears to be driven by an increasingly strong Taliban insurgency, especially during the summer months, and by the political infighting besetting the National Unity Government (NUG).



The Western trained and funded Afghan National Defence and Security Forces (ANDSF) have struggled to counter the growing Taliban insurgency – which has led to a deterioration of government control, particularly in Kunduz and Helmand provinces, and in the capital Kabul.

Taliban resurgence Taliban militants fired a series of rockets at Afghanistan's parliament compound on 28

March 2016 as top intelligence official and ministers were meeting. Although no casualties were reported from this attack, rockets are frequently fired at government and diplomatic areas in Kabul. At least seven people were killed and more than 20 civilians were also wounded in an attack in the previously stable province of Parwan on 5 April by a suicide bomber, at the site of the Bagram Airfield, the largest former


©Australian Defence Force

US base in Afghanistan. On 30 June two Taliban suicide bombers killed 27 police officers and wounded about 40 others in a bombing attack on buses on the western outskirts of Kabul. The capital has come under attack by ISIS, which launched a massive bombing on 24 July, killing 80. As reported by UNAMA, IEDs caused the second highest number of civilian casualties in the first half of 2015. Coupled with a landscape littered with landmines from the Soviet occupation, the ability to combat the threat from both IEDs and unexploded ordnance is essential to the ANDSF. NATO EOD training Launched on 1 January 2015, the NATO-led Resolute Support Mission (RSM) is providing training, advice and assistance activities at the security ministries and national institutional levels – and the higher levels of army and police command across the country. It comprises approximately 12,000 personnel from NATO Allies and partner countries operating in Kabul/ Bagram, Mazar-e Sharif in the north, Herat in the west, Kandahar

from the Explosive Ordnance Disposal School in Bagram. The EOD operators’ three-and-ahalf-month course focused on providing ANDSF with the required skills to effectively render unexploded ordnance safe. Students are trained by the Resolute Support Mission and Combined Security Transition Command Afghanistan (CSTC-A) Counter-IED Directorate personnel and are tested on explosives, explosive safety, protective works, ordnance identification and render-safe procedures. This specific class was a surge effort to train, advise, assist and build EOD capabilities and capacity of the 215th Corps from Helmand, Afghanistan. At the same time the Afghan National Police had 38 new EOD technicians following a graduation ceremony at Central Training Center-Kabul (CTC-K). During the course, students learned how to counter conventional unexploded ordnance, including rockets, artillery rounds and landmines. Most graduates stay at CTC-K for a training course in defeating IEDs. The CSTC-A has also established two Ministry of the Interior exploitation laboratories in both Kabul and Herat, designed

Australian Explosive Ordnance Reconnaissance Technicians observe an Afghan National Army EOD Sergeant practicing his skills at the Tarin Kot range.

in the south, and Laghman in the east. One of its most important roles is to train the ANDSF in counter-IED and explosive ordnance disposal (EOD). In March 2016, 120 Afghan National Army soldiers graduated

to gain further intelligence about the IEDs that are being used against the ANDSF. Operation Highroad Around 250 Australian Defence Force members from the Royal





Australian Navy, the Australian Army, the Royal Australian Air Force and civilians are deployed in Afghanistan as part of Operation Highroad. Royal Australian Navy EOD technicians serve as the counter-IED advisors at the Central Training Center-Kabul, where they are responsible for training, advising and assisting Afghan National Police leadership. The detection of IEDs is mostly done by a combination of visual indicators and metal detectors and the ANDSF are being trained for a wide range of possible IED-linked scenarios based on real-life experiences. The trainees are trained to wear bomb suits and use robots in their counter-IED efforts, and are equipped with and trained on MMP-30- EOD unmanned ground

be deployed to units across the country and that in certain regions there are already sufficient EOD capabilities available. Whether and to what extent the lack of available EOD technicians poses a problem in other areas remains unclear, though. US-UK commitment In October 2015 the UK renewed its current military commitment of around 450 British troops in Afghanistan throughout 2016, which also emphasizes support for the NATO’s Resolute Support Mission, the UK element of which is known as Operation Toral. The decision follows a planned review of the

military support in Afghanistan followed the announcement by President Obama that the US would also uphold its military presence throughout 2016. The UK will work with the US and other NATO Allies and partners to ensure that the delivery of support to the ANDSF continues. Although the terrorist threat to the UK from this region appears to have been reduced, and the UK’s combat mission has ended, it will continue to support the Afghanistan government to build a peaceful, secure and prosperous future for the country. The focus of the UK’s efforts in the country has evolved from leading

The first of 65 ScanEagle UAVs are delivered to the Afghan National Defence and Security Forces at its launch site in Helmand.

©US Navy

Critical Solutions International’s Route Clearance Roller systems are being delivered to the Afghan National Army. ©David Oliver

vehicles (UGVs) manufactured by US-based The Machine Lab Inc. The small-sized man-portable UGV is equipped with a fixed colour camera, and a small arm manipulator is used mainly for gathering additional information on an emplaced IED, while the actual defusing is subsequently done by an EOD technician. However, if the IED has to be cleared quickly, the MMP-30 can be used to deploy a counter-charge designed to explode the emplaced IED. According to Resolute Support Mission officials, ANDSF EOD teams have access to a sufficient number of MMP-30-EOD UGVs. The ANDSF is currently training EOD technicians to



UK’s commitment in light of the performance of the ANDSF over the year and the overall security situation. In July the UK decided to send up to 50 additional military personnel to Afghanistan to train and advise security forces in counter-terrorism efforts and provide leadership training, but not for combat operations. Non-combat roles being carried out by UK Armed Forces personnel include mentoring instructors in the Afghan National Army Officer Academy (ANAOA), advising in the Afghan Security Ministries, and providing vital support to NATO’s mission in Kabul, including leading the Kabul Security Force. The pledge to maintain UK

combat operations to training, advising and assisting the ANDSF. This includes leading the training at the Afghan National Army Officers Academy (ANAOA) and C-IED training to ANDSF troops. Tactical Engagement System Since November 2010 Saab UK has supported C-IED training for all UK and Australian personnel deploying on operations in Afghanistan, and in this contract has been extended for the Collective Counter-IED Trainer (CCT)-managed service from the UK Ministry of Defence. The C-IED Training System is a fully instrumented Tactical


Engagement System (TES) developed to meet the changing training needs of current and future IED threats and the wider aspects of counter insurgency (COIN). The UK Deployable Tactical Engagement Simulator (DTES) system supports Operation Toral in Afghanistan. Developed by Saab UK, it was designed to train a Battle Group during exercises in Kenya and the UK with an opposing force (OPFOR) and a civilian population. The DTES system provides infrastructure, instrumentation and resources for realistic, live, force-on-force training, tracking and the monitoring of movements and combat performance of individuals, and vehicles and equipment for after-action review (AAR). Enhancing the equipment In addition to the extensive C-IED and EOD training it is receiving from NATO members, the ANDSF’s route clearance capabilities are set to be enhanced by the delivery of a large

quantity of equipment – including 64 EOD items such as medium tactical vehicles, IED jammers, bomb suits, hand-held detectors and robots, along with 90,000 mounted and dismounted counterIED radio controlled electronic warfare devices. In June 2016 the US-based company Critical Solutions International was awarded a US foreign military sales (FMS) contract worth $32.8 million to deliver 464 mine rollers with associated equipment, and training on the Humvee for delivery in 2017. The company's Route Clearance Roller (RCR) features independently rotating roller banks that improve handling for vehicles that require higher-speed capability. Boeing Insitu was also awarded a USD71 million FMS contract to

supply ANDSF with 65 ScanEagle long-endurance mini UAV systems to provide a low-altitude airborne intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capability. The contract includes the establishment of an in-theatre training facility at Mazar-e Sharif in northern Afghanistan, mentored by US Navy instructors. Helmand is the first of eight ScanEagle launch sites that will be operational in the next two years. However, despite the acquisition of state-of-the-art combat aircraft and attack helicopters, UAVs and armoured vehicles, and training and support from NATO-led Resolute Support Mission, the ANDSF still lack basic communications equipment, medical facilities and CASEVAC capabilities where the ‘golden hour’ can mean life or death to troops wounded by IEDs. ✺

CBNW Xplosive Deputy Editor David Oliver is the author of 18 defence-related books, a former IHS Jane's consultant editor, and a regular correspondent for defence publications in the UK, USA, France, Poland, Brazil and Thailand.

Ordnance, Munitions and Explosives Symposium 1 – 2 November 2016 Defence Academy of the UK, Shrivenham, SN6 8LA 

The Defence Academy of the United Kingdom at Shrivenham is hosting a symposium on Ordnance, Munitions and Explosives, on behalf of the Sector Skills Strategy Group (SSSG) of the explosives industry and Cranfield Defence and Security. The theme this year is ‘Technology Risk in Acquisition’. The symposium will be a continuing professional development event to aid professionalizing the sector enabling people to share and engage with the assessment and management of technology risk in acquisition both from a UK and international perspective. The theme of safety and suitability for service in a changing environment will be covered in depth but at a level that enables wider participation and at an unclassified level. Ongoing practical experimental work and computer modelling will be reviewed. It will be attended by industry, military, academia, research scientists and by acquisition and logistics staff who acquire and manage defence capability. For further information, online registration and display space booking visit Email:

Follow us on Twitter @SympatShriv XPLOSIVE




The ICP NewTech ROV shows its mobility and dexterity while operating in a confined space.







CBRN has been called the genie in the bottle and as we have seen from contemporary events, that cork continues to be loosened. It is the IED that got out which has cost billions in blood and treasure. In the same way that personnel protection has had to adapt at home and abroad where some very painful lessons were learned, the components of military and civil protection must be ready to adapt and respond to future explosive cocktails. After all, we can hardly claim that CBRN doctrine is mature and tested and it is doctrine, derived from policy, which drives equipment solutions.





gainst this background, Industry has a key role to play in delivering multi-functional solutions for a wide range of scenarios, often in collaboration with the scientific and technological institutions of government and academia and with the end user. The greater the multi-functionality, the greater the economies and relevance while CBRN doctrine evolves and lessons are learned. One of those scenarios sees the combined and improvised use of CBRN and explosives. Multifunctional solutions in the face of

such manifestations assist response to many unknowns, while embracing a reduced physiological burden and improved physical protection is an enduring requirement. Before looking at the important work to confront future incidents, we should consider the wider context and roots from which current innovation and collaboration have emerged. UXO: safety and disposal Conventional munitions disposal may involve the deliberate movement and stockpiling of unexploded ordnance (UXO) in

one or more pre-prepared locations. This is likely to require a combination of specialist technical and logistic teamwork with the reduction of munitions stockpiles being achieved through a range of methods - commonly by burning or explosives for instance. Disposal may also be achieved by robotics, through hydro-abrasive cutting and specially constructed industrial processes, static and mobile, such as is used in the destruction of chemical weapon munitions. In all cases safety will be a prime consideration; calculation of a safety distance when munitions are


ICP NewTech Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) equipped for meteorological monitoring, chemical detection and handling of suspect packages.



In finding evidence of the use by ISIS of sulphur mustard in Iraq and Syria, Ahmet Uzumcu, Head of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), said on 4 May 2016: “It proves that they have the technology, know-how and also access to the materials which might be used for the production of chemical weapons.” ISIS may be drawing on foreign expertise and Iraqi scientists who worked under Saddam Hussein’s weapons programmes or who have become radicalised, compensated financially or coerced. Systems integration, innovation and Research and Development will go some way to ensure we are prepared for the future, as the dark web spreads its evil portent.

destroyed in the field, while special arrangements are made for those that are destroyed at industrial facilities. Respiratory protection may also be worn or carried. Ultimately, the means and location of disposal will depend on the quantity and nature of the munitions and the expertise and





resources available to support the process. Environmental and climatic considerations will also hold sway and there may be a political backdrop as well. Conventional munitions disposal may also amount to the rendering safe of UXO in situ, such as legacy munitions left over from wars and conflict zones when it is either impractical or unsafe to move them. Responsibility for their destruction ranges from teams with specialist engineering skills required for clearance of mines, to operators of specialist robotic equipment, to high-end specialist and technical knowledge invested in an Ammunition Technical Officer (ATO) who will also be trained to ‘render safe’. While the former types of operations tend to be deliberately scheduled, the latter are more likely to be unplanned, may well require an emergency response, work to be conducted under time pressure, initially with many unknowns and thus there is a requirement for a far greater degree of personal protection and recourse to robotic solutions to assist. Amassing knowledge The knowledge invested in the ATO will be amassed from operational experience and by several groups of specialists over a considerable period of time, and have been subject to painstaking analysis and scientific experiment. Discrete collaboration, the monitoring of developments globally, and ensuring that technical knowledge remains up to date remains an essential prerequisite. From the equipment and physical protection perspective, robotics will more often form a critical part of the process, reducing the unknowns from a distance and, where feasible, disabling through disruption. Ultimately, physical protection will extend to the individual who is



©Scott Safety

Integration of the Blücher Chemical Protection Undergarment with The Scott General Service Respirator evolution Specialist (GSReS) offers exceptional utility from generalist to specialist use. The GSReS and First Responder Respirator offer superior comfort, protection, and automatic sweat removal.

responsible for rendering a device safe – specifically, the technology invested in the bomb suit and helmet. Such equipment is designed to mitigate damage to the body generated by blast wave overpressure, traumatic penetrative injury caused by fragmentation, or from thermal radiation and fire. Protecting the ATO against CBRN There is wide recognition that operating in a CBRN environment has substantial physiological challenges due to the personal protective equipment that must be worn and its debilitating effects, particularly in extremes of temperature. The CBRN risk is primarily attack on the nervous system, the respiratory system, contamination of the blood and exposed surfaces of the body, rather than shockwave and violent penetrating trauma injury. However, if in close proximity to an IED that releases a blister or thickened nerve agent for instance, there may be risk of penetrative contamination of the body, contamination of protective equipment, robotics and so on. A substantial amount of research has been done into reducing the


physical burden to the ATO while reducing risks to internal injury caused by blast and fragmented projectiles, however, the most complex challenge is to provide physical protection against the multiple and simultaneous threats posed by CBRN and explosive ‘cocktails’. Government institutions that are equipped to do so will inevitably seek an integrated systems approach to the provision of protection. The Canadian General Standards Board have developed a national standard to which a systems approach can be progressed. Launched by the Canadian Standards Agency for CBRN first responders in 2011, it identifies requirements for protective CBRN equipment and whole-body protection, crucially including integration with other equipment. In reality this means collaboration with many industrial entities drawn from different companies on both sides of the Atlantic. The ATO is a CBRN responder as well, so an integrated systems approach will cater for the multiplethreat criteria, toxic release falling within the NATO definition of an IED. Care must also be taken with

NCTAsia& SISPAT A Vision of IB Consultancy th



The World’s leading CBRNe & eXplosive event series 21 -23 March | Singapore | Asia’s only CBRNe & EOD Conference series is back in Singapore! DSO National Laboratories from Singapore and IB Consultancy are proud to announce that the 2017 editions of SISPAT and NCT will be held in conjunction at the Marina Bay Sands Singapore on 21-23 March 2017. The 8th edition of SISPAT will again be the premier scientific forum in the field of CBRN. The 24th and 25th editions of the NCT CBRNe Asia and eXplosive Asia conferences will continue to be the main forum for CBRN and C-IED/EOD professionals in the Asian region. During the three-day event, the three conferences will have one shared exhibition showcasing the latest equipment from the global CBRN and C-IED/ EOD industries. The event will host three separate conferences: the 8th SISPAT, NCT CBRNe Asia and NCT eXplosive Asia, with a shared opening/closing plenary and exhibition area. NCT Asia will welcome presentations from Doug Bryce (JPEO), Ronald Han (DTRA), Colonel Neumann (German CBRN Command), Major General Binh (Vietnam People’s Army) and many more. NCT Asia has more CBRNe commanders (civil & military) present than all other (non NCT) CBRNe events worldwide combined! +31 71 744 0174 @ibconsultancy


UXOs: witness the incident on the Gower Peninsula in Wales in 2009, when the detonation to dispose of a legacy munition washed up on a public beach released sulphur mustard with unexpected aftereffects for two of the responding EOD team. Scott Safety offers a highly portable decontamination solution for leaking packages or disrupted munitions and decontamination of container-sealed evidence crossing the dirty/clean line of a contaminated site, as well as decontamination of equipment and the site itself. Integrating respiratory protection Scott Safety’s General Service Respirator (GSR) and First Responder Respirator (FRR) have contributed to systems integration trials with the Blücher Chemical Protection Undergarment, being trialled as a chemical protective layer for the Med-Eng EOD-9 bomb suit and

a simple lever enabling the switch to Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) at the incident site if required at any time due to the nature of the threat. SCBA also becomes essential if there is a poor air atmosphere such as in a confined space. Suits and robots The significant amount of research into reducing the operator burden in a CBRN environment is also mirrored in the EOD domain, where the proven Med-Eng BCS 4 cooling system reduces the debilitating effects of heat on the body. There is also on-going work to launch the next-generation Med-Eng EOD-10 bomb suit. When it comes into service, the delivery of The EOD-10’s lighter and more agile protective layers will contribute to a reduction in the overall physiological burden and provide the operator with far greater mobility and dexterity. Robotics greatly reduce ‘the unknowns’ and enable a more

refined assessment from which to base threat mitigation measures without undue risk to life, and perform functions which cannot be readily undertaken by an operator. Using a remotely operated vehicle as a mobile meteorological and CBRN detection platform is fully part of this process. The ICP NewTech product range protects personnel and property from extremely complex, dangerous and life-threatening situations and remains on standby to manage daily threats worldwide. Employability may include, but is not limited to, support for counter IED operations, clearance of UXOs, the detection and handling of toxic materials, and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief. Collaboration between Industry and scientific and technological expertise from government and academia, and innovation and collaboration within a systems approach, is now more important than ever to keep one step ahead. ✺ ©Scott Safety


Technical review of systems integration: the Med-Eng EOD-9 bomb suit and helmet and Scott Safety First Responder Respirator (FRR) offer a Purified Air Powered breathing solution or Self Contained Breathing Apparatus. Worn underneath is the Blücher Chemical Protection Undergarment (CPU).

helmet. Integration of EOD helmet and respiratory protection are critically important requirements. Both the Scott General Service Respirator evolution Specialist (GSReS) and the FRR are platform masks enabling breathing options to suit a wide range of scenarios. For instance, approach movement could be undertaken using a Powered Air Purifying Respirator (PAPR), with



Integration of the Scott Safety General Service Respirator evolution Specialist (GSReS) with the Med-Eng EOD-9 bomb suit, both in service with the end user.

Brian Clesham is a former Chief of UK Army CBRN where he was custodian of the Joint Forces deployment Instruction for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. He was previously Chief of Staff of the UK Defence CBRN Centre during its post 9/11 expansion to incorporate training for the Police, Transport Police, Fire and Ambulance Services and was author and custodian of the initial Concept of Operations for the Joint CBRN Regiment. He is a graduate of the NATO Defence College. Richard Mead gained his substantial CBRN experience working for the London Metropolitan Police where he presented CBRN incident response plans to Commanders of High Visibility Events. As a former CBRN First Responder, he is skilled in scene assessment, contaminated body recovery and CBRN forensics, and as a Live Warfare Agent specialist is responsible for CBRN trials and training delivery.

Š 2016 Cobalt Light Systems Ltd.

Introducing ... Handheld Through-Barrier Hazmat, Explosives and Narcotics Identification ID through opaque and coloured plastics, glass, paper, wrapping sacks and fabric New capability for Hazmat, EOD and law enforcement Safe - No need to open or disturb containers Fast - Accurate ID of chemicals and mixtures in ~1 minute



©Endeavor Robotics

Although it now has a new name, at its core Endeavor Robotics is one of the best-known brands in unmanned ground vehicle production – iRobot – which has decades of experience in the mobile robot industry. Sean Bielat (right), CEO of Endeavor Robotics, outlines the company’s strategy to CBNW Xplosive Deputy Editor David Oliver and looks to its future

LASTING ENDEAVOR CBNW Xplosive: Can you detail the company history and the reasons for its name change from iRobot to Endeavor Robotics?

SB: It’s much more than a name change. Endeavor Robotics is a new company with a new focus and new resources. However, it’s true that we maintain much of our iRobot legacy and the same great team and technology. Our legacy as a defence-focused business extends back to the early 1990s with the creation of iRobot, which had two growing businesses – its consumer products home business and its Defense and Security business. Over the years, both business units were successful and iRobot, in the creation and delivery of



practical and tactical robotics across the commercial and defence space. And both continue to have great prospects. In today’s market, the individual businesses require dedicated leadership and focus on their key markets. Separating the businesses was the right thing to do to ensure they both get what they need to continue their success. For Endeavor Robotics, the independence provides us the financial and developmental flexibility to be more aggressive in the continued refinement and delivery of tactical mobile robots for the defence customer. It gives us the freedom to make decisions that work best to serve our customers and key markets. Endeavor Robotics is positioned well to provide best-inclass robotic systems to our partners

at the DOD and allies across the globe. CBNW Xplosive: What are the key capabilities that make these levels of achievement sustainable for today’s military customer when defence budgets are declining?

SB: That’s an interesting question. Endeavor Robotics has an enviable position with more than 6,000 systems currently fielded to defence forces and in use in industrial settings worldwide. The installed base of robots span end-users who deploy systems on a daily basis for EOD, CIED, CBRN and HazMat inspections - and who also continue to refine their daily missions. We must work hard and maintain


customer contact to enable new capabilities that further ease of use of and integration of robots in their missions. Most importantly, those new capabilities ensure the warfighters’ safety - the primary reason for our products’ existence. In addition to increasing the capabilities of fielded systems, we work hand in hand with our defence and industrial customers to identify new requirements for future robot needs. As you mention, defence budgets are declining; however, there are major new programmes of record that are being stood up the US Army and the Navy. These programmes and their requirements represent some of the largest opportunities in ground robotics to date and will encourage rapid evolution in technical capabilities for the warfighter. Ultimately these new technologies will answer worldwide needs. We think this is one of the most exciting times to be a leader in ground robotics and we foresee a lot of growth in the next several years. CBNW Xplosive: What are the challenges of designing Small Unmanned Ground Vehicles (SUGVs) - such as PackBot in a competitive market?

SB: The challenges that we face are no different than those faced by other developers of robots-- does the technology meet the specified requirements? Are the robots easy to use? Will they keep our warfighters safe? In that regard, we all face the challenge of fielding robots when they are needed. Sometimes it takes too long to deploy new technology into the field. Technology providers face procurement systems that were designed two generations ago, when technological advances occurred at a slower pace and weren’t necessarily driven by the private sector. In our current day, technology evolves at a faster pace and so do the needs of the warfighter. Endeavor Robotics maintains its competitive edge by maintaining strong communications with our customers, the warfighter, and those responsible for identifying the immediately needed requirements.

710 Kobra provides an easy to use, heavy-payload supporting, 500-lb (225-kg) system capable of operating in all terrains and environments. Additionally, we are exploring other opportunities that may move us into heavy UGVs.

CBNW Xplosive: Do you have any future plans to enter the heavy UGV market?

CBNW Xplosive: Who is using your UGVs and what are their primary roles?

CBNW Xplosive: You are now offering payloads that give your UGVs increased capabilities. Can you describe what these are and which companies you partner with to provide these sensors?

SB: We see Endeavor Robotics as a robotics systems integrator. We take the best capabilities and integrate them onto our platforms, or other companies’ platforms, to produce robotics systems that meet the needs of our customers. We are open to many different forms of partnership and work with many of the leading companies in the robotics space.

SB: There has been increased interest in our very capable 710 Kobra system. The

SB: We have fielded our family of UGVs worldwide, with defence forces in more than 40 countries, across hundreds of law enforcement agencies, and The 110 FirstLook robot is throwable, in nearly two dozen nuclear rugged, and power plants in North America. expandable. Our systems can, and have, performed countless dangerous missions across EOD, Counter IED, CBRNe, HazMat, recon and surveillance. They have been delivered to countries in need after natural disasters or have been fielded at a moment’s notice to inspect dangerous packages in public buildings and vehicles. We are proud of our heritage of delivering systems and prouder to provide them to those warfighters, responders and engineers so they may perform their daily missions with a safer stand-off distance.

©Endeavor Robotics

CBNW Xplosive: Please could you detail your latest UGV range?





SB: Endeavor Robotics provides a family of integrated unmanned ground vehicles that are modular, easy-to-use, and adaptable to application and user-preferences, and meet or exceed the expanding needs of operators in all uniforms. Our products range in size from five to 500 pounds (2-227 kg) and complete multiple missions including EOD/CIED, CBRNe/ HazMat, engineering, ISR, standard and non-standard operations in nuclear facilities. To date, we have delivered more than 6,000 systems worldwide. These deliveries include the 5-lb (2-kg) FirstLook, the under 20-lb (9-kg) SUGV, the man-portable Packbot, and the heavy-duty Kobra - and all are in operation across the globe. CBNW Xplosive: How do you deal with export countries regarding technology transfer?

SB: As a fully US-owned company that performs all its engineering and manufacturing in the US, we work

closely with the State Department to ensure that we export and transfer technology responsibly. CBNW Xplosive: What percentage of your turnover is devoted to R & D?

SB: We actively invest in technology development internally and seek acquisition opportunities that will allow us to grow profitably, while advancing our technological capabilities. CBNW Xplosive: Looking to future growth and sustainment of your products, what are your primary targets?

SB: There are two traditional ways to grow into a market – one is though organic investment in research and development. We are constantly working with partners and customers to integrate new technology to increase the capabilities of our current family of robots.

The other growth avenue is through acquisitions. We are looking at both methods actively. In addition, we are very excited about programmes of record in ground robots over the next two years. We expect to see requests for proposals within the next year. We think we’re well positioned to win at least one, if not all of them. CBNW Xplosive: What is the next step forward in UGV design and technology?

SB: There are many exciting opportunities here. Endeavor Robotics intends to maintain its leadership position by working closely with its customers to ensure that we are developing, adopting, or integrating whatever technologies give our customers the tools they need to win their fights. ✺

A US ordnance disposal craftsman controls the PackBot 310 robot to detect an IED during a training exercise. A PackBot robot leads a convoy.

©Endeavor Robotics

©U.S. Air Force/Senior Airman Janelle Patiño



CBRN: INTERNATIONAL 2017 Defending against the unthinkable

16th February 2017 Ricoh Arena, Phoenix Way, Foleshill, Coventry, CV6 6GE +44 (0) 1245 407 916



Disposal of an 82-mm mortar by Cambodian Mine Action Centre operators during a live exercise on demining capabilities at the Khun Ream Village minefield at the NCT eXplosive Asia 2014 event.


ERW (Explosive Remnants of War) are displayed in the Cambodian Landmine Museum, Angkor National Park.








Phnom Penh, 4 July 2016. The sun rises on the streets of Phnom Penh as a team of operators of the Cambodian Mine Action and Victim Assistance Authority (CMAA) leaves the Headquarters to visit a family hit by a mine accident in a rural area the night before. As a result of internal and regional conflicts that affected the country from 1967 to the end of 1998, Cambodia is among countries in the world most affected by mines and Explosive Remnants of War (ERW)




ine clearance efforts started in 1979 on the Cambodian-Vietnamese border by the female company of the Cambodian Revolutionary Army, but the official humanitarian demining began in earnest in 1992. In 1997 Cambodia signed the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention and became part of the Treaty in 2000. The same year, the Royal Government of Cambodia established the Cambodian Mine Action and Victim Assistance Authority (CMAA). Mine Action in Cambodia Mine Action in Cambodia goes beyond mines and ERW clearance. Risk education and victim assistance represent a large part of the work undertaken by mine action authorities in the country and constitute the main means to reduce poverty and increase economic development. H.E. Ly Thuch, Vice President and Secretary General of the CMAA, proudly describes the role and structure of the CMAA in mine/ERW action in the Kingdom of Cambodia. Headquartered in Phnom Penh and chaired by the Prime Minister, the CMAA is the leading institution in mine action activities in Cambodia with the mandate to regulate, monitor, facilitate and coordinate mine clearance, victim assistance and risk education in the Kingdom. The authority comprises different departments: socio economic and database management, victim assistance, public relations, regulation and monitoring, and relations with the Army and Ministry of Interior. H.E. Ly Thuch explains: “Our Authority’s work is


A Cambodian Mine Action Centre operator works in the Khun Ream Village minefield. Cambodian Mine Action Center operators on a live exercise with landmine and IED detectors at the Khun Ream Village minefield during NCT eXplosive Asia 2014, organized in cooperation with the CMAA.

based on an extremely decentralized structure. The different departments work on a sub-national level, together with over 30,000 villages in the Kingdom to identify and analyze the contaminated areas and assign them to the deminers operating in the communes, districts and provinces.” The decentralized organization permits a more efficient work that meets the needs of the small communities living in rural areas. The Authority works with different national partners and international donors to develop standardized and uniformed processes for the mapping and management of information and statistics in the mine action sector. H.E. Ly Thuch points out that “To support a reduction in mine and ERW casualties, it is crucial to develop uniformed and standardized criteria for the management of information systems.” This becomes even more important as mine and ERW clearance in Cambodia is done mainly by humans; the employment of demining robots in very limited.

and mine contamination in Cambodia is very different: with a mix of landmine contamination in the northwest of the country and cluster munition contamination in the northeast, the access to productive land is extremely restricted and limits investment in infrastructure. The successful progress of mine action in Cambodia is given not only by land clearance, but also by a strong commitment to mine risk education and victim assistance. “Education on landmines and ERW is our priority. To prevent accidents, we need to raise awareness and encourage people to adopt mine and ERW risk avoidance behaviours. Also local police forces require training and assistance, as they represent the first authority people refer to in case of emergency. In addition to the training, our network of operators is dispatched to victims of mine and ERW accidents to provide assistance and give support to the families.” The CMAA works also closely with Handicap International and with a strong network of volunteers that operate in the villages.

Access to the land The priority of the CMAA is “to allow people to have access to the land, not only in the communities, but also in rural areas and in the forest. There are still a high number of people living in close proximity of mines, cluster munitions and ERW – particularly in the northeastern part of the country. This requires more support and means. We cannot rest on our past success.” According to H.E. Ly Thuch, restricting land use means hindering development and production, as the land represents the main income for rural families. ERW






development of the National Mine Action Strategy 2017-2025. “The document is extremely important to see where we are and where we are going. The draft of the Strategy is still in progress, but we have already set some targets regarding the necessary funding needed to get Cambodia out of the threat of ERW and mines. We will need the full IN THE PAST 15 YEARS WE HAVE BEEN ONE OF THE FEW COUNTRIES THAT HAVE TAKEN MINE ACTION VERY SERIOUSLY. OUR AIM IS TO BE THE LEADING NATION IN THE REGION AND SHARE BEST PRACTICES WITH OUR NEIGHBOURS. OUR COUNTRY IS WELL BUILT ON MINE ACTION WORK AND WE HAVE VALUABLE INSTITUTIONS THAT CAN BE AN EXAMPLE FOR ALL THE COUNTRIES ENGAGED IN MINE CLEARANCE ACTIVITIES. WE ARE WILLING TO SHARE OUR EXPERIENCES AND MAKE OUR KNOWLEDGE AVAILABLE TO THE REST OF THE WORLD. Ly Thuch, Secretary General and Vice President of the CMAA

Our meeting and interview with His Excellency Ly Thuch (second from left), Secretary General and Vice President of the CMAA, took place at the HQ in Phnom Penh.

support of our partners and the commitment of our government in order to achieve the mine clearance goals we have set.” Over the past 15 years, Cambodia has made significant efforts in cleaning up landmines and ERW. H.E. Ly Thuch concludes: “Mine action in Cambodia is a successful story. Despite the accidents that still occur, we have released a significant amount of land to people and reduced the number of casualties from 4,320 in 1996 to 111 in 2015. There is still work to do, but we remain committed to make the country mine-free.” ✺

Anna Paternnosto is a consultant at IB Consultancy, an independent defence and security company specializing in CBRN, EOD, and demining consultancy and events. From 2013 to 2015 she served as the Deputy-Secretary of the Youth Atlantic Treaty Association of Gorizia and participated in international seminars on transatlantic security, counter-terrorism and security. Before joining IB Consultancy, she conducted a traineeship at the Austrian Mission to NATO in Brussels.






ATTACK On 28 June 2016, at 21:50 hrs, three ISIS militants carried out a complex attack against the international departures area of Atatürk airport in istanbul: 45 people, including 13 foreign nationals and five police officers, were killed and over 230 were injured.




he three attackers were equipped with PBIEDs (person-borne IEDs), a Romanian assault rifle, and a Glock pistol. The airport CCTV showed the attackers to be clean-shaven, wearing black winter jackets, with blue jeans and the other in black trousers. The PBIED that was being carried by one of the attackers seems to be quite small as it was not obvious under what was quite a tight fitting jacket and the rifle was concealed, either under the coat or in bags carried by the attackers. Despite this, they were denied access to the International Departures terminal by security officers at the security checkpoint located at the perimeter of the building. Travellers using Atatürk Airport have to undergo two security screenings, one as they enter the international terminal building and the second as they go through passport control. The attack unfolds The attack took place at the busiest hour for international flight boarding. This was probably identified in a prior reconnaissance and the attack timed to maximize the presence of international travellers, as well as checking whether the departure or arrivals lounge had the least security. After being prevented from entering, the attackers moved away from the checkpoint, removed their weapons from their bags, and then opened fire at


the checkpoint. One attacker then detonated his PBIED in front of the security area, although the level of damage from this device was small – probably due to the device being small to aid concealment. Surprisingly there are no visible signs of fragmentation being used, which is unusual. The second attacker used the gap created in security to enter the building and go to the departures hall to fire at passengers. Security staff now tried to escort travellers deeper into the airport building and away from the airport entrances. The attacker then took the escalator down to the ground floor and continued to shoot. He was then shot and





injured by a security officer who had concealed himself while waiting for the militant to pass. The militant subsequently dropped his weapon which skidded across the floor away from him. The weapon had a spare magazine taped to it, which speeds the reloading process. This shows military-style training. The security officer then approached the attacker but fortunately realised he was wearing a PBIED and was able to take cover prior to the attacker detonating his device. The third attacker detonated his PBIED in the parking area at the front of the building and this may have been to target people trying to escape the initial blast – or as a distraction to allow the other attackers to get past the security checkpoint at the front of the building, depending on whether which one was detonated first. The total duration of the attack was approximately 90 seconds. ISIS links The identified attackers have links to ISIS in Syria and Iraq and were confirmed as being of Russian, Uzbek and Kyrgyz origin. They entered Turkey a month earlier, having travelled from the Syrian-based ISIS stronghold of Raqqa equipped with the PBIEDs that were used in the attack. They then rented an apartment in the Fatih district of Istanbul, located approximately 10 km from ©Maurice Flesier/Wikimedia


Sultanahmet Square on 12 January 2016. The attack killed ten civilians (including eight German tourists) and injured 15 others. A further ISIS PBIED attack on 19 March 2016 in a shopping street in Istanbul killed five civilians and injured 36 others. Aviation – prime target During the past 12 months there have been 18 recorded militant attacks on airliners or airports across the globe. These have included the 22 March 2016 ISIS attack on Site of the Brussels Zaventem Airport attack shows the two explosions in the check-in area.

ISIS also carried out a PBIED attack in Sultanahmet Square on 12 January 2016.

the airport. It has been reported that Akhmed Chatayev, the leader of the ISIS Yarmouk battalion (consisting of three brigades of Chechen fighters), was responsible for planning and organizing the attacks. In the past six months there has been a gradual but sustained escalation in activity inside Turkey by Kurdish militants against Turkish security forces. There has also been an increase in ISIS activity inside Turkey during this period, with the group having carried out 20 attacks during the past six months compared with only nine in the six prior to that. Most ISIS activity has taken place in Gaziantep, Sanliurfa and Kilis provinces, where they have numerous cells. ISIS has also carried out a number of attacks recently, in Istanbul, including the use of a PBIED in





ISIS now has a well-established presence in Turkey.


Zaventem Airport in Brussels, which killed 11 people, and the 31 October 2015 IED attack on a Russian airliner shortly following its departure from Sharm el-Sheikh airport, killing all 223 people on board. Most attacks have taken place in underdeveloped countries where airport security is seen as less effective than in Western airports, and have used indirect fire and stand-off weapons rather than penetrating airport security. The Atatürk Airport attack demonstrates the vulnerability of Debris at the crash site of the Metrojet airports and other transportation disaster on 31 October hubs to attack, and marks the second 2015, in which all 223 on occasion in less than four months on board were killed - making it the worst terrorist aviation which ISIS has targeted an airport attack since 9/11. Forensic following the group’s assault on evidence conclusively reveals Zavantem International Airport in that it was caused by an airborne IED. Brussels on 22 March 2016. Irrespective of whether an outer security checkpoint is established at the entrance to a transport terminal to prevent attackers from entering, such a post and the civilians queued up in front of it would still be vulnerable to a complex attack using small arms and Turkey: another ISIS theatre PBIEDs – especially when used sequentially to overcome ISIS will need to be very careful about attacking Turkey, a layered defence. not least because Turkey is a primary transit route for However, airports in Europe, such as London, Paris, foreign fighters and the funnelling of funds and resources into ISIS-held territory. The Atatürk attack shows the opposition of ISIS to the Turkish state (which it defines as ‘Taghut’, meaning tyrannical and un-Islamic), certainly while Turkey is contributing to the anti-ISIS coalition. ISIS also targets all those it declares to be non-Muslims. The attack could be seen as an attempt to destabilize the country, to inflict damage upon the Turkish tourist industry, and to generate international media attention by carrying out a major attack against a high profile target. ISIS now has cells seemingly able to operate across Istanbul, Ankara, Konya, Adana, Izmir, Sanliurfa and Kilis. Such cells enable the organization to project both hard power, such as attacks inside Turkey, and soft power such as influence activities. It also allows ISIS operational sustainability by creating an CCTV footage area with transit routes for foreign fighters joining of the Atatürk the fight, an area away from the fighting where Airport bomber terrorists can relax and decompress (R and R), shows the vulnerability of airports a place to raise funds or launder them through Frankfurt and Amsterdam, to attack. legitimate businesses and banks, and a logistics have argued that large base to supply fighters in weapons, ammunition, numbers of travellers and clothing and medical supplies. passengers make pre-entry Despite the recent coup attempt on 16 July and a screening unacceptable and background of instability, Turkey also allows an area not would merely serve to relocate under the same pressures in Syria or Iraq (such as having the potential target outside the constantly to relocate or minimize signatures to avoid terminal building rather than targeting), where long-term planning for future ISIS reducing the effectiveness or attacks can go ahead. ✺ likelihood of a terrorist attack. Robert Shaw is a C-IED Advisor to the United Nations and a former high-threat IEDD and weapons intelligence operator who has managed training programmes for the UN and NATO. As a C-IED SME he has spent his career in EOD, security and intelligence in the business, humanitarian and military domains. His operational experience includes Northern Ireland, Iraq, Afghanistan, the US, Libya, and more recently, Nigeria.








A critical step in the counter-IED effort is identifying the most commonly used precursors of IEDs and homemade explosives (HMEs). Dry reagent technology delivers an affordable and easy-to-use product for bulk detection and identification of fertilizers, peroxides, chlorates, and perchlorates used in homemade explosives.


ecipes and detailed instructions on how to make HMEs using common household items such as fertilizers, nail polish remover, and so on as starting materials are abundant on the Internet. Mixtures of ammonium nitrate with fuel oil (ANFO) and potassium chlorate with combustibles have been the most common homemade sources of IEDs; hence, their use is becoming more restricted and regulated. However, the growing number of incidents using the rather unstable peroxide-based explosives indicates the terrorists are able to switch to even cheaper, alternative starting materials and recipes – with the same lethal effects. Despite the many laws and international regulations, controlling and stopping the flow of illicit explosive materials is a considerable challenge. Although field-portable instruments have excellent technical capabilities, they are expensive to obtain and maintain and therefore can be out of reach – especially in regions with low resources.



All photos ©2016 Serim Research Corporation

There is an increasing and critical need for affordable, user-friendly detection products able to reliably identify and confirm the presence of homemade explosives used to make IEDs in day-to-day operations. Affordable and easy to use Many commercially available detection products designed to cover this critical need are based on colorimetric chemistry. Some are low cost, low weight and of compact size with no power requirements; many emphasize the ease of use with minimal training. The detection of the explosives is made by observing a specific colour change when chemical reagents come in contact with the suspect powder. No two field situations are identical, and each colorimetric kit may have specific advantages for different user needs: ◗ bulk vs. trace detection; ◗ ability to analyze air; ◗ liquid and/or solid samples; and ◗ limits of detection: providing information on the class of the chemical threats vs specific compound identification. Liquid colorimetric kits In their simplest form, liquid reagents are applied in a specific sequence and the instructions must be followed precisely to obtain results. Complete sample identification may be time consuming, requiring multiple collections of potentially explosive samples followed by several additions of chemical reagents for analysis. For example, identification of ammonium nitrate (AN) with a liquid chemistry detection kit requires one sample and adding three reagents (steps 1-3) to confirm the presence of inorganic nitrate and another sample with another reagent to confirm the presence of ammonium (step 4). To achieve a fast response during the analysis, very reactive chemicals such as strong acids, concentrated bases, or flammable solvents are used. Upon contact with explosive samples, there is a possibility for violent reactions. In addition, these reagents may expose the


Appearances can be deceptive: all samples shown contain ammonium nitrate.

user to hazards even in the absence of explosives; the end user has to be aware of disclosures regarding of skin contact, disposal instructions, and so on. Some kits contain reagents in glass ampules. Once the ampules are broken or the dropper bottles opened, the shelf life of these liquid chemistry kits drops dramatically to a few days or months. Dry chemistry This technology addresses many difficulties encountered with liquid-based detection kits. Indicator pads are comprised of chemical reagents embedded into a dry matrix. The suspect sample is wetted first with non-hazardous liquids – that is, water – providing a desensitizing step and further minimizing the user’s exposure to hazards. Upon sample application Short, the chemical reactions are contained within intuitive the pads. Another major advantage is the long directions are shelf life: dry reagent chemistry withstands shown for use of

harsh transportation and storage conditions. Discern HME I.D. from Serim Research Corporation is designed to identify up to five separate threats using one sample for bulk detection of homemade explosives. It is easy to use under high-stress situations: it has short, intuitive instructions for use accompanied by pictograms, and distinct colour changes for positives. Moreover, the method for use may be adapted to address the common problem for many colorimetric kits: identifying explosive compounds weaponized with dark powders, such as flash powder, mixes of chlorate and aluminium powder, and black powder. The suspect unknown is wetted and then transferred Discern HME to the indicator pads. Based I.D. kit, bulk on the specific chemical configuration. reactions, the colour pattern formed by a combination of

Discern HME I.D.

These colour changes are observed for test pads when testing the most common HMEs encountered in the field.





Detection of HMEs is carried out with dry reagent kit during a training exercise.

reacted pads on the test strip distinguishes the presence of ammonium nitrate, urea nitrate, perchlorates, black powder, or chlorates and organic peroxides. In addition, the Discern Chlorate specific test is available to further confirm the presence of chlorates. Discern’s shelf life is 18 months, with allowances to repeated freeze-thaw cycles and excursions up to 50°C (122° F) for a few weeks.



Appearances are deceptive There is no ‘one solution fits all needs’ for scenarios encountered by EOD in the field. On encountering suspected threats, it may be possible to make an educated guess, such as regional preferences in the use of raw materials and recipes for making HMEs; commercial fertilizers used are often sold in granular form – while the organic peroxides are not. This supposition may impact the decision as to which detection kit should be used, or the order of sample analysis. Appearance can be deceptive: fertilizers may be encountered as crystals or powders, as is true for chlorates and organic peroxides. The ability to do a quick test of an unknown substance for presumptive analysis is therefore invaluable. A quick comparison between the capabilities of different colorimetric kits to detect and identify two common homemade explosives compounds provides further insight into the utility of dry versus liquid reagent testing. Collection of sample is assumed as a first common step for all products. ✺ Dr. A. Roxana Nicolaescu is a senior R&D scientist at Serim Research Corp. in Elkhart, Indiana, USA, involved in the development of colorimetric dry reagent devices for the detection and identification of chemicals commonly used to make IEDs.



Many colorimetric test kits are available today.


Touching a swab can cause sample contamination.

EXAMINES COLORIMETRIC Collector handle and cover protect against sample contamination.


Colorimetric detection technology dates back to the 1st century, when Roman Plinius Secundus used gallnut extract to detect the presence of iron. The growing dye and pigment industry in the 19th century spurred the development of modern colorimetric detection techniques, many of which are used in laboratories today. For instance, the Griess reagent, which is still used to detect explosives containing nitro groups, was first described in 1858.


xplosives have been used in warfare for centuries. A predecessor to the modern improvised explosive device, a fougasse, was used as early as the 16th century – an improvised mortar constructed by filling a hole in the ground or rock with explosives and projectiles. The use and variety of modern IEDs grew in the 20th century and in since the

turn of our century, IED use has expanding rapidly, driven not least by conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan and before these, by the Provisional IRA and other terrorist groups. IEDs have now become the weapon of choice for terrorists worldwide. There are many techniques for detecting explosive materials. For checkpoint screening, such as at an airport, explosive detectors based on

complex analytical techniques such as ion mobility spectroscopy (IMS) are preferred. These devices fit checkpoint screening applications well because of their high throughput and low per-sample costs, which compensates for their high up-front cost. While an excellent choice for checkpoint screening, these devices are not practical for field use.




DETECTION Warning label shown on an explosive test kit.




While early colorimetric explosive test kits were simple sprays or droppers, more modern colorimetric kits are available today. Here are some of the key characteristics to consider: Is the kit rugged? Many explosive test kits use glass ampoules to store reagents. While glass ampoules are a great choice to keep reagents pure and extend shelf life, they also break easily. So, if the kit uses glass ampoules, it should be designed to prevent unintended breakage. Is the kit safe? Many kits are designed to be re-used, so they include a relatively large amount of reagents in droppers. Colorimetric reagents are often highly acidic or caustic, and droppers are notoriously leaky. These reagents present a serious health hazard to skin, eyes, and membranes. Even worse, applying an uncontrolled amount of reagent to a bulk quantity of explosives can set off the explosive or cause a fire. That’s why some kits provide warnings not to use with bulk quantities of unknown material. Look for kits that have limited amounts of reagents, and that are designed to keep the reagents safely away from users. Does the kit prevent sample contamination? Sample contamination is a big issue that causes unreliable results. Many kits require the user to touch on or near the swab to collect a sample, which can cause contamination. Gunshot residue (GSR) can stay on a hand for days after firing a gun, and contaminating a sample with GSR causes a false-positive result. This problem can be avoided by wearing a sterile glove, but how often is that practical in the real world? The best solution is a collection system that prevents sample contamination by keeping the users hands away from the swab/collector. Does the kit detect many types of explosives? Many kits detect only one or two types of explosives, so you need to run three or four tests using different kits. Modern kits can detect all the major explosive materials in a single test. Some even detect explosive precursors like acids and bases, as an added bonus. Can the kit be used with EOD robots? It is becoming more common for bomb squads to use colorimetric kits with EOD robots. The robot collects the sample, and then brings it back to the operator to use the kit. The swabs in many kits are not compatible with robots, but some kits have a rigid collector that enables use with robots.



Colorimetric kits are a valuable field explosive detection tool.

Colorimetric explosive detection With the growth of IED use over the past few decades, the use of colorimetric technology to detect bombers, bomb-makers and bomb-making facilities in the field has also expanded. Colorimetric explosive detection kits, which are now widely available, are a valuable field detection tool because they are inexpensive, portable, and require minimal training to use. Real-world applications of colorimetric explosive detection kits include: ◗ Use by military personnel for sensitive site exploitation to determine who and what the threats are. ◗ Use by law enforcement and intelligence officials to presumptively identify the presence of explosive materials and their precursors. ◗ Use by bomb squads and EOD teams in conjunction with their EOD robots to detect explosive materials. Today, there are a many choices in colorimetric explosive test kits. Morphix is proud to offer the TraceX Explosive Detection Kit as a viable solution. Choosing the right one can help keep you, your team, and your community safe. ✺ Kimberly Pricenski is Vice President and a co-founder of Morphix Technologies and currently leads the company’s sales and marketing. She holds a BSc in Chemistry and participated in the early development of the Morphix colorimetric direct-read devices.


Indication training on boxes.



Indication training is conducted on the wall.



For the dog it is all play, the toy is its life and is key in training.

DOG DAY AFTERNOON All photos ©K10 Workingdogs

Given the high variability of IEDs, there is as yet no fast, safe or reliable way to detect them during operations. We have learned that one of the best options is the use of canines, known as military working dogs (MWD) – now a commonly used detection technology. MWD



If implemented correctly, detection by MWD is faster and more cost effective than using detection by metal detectors and other mechanical devices.


MWD can detect IEDs with low-metal and no-metal content and areas with high metal contamination or background, such as on railway lines.


MWD can be quickly updated on new and emerging threats sometimes in a matter of days. Mechanical equipment can become outdated – and new equipment takes time to develop, test and re-train the operators.


Unlike most vapour sensors, dogs can be used to pinpoint IEDs against a background already contaminated by explosives.



Advanced IED Detection Dogs (AIDD) An AIDD is specially trained in dealing with the searching of roads, areas, compounds and tracks. AIDD can search effectively in low-density areas and/or Explosive Remnants of War (ERW). The dog is trained to detect certain types and quantities of explosives, and associated items of IEDs. This is often just above or below the surface of the ground. The level of assurance and successful deployment during operations is based on intensive training, testing and analysis performed on a strict and continuous


basis. As a result, the capacity, All EDD (Explosive ability and accuracy of AIDD Detection Dogs) and deployed in operational work AIDD (Advanced IED Detection Dogs) should be can be predicted. able to travel freely on all The psychophysical means of transport, characteristics of the dogs, including small helicopters. a modern and inventive imprinting methodology, and an intense physical-endurance training programme are key elements of the training style. Health care and hygiene, medical follow-up and specialized dietary needs for each dog is also emphasized. AIDD are suitable for search operations on roads, compounds and areas in conjunction with an advanced search team. This will allow a more flexible, safer environment to operate in. IEDs are generally easy targets to detect for a dog because IEDs generally contain large amounts of explosives; they usually have a short ‘set time’ (i.e. the time between their placement on the road and their use). In general the shorter the ‘set time’ of any target, the easier it is to detect because they ‘stick out’ from



Recent operations have proved that MWD that have supported us well in the past now fall short of the current threat. Before they enter the training programme, all dogs selected for current operations, particularly in Afghanistan, should be: ◗ Adaptable – deal with situations they may not have been trained for specifically. ◗ Courageous – the ability to work under pressure, both mental and physical. ◗ Focused – on the task it has been trained to undertake. ◗ Able to have a good intra-species relationship – both human and animal. ◗ Capable of extreme natural drives, with an emphasis on hunting drives.

the natural environment. IED targets are often freshly buried or hidden, resulting in traces of human odour and severe ground disturbance that also make them identifiable in the environment. Train hard – operate easy The dog’s natural hunting instinct is stimulated and developed. Hunting is incorporated into the training model through exercises aimed at building up the dog’s motivation to search. The key objective is to ensure that the dog is highly motivated to perform. A dog exhibiting pressure-search has its nose constantly flush with the surface of the area being searched and is completely focused on the search, its concentration rarely broken. The key objective is to ensure that the dog is sniffing as close to the ground surface as possible (with the threat assessed as the pressure-plate IED) – giving the highest probability of detection success. The basic motto is: “train hard

– operate easy”. Even early in training, the dog is never given easy detection tasks. The dog’s initial sensitivity is determined using a training apparatus called the carousel, or focus wall. Once the dog successfully detects a difficult target, a training process designed to increase sensitivity further is introduced. The dog is initially presented with a target at the most difficult level, then the difficulty is progressively reduced (which means that the odour availability is increased) until the dog finally detects the target, thus establishing the dog’s initial ‘detection sensitivity threshold.’ Once this threshold has been determined, the difficulty is gradually increased to improve sensitivity. Training dogs to detect difficult targets at all times maintains the effort the dog must exert during the search. Unpredictability in the training Varying the training ensures that the dog only responds to the targets





K10 Workingdogs CEO Jasper Schoenmakers (right) and UK Director Geoff Tordoff pictured at the Intersec Fair in Dubai.

it is being trained on. Therefore, everything should be unpredictable for the dog. Rewards should not appear reliably, training should occur in different places; the type of the next target should not be predicted by the current target; and so on. The dog constantly encounters unexpected stimuli. In effect, all aspects of the training experience are randomized, so that the position or type of targets cannot be predicted or other cues become relevant. For example, training areas are rotated so that the detection of the target cannot be based on memory. Indication and imprinting of targets AIDD are trained to indicate by sitting with their nose pointing towards the target. In training, the handler will always reward from the actual target (walking out and give the reward from the source). During operations this will not be done; the AIDD will be called back to the handler. The dogs are initially trained on all explosives available at the training base in addition to known commercial products that are known to be part of IEDs used in the area of deployment. Additional imprinting will be done when deployed. All



imprinting will be done using a multiple-choice device, called the carousel or focus wall. Explosive Detection Dogs (EDD) EDD has been the flagship C-IED detection dog. It is a journeyman canine trained for a variety of tasks, but hitherto not specialising in any discipline – unlike mine detection or AIDD. The new generation of EDD is changing this perception. The latest version of EDD is trained to a higher standard with more specifics in mind – and the ability to be handled by an inexperienced operator with little or no experience of MWD. The EDD of the future is designed to deliver both a defensive and offensive capability and offer assurance levels far beyond those of the previous generation. New concepts of EDD have developed through: Selection. The dogs selected are specifically chosen for the role, partly from breeding and genetics (hunting behaviour). One of the most effective breeds currently in Afghanistan is the Belgian Shepherd Malinois. Robust and bred for work, it has surpassed the German Shepherd/Labrador Retriever for many as the canine of choice. Training. The ability to

determine and enhance thresholds has increased the capacity for the dog to hunt. Conventional training has resulted in the EDD randomizing where he uses his nose; this relatively new concept ensures the dog works hard throughout the task giving greater assurance. Behavioural Principles. With greater scientific research and understanding, the dogs' responses can be accurately predicated. This reduces training time, cost, and – importantly – failure rates. The canine is at the forefront of current military operations. It is able to provide high levels of assurance and operate in hazardous areas often where mechanical equipment has had limited results. The dogs’ ability to meet the changing threats quickly and will continue to play an increasing role in counter-IED operations for years to come. ✺ Jasper Schoenmakers is CEO of K10 Workingdogs. He manages worldwide sales, operations and logistics of the working dogs and equipment, training and courses to government clients in 36 countries and is senior consultant and coordinator for turnkey K9 unit projects and the development of new K9 utilization and research.

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The FLIR Fido X2 handheld explosives trace detector.

An estimated 60% of terrorist attacks in 2014 were attributed to explosive devices. Handheld explosives trace detectors (ETDs) have long been used by the military in the war on terror, where the enemy’s weapon of choice is the IED. However, the need for next-generation ETD solutions extends beyond the battlefield. All photos ©2015 FLIR Systems Corporation

A new standard in ease of use Although the threat of terrorism










s seen in the attacks in Boston, Paris, and Brussels, the explosives threat has become a major concern for police officers, first responders, and private security teams. As terrorist strategies evolve, modern security forces must also adapt and maintain vigilance. Recent technological advances have enabled the development of next-generation tools designed specifically for the modern police force, like the FLIR Fido X2 handheld ETD. Fido X2 strengthens defence against acts of terror by providing a mobile screening solution to actively counter and deter acts of terrorism, and to deliver actionable intelligence before the potential act occurs. Innovative design approaches enable the Fido X2 to be the lightest, fastest, and easiest ETD to use.


is real, explosives interdiction has seemed unapproachable to the broader police force amidst day-to-day patrol activities that include everything from traffic stops, domestic violence, and burglary, to dealing with drug dealers. A modern handheld ETD must be easily deployed at a moment’s notice, equipped with a straightforward user interface, and training resources must be available around the clock. Without these key attributes, ETD systems will go unused. Fido X2 was specifically designed to minimize distractions from day-to-day operations and reduce the amount of initial and recurrent training needed. Previous generations of ETD systems required lengthy training courses. With the Fido X2, police officers can pick it up and operate it with only a few minutes of training. On-screen commands, on-device video walkthroughs, and clear visual, auditory, and vibrating alerts guide officers through the entire threat

screening process – from power up to detection. Operators can refresh their understanding at any time through on-device video training from the Help Menu. Sensing what the human eye cannot Concealed bombs can leave trace chemical signatures behind that indicate a threat is present. Importantly, a terrorist does not have to be carrying an explosive for residue to be detected. A bombmaker who has previously handled explosives can have residue left on their person or property for an extended time period. Technologies like FLIR’s TrueTrace core have advanced handheld ETDs to the point that they can sense traces of explosive material that are invisible to the naked eye, to levels that fall below a nanogram (1/1,000,000,000th of the weight of a paperclip). The ability to detect trace-level


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Her Excellency Cecilia Piccioni, Ambassador, Embassy of Italy in Vietnam Major General Ben Yura Rimba, TNI Surgeon General, Ministry of Defence, Indonesia Professor Dr. Huu Tan Vuong, Director General, Vietnam Agency for Radiation and Nuclear Safety (VARANS) Colonel Dr. Pisutti Dararutana, Chief, Research and Development, Chemical Department, Royal Thai Army MarĂ­a Eugenia de los Angeles Rettori, Regional Coordinator for South East Asia, CBRN Risk Mitigation and Security Governance Programme, United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI) Dr. Makoto Akashi, Director, National Institute of Radiological Sciences, Japan Dr. Shah Jahan Mohd Yusof, Emergency Physician, Emergency and Trauma Department, Kuala Lumpur Hospital, Malaysia Police Superintendent (Dr.) Ruby Grace Sabino-Diangson, Medico-Legal Officer and Team Leader, CBRNe Team, National Police Force, Philippines Professor Paul Arbon, Dean of School of Nursing and Midwifery and Director of Torrens Resilience Institute, Flinders University, Australia



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◗ Control choke-points at a fixed location

◗ Randomized, unpredictable screening through mobility

◗ Protect highest value targets

◗ Protect highest risk targets

◗ Find the explosive ‘on the spot’

◗ Stay ‘left of boom’

evidence makes it possible to screen ‘first-touch areas’ for residue left by someone who has handled explosives. These include surfaces a person would lift, slide, move, zip, tuck, or press. Backpacks, car door handles, keys, tickets, and badges can all be screened for the presence of explosives in as little as ten seconds. This trace evidence provides actionable intelligence, and can lead to catching a terrorist ahead of the act, rather than after the fact. Borne out of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Dog’s-Nose programme, FLIR’s original Fido explosives trace detector was the first artificial nose capable of sniffing out a buried land mine in the real world. It became the tool of choice to counter the IED

threat because of its ruggedness and reliability. Over an eight-year period, one of the many security teams deployed in Afghanistan using Fido found 270 concealed explosives, stopped nine truck bombs, and captured a notorious bomb maker. Fido X2 is equipped with the TrueTrace core and achieves exquisite sensitivity. TrueTrace is a patented, multiplexed luminescence detection technology specially formulated to react to multiple classes of explosives. It detects homemade explosives like triacetone triperoxide (TATP), as well as commercial, military and fertilizerbased explosives. It detects emerging explosive A closer formulations without look at how modification, to protect TrueTrace detection technology works.



against future threats. TrueTrace also maximizes system availability during high-threat scenarios with quick three-minute start-up, fast ten-second analysis, and rapid, reliable cleardown that is measured in seconds. New paradigms in strategic security High-profile venues utilize traditional checkpoint security screening measures at predictable locations like entryways. Heavy emphasis is placed on trace detection in security applications, but the reality is that larger visible or bulk quantities are also encountered. No single tool can successfully provide complete security and detection. A variety of complementary explosives detection technologies are needed to address both trace and bulk threats. For example, airport security teams benefit from having fixed and controlled locations to perform threat screening, because multiple technologies can be deployed to increase the likelihood of detection. A layered security

DETECTION Fido X2 complements fixed-site checkpoints at high-profile events and venues by introducing randomized screening as part of a comprehensive plan for increased vigilance.

Civilian police officers (temporary roadblock), private security teams (hotels and other venues), and military police and security forces (military facilities) can screen arriving vehicles quickly and confidently with the Fido X2.

Randomized screening: Random screening protocols can be deployed at sporting events, concerts, conventions, train stations and other public transit facilities, or even schools. Establishing temporary mobile checkpoints and then moving them provides complete randomization as part of a larger event planning strategy. Inserting the Fido X2 into this randomized screening scenario can disrupt the terror plot planning. Using random checkpoints increases the likelihood of catching someone with nefarious intent and serves as a strong deterrent to anyone rehearsing an attack. Area reduction tool: Airports, sports venues, and metro stations are facilities where police squads must screen a large area in a short period of time. Checkpoints are regularly employed at entryways. However, canines are also deployed due to their ability to move around a large area, quickly pick up on explosives vapour, and reduce the area of interest to a single point. Canines also assist with point-to-point screening. The Fido X2 complements police K-9 units by providing secondary information after a potential threat has been discovered. Prior to questioning a suspect or escalating to an EOD team, the Fido X2 can be used to screen, verify, and classify the initial detection, which saves time, minimizes disruption to public safety operations, and reduces resource consumption. Post-blast sweeps: Security measures dramatically increase after a terrorist attack. This show of force is critical in reassuring the public it is safe from additional attacks. With the right tools, it is possible to break the chain of events that lead to an explosion. While the Fido X2 is a visible deterrent that can prevent the use of explosives in a terror attack, it can also be used to uncover evidence like the type of explosive and magnitude of response. This actionable information can lead the hunt for explosive material before the explosion left of boom. a series of streets during a marathon or New Year’s Eve celebration, where fixed checkpoints are not always feasible. In these scenarios, patrol officers require mobile trace detectors that enable proactive, randomized screening.

Many kinds of items can be screened for trace explosives residues such as vehicles, boxes, visitor identification cards, employee badges, bags, and mass transit tickets.

approach ensures that no bulk, trace, or vapour signature goes undetected. This is in contrast with the day-to-day task of protecting a city park and shopping centre or securing

Asymmetric screening missions When considering a trace detection tool, understanding where and how it fits into the overall security picture is key. Fixed-site security allows terrorists to repeatedly probe security to determine vulnerabilities and change tactics to circumvent authorities. The mobility provided by the Fido X2 increases the uncertainty of success for a planned terrorist operation and ultimately may prevent it from taking place. At 0.68 kg (1.5 pounds), Fido X2 can go anywhere the patrol officer

goes, providing a visible deterrent to extremists at random checkpoints, temporary roadblocks, or foot patrol. It also complements fixed-site checkpoints and mobile canine teams at high-profile events and venues. Law enforcement teams can utilize handheld ETD systems for a number of asymmetric response missions, including random screening, area reduction, and post-blast sweeps. Fido X2 was designed specifically for police, first responders, and private security teams. With true trace-level sensitivity, a straightforward user interface, and ergonomic design, Fido X2 enables life-saving technology to be deployed with confidence to the modern police force. âœş Clint Wichert is Director of Product Management and Chris Skrocki is Sales Manager of FLIR Systems.















EXPLOSIVES VAPOURS Aircraft cargo is an ongoing target for terrorists hiding explosives in checked baggage, and is difficult to detect using traditional screening.


n 2013, the International Symposium on the Analysis and Detection of Explosives declared that the detection of explosives and illicit materials was a global effort. Defence groups along with forensic sciences, customs, and transport security worldwide are entrenched in the search for these compounds. Legal constraints set by the judicial system impose important restrictions on the allowable methods used by agencies to detect these compounds. The chain of evidence – a crucial step in any investigation – dictates that any material evidence gathered must be maintained in its original form and



unaltered by investigators if it is to be presented as evidence in a legal inquest. This explains the interest in vapour analysis where the solid/ liquid is left undisturbed. Services involved in protecting defence, security, transportation, shipping and public thoroughfares from the use of explosives all have interest in technologies that can be used as portable, sensitive detectors for illicit and prohibited substances while maintaining the legal status of the sample.

such as ammonium nitrate (used in so-called fertilizer bombs); potassium chlorate (used in smoke grenades and fireworks); and high explosives (HMX, PETN, TNT). However, organic peroxides such as triacetone triperoxide (TATP) and diacetone diperoxide (DADP) have emerged as higher-threat compounds for use by terrorist and paramilitary organisations in IEDs, due to their ease of manufacture from commonly available components.

Enter TATP In discussions with these teams, we determined that they are interested in detecting a range of explosives

Tracing the traces Analysis of ‘bulk’ organic explosives is a straightforward task for wellequipped forensic laboratories, but it




◗ A typical CRDS set-up consists of a laser that is used to illuminate an optical cavity, which in its simplest form comprises two highly reflective mirrors at either end ◗ For a measurement, a gaseous substance is introduced to the cavity and the laser is turned off ◗ The exponentially decaying light intensity leaking from the cavity is measured ◗ The rate of decay will depend on the specific substances in the cavity due to the combination of their concentrations and absorption strengths ◗ This ‘ring-down time’ is used to calculate the concentration of the absorbing substance in the gas mixture in the cavity.

is considerably more difficult to analyze ‘trace’ amounts of organic explosive residues, particularly in highly contaminated post-blast samples. This usually requires an elaborate sequence of solvent extraction from swabs and some form of gas chromatographic (GC) or electrophoretic separation. Suitable detection techniques include ion mobility spectrometry (IMS), mass spectrometry (MS) and thermal energy analysis. Such analytical systems lack the sensitivity to analyze explosive residues in vapour samples, however – due to very low vapour pressures of organic and inorganic homemade explosives (HMEs). These techniques also alter

the sample itself, making them unsuitable from a legal standpoint. Field-portable instruments that can cope with trace residue detection without altering the sample itself are in crucial need. Additionally, these systems must handle a high volume of continuous measurements when deployed at high traffic venues. Just as importantly, these instruments need to offer quantitative reproducibility to limit the number of false-positive results. Comparing the technologies Although there are many commercially available instruments purporting to perform these tasks,


at present they all have major limitations. For example, Terahertz Radiation Technology can see through garments to identify hidden objects, but it cannot detect the compounds therein. Instead, it requires a human to operate the unit and make an intuitive, oftenflawed visual identification. These types of machines also have the disadvantage of being time consuming, so they slow down the flow of traffic in, for example, an







◗ Produces results requiring only vapour from samples, and does not alter the sample itself – preserving sample integrity as evidence in a legal inquest, crucial to judicial system constraints

The mobile robot rtCRDS system built at UNSW in Canberra, Australia shows that the technology can be deployed for remote sensing of hostile environments. Deployment on drones, vehicles and ships should be equally viable.

◗ Uses state-of-the-art manufacturing, such as 3D printing – to produce inexpensive, lightweight sensors in a range of form factors to facilitate mounting on fixed or mobile platforms

◗ Real-time spectra obtained in 2-4 seconds, covering a wavelength range in excess of 1,300 nanometres, with at least 150,000 data-points – could be combined with a GC to create a real-time infrared spectrum that separates the mixture into individual components and displays the results as a 3D hypertemporal cube

©RingIR, Inc.

◗ Spectral ‘molecular fingerprints’ unique for each material – avoiding false positive readings common to many detection systems ◗ Spectra of TATP and DADP that are distinctly different from their reactants, acetone and peroxide – very important since acetone and peroxide are found commonly in benign forms throughout society ◗ Measurements can be performed at atmospheric pressure and temperature – making operations under vacuum conditions unnecessary, even though this remains a requirement for competing technologies, such as MS ◗ Measurements require no sample preparation, no carrier gases and no ionization sources – aids rapid analysis time, essential for defence and security groups as measurements can be made in the field and on the spot. Specifically, headspace from containers such as luggage or shipping crates can be quickly analyzed. Fixed or mobile sensors analyzing ambient air for tell-tale explosives signatures can be used in airport, stadia, and a wide variety of vulnerable sites where a large number of people are present. airport queue. IMS systems offer a high level of sensitivity and rapid analysis time, but struggle with selectivity and are prone to saturation and false positives. Fourier Transform Infrared Spectrometers (FTIR) give excellent qualitative measurements of the substances in a compound across a wide bandwidth of operation and produce a spectrum in a relatively short period of time, but lack sensitivity and quantitative reproducibility. The only real alternatives to instrumentation are detector dogs, which are heavily used by both military and civilian agencies. While they are useful at detecting



3D printed parts for the rtCRDS headspace sensors. These systems can be manufactured rapidly and deployed in many environments.

‘something’, be it narcotics or explosives, they are not able to unequivocally state what chemicals are present, and in what concentration. A dose of the vapours Real-time headspace analyzers are highly desirable for rapid measurements in hostile environments as well as high-traffic locations such as airports and rail stations. Headspace analyzers are portable, non-destructive devices capturing gaseous vapours being emitted by a liquid (or solid) in a closed space above the sample – that is, the ‘headspace.’ The gases captured in this closed space can

then be analyzed without altering the liquid or solid itself. A promising means of undertaking this analysis is real-time Cavity Ring-down Spectroscopy (rtCRDS - see Box above left) – a highly sensitive optical spectroscopic technique that enables measurement of absolute optical extinction by samples that scatter and absorb light at specific wavelengths – which in turn enables determination of molecular concentration down to a level of parts per trillion. ✺ Dr. Charles C. Harb, CEO and Founder of RingIR, Inc. is the inventor and developer of rtCRDS technology. He has more than 20 years’ experience in Laser and Optics R&D with emphasis on optical sensing systems and gas spectrometry. Dr. Andrzej W. Miziolek was a Research Physicist at the US Army Research Laboratory before retiring in 2015. He has worked in applied spectroscopy for more than 40 years, focusing on security and protection and environmental applications.



The Lig ht De con tami n at i on Syste m re p re sen t s a m a jo r a dvancem en t in C BR N d e con t am i n at i on . O f ferin g lig h t weig h t a n d co st effective d e con t am i n at i on t h e L i g h t Deco n t a m in at io n System is a hig hly m ob ile an d rob u st b ack p ack d es igned fo r m a x im u m operation al flex ib ili t y. D e s i g n e d to al l ow em erg en cy p er s o n n el to work effective ly i n b ot h con f i n e d an d rem ote env iro n m en t s , t he L igh t D eco n tam i n at i on Syste m i n cor po rates S co t t S a fet y ’s s uper so nic ato m is at i on te ch n ol og y, cre at in g a s u p er f in e t urbule nt and p e n e t rat i ve m i st to e n s u re even a n d co n s isten t coverage.

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X-RAY EYES David Oliver talks to Laurent Colson, Marketing & Communication Manager of Teledyne ICM about their portable X-ray systems designed to fight terrorism, illegal smuggling, and privacy violation

Bomb squads use the FLATSCAN30 to X-ray suspect baggage.

All photos ŠTeledyne ICM

LC: We have 49 people working within Teledyne ICM: 15 in the R & D department, six in sales & marketing, eight in charge of all the administrative duties, and 20 skilled staff members working on production. CBNW Xplosive: What are the main advantages that your products for EOD operators can offer against those of your competitors in the detection and identification industry?

LC: Our FLATSCAN portable X-ray solutions have been designed with, and for, EOD specialists. Such collaboration ensures maximum ease of use and adaptability in the field. Furthermore, our systems Process-free are the only ones on the market that are designed, X-ray images manufactured and maintained entirely in one of guns carried in a bag. location: Andrimont in Belgium. Our competitors integrate a variety of outside elements to constitute their systems. The FLATSCAN CBNW Xplosive: When and how was your panel and our constant potential X-ray source - which company created? enables a much better image quality than standard LC: ICM X-Ray was founded by two talented engineers in X-ray sources - are all designed and manufactured by our teams, which makes it a fully integrated one-stop 1993 in Belgium. Thanks to its innovative solutions, the solution. Furthermore, we differentiate ourselves by company quickly became a big player in the X-ray world. providing a unique single-shot dual-energy option. Then 22 years later, in June 2015, due to its success, the And last but not least, our price tag is very favourable. business was acquired by the high-technology US group, Teledyne Technologies. From that point on, the company became Teledyne ICM. CBNW Xplosive: Can you detail the services This new partnership has improved ICM’s research you offer? & development innovative capabilities, enabling new state-of-the-art solutions especially developed for the LC: As we want to make sure our products can be serviced end user. anywhere in record time, we are constantly growing our after-sales service network. Now with ten officially licensed after-sales service centres worldwide, including CBNW Xplosive: How many staff do you employ two locations in the United States, you can be sure to and how many of them are involved in production, always receive a five-star service wherever you are. and how many in research and development?




CBNW Xplosive: Who are your main customers in the civil sector?

LC: We primarily work with airports, prisons, and luxury hotels. We are also in contact with the entertainment business. Indeed, places gathering important number of people can be easy target points for terrorism. Therefore, we see an increasing interest in our innovative products for stadia, concert halls, and amusement parks. CBNW Xplosive: What percentage of your business is in the military sector?

LC: Given the fact that we are also active in the Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) market (the process of evaluating the properties of a material, component or system without causing damage to the object studied), we are dealing with military personnel for around 40% of our annual turnover. CBNW Xplosive: Who are your main customers in the military sector?

LC: Since our solutions are especially tailored for them, the EOD teams are the main users of our portable X-ray systems; they favour the ease and simplicity of our FLATSCAN systems. We are continually improving them by adding new accessories and developing new versions. By doing so, we focus our efforts on helping the end user on a daily basis. Since our creation, our mission at Teledyne ICM has been to facilitate these professionals’ lives by providing innovative, user-friendly, and safe X-ray systems. However, as well as EOD teams Special Forces, special police and custom agents are among the many security professionals to use our portable X-ray systems for various applications. CBNW Xplosive: Can you give details of your latest FLATSCAN products?

LC: We are about to launch a brand new version of our backpack solution, FLATSCAN15, which - as its name suggests - will be thinner, lighter, and even more convenient for the end-user. We are really looking forward to getting the first on-the-field-use feedback. CBNW Xplosive: Can you explain some of the technical details of the FLATSCAN15?

LC: Operating in conjunction with our constant potential X-ray sources CP120B or CP160B and their small focal spots, FLATSCAN15 delivers a sharp, clear and detailed image of any suspect object. It is supplied with the latest ‘free of memory effect’ Li-ion batteries, and can now be used for many hours and can capture approximately 500 images before it needs charging up. The FLATSCAN15 software continuously displays the remaining battery life of both the FLATSCAN15 and CP X-ray source.

The FLATSCAN30 shown with the FLATSCAN15 in front, the latest backpack lightweight XS.

Weighing only 3.5 kg (7.7 lb), FLATSCAN15 is delivered with a multilingual interface that allows the operator to make and process images after only a few minutes of training. The enhanced software features clearly displayed function buttons that initiate hidden complex image processing. The thumbnails bar at the screen bottom is a particularly helpful tool for operators to visualize the different images and the subsequent processes made during the entire operation. Meanwhile, a database storage system lets you comment, store and retrieve or transfer images in a very intuitive way. Optional hardware and software enable the FLATSCAN15 to differentiate organic and inorganic materials in a single image capture. CBNW Xplosive: Do you train your customers in the use and maintenance of your product solutions?

LC: Every time we provide a unit, the Area Sales Manager in charge of the contract will fly to the customer’s location in order to provide complete training. However, such training may not be necessary given the system’s simplicity of use. CBNW Xplosive: Where do you see the greatest potential growth for your EOD/IED products?

LC: Geographically speaking, Asia, India, the USA and the Middle East are markets to keep an eye on in the coming years. Applications-wise, we are getting more and more requests from the entertainment business – a segment with great potential. ✺






©William Murphy/wikimedia

Soldiers of the Irish Army march in celebration of the Dublin Easter Rising Centenary in March 2016. Security north and south was at its height for the events.

With the focus on jihadist and other extremist terrorist threats, and numerous attacks around the world, IED attacks and attempted attacks by dissident Irish Republican groups continuing operations in Northern Ireland receive less media attention. Andy Oppenheimer examines the background to the recent decision to raise the threat level to Substantial in the rest of the UK ©Jonto/Wikipedia


n March 2016 a dissident republican group calling itself the ‘New IRA’ claimed responsibility for the murder of a prison officer, Adrian Ismay, in east Belfast, when a bomb partially exploded under his van. The boobytrapped vehicle-borne IED detonated as he drove over a speed ramp on Hillsborough Drive on 4 March. Mr Ismay had been making a good recovery from his injuries, but was rushed back to hospital



on 15 March, where he died. The New IRA said he was targeted because he was training officers at Maghaberry Prison near Lisburn in County Antrim, where a dispute has raged between the prison authorities and dissident republican inmates. The same splinter organisation shot dead prison officer David Black as he drove to work at Maghaberry in November 2012. As of early July 2016, the groups have killed two British soldiers, two PSNI officers and two Prison Service guards. More than 40 civilians have also been killed by dissident

republicans, 29 in the Omagh bombing by the Real IRA on 15 August 1998 – the conflict’s biggest death toll in one incident. While the dissident groups’ activities do not come anywhere near the efforts of their forebears, the Provisional IRA, the threat from gun and bomb attacks remains Severe in the province. Alphabet soup of groups A veritable ‘alphabet soup’ of dissident offshoots, who do not accept the 1998 Good Friday Agreement and the cessation of the ‘armed struggle’, includes the


New IRA, Continuity IRA (CIRA) and Óglaigh na hÉireann (ONH). Their targets continue to be officers of the PSNI (Police Service of Northern Ireland), army and prison officers, and others. The groups are somewhat ramshackle, but still a threat to the security of Northern Ireland and possibly the UK ‘mainland’. During the height of attacks in 2009 and 2010 the province witnessed the first car bombings in Northern Ireland in a decade, with several launched at several high-profile targets: Newry courthouse, Palace Barracks (the NI headquarters of MI5), Newtownhamilton PSNI base, Strand Road PSNI base in Derry, and outside a Derry bank, causing widespread damage. Also in 2010, a PSNI officer had to have a leg amputated after a BTVBIED exploded under his car. Threat level: substantial From September 2014 to October 2015 there were 15 bomb incidents in


two areas of Derry alone, with seven ©PSNI targeting the PSNI. Further attacks were expected in the weeks approaching the Easter Some of Rising Centenary in March the items discovered 2016 and the actual during searches anniversary on 24 April. in west There were thankfully Belfast. none. For every attack that succeeds, the Security Service foils four. Nevertheless, in May the threat level from dissident republican groups was raised in the rest of the UK from ‘Moderate’ to ‘Substantial’ as the attacks in Northern Ireland have become more ambitious, and reveal old PIRA M.O., A supposed most notably under-vehicle IEDs and improvised ©An Garda Síochána mortars. It has remained at ‘Severe’ rocket prototype developed in the Irish in Northern Ireland. According to Republic and seized the National Security Strategy the more advanced and by the Garda groups are also sufficiently armed to include the use of Síochána. pose an “enduring threat” and are mercury tilt switches still trying to target the mainland. for UVBIEDs. In the 22 attacks on national security targets during 2014, devices ranged Republican devices from basic letter-bombs to EFPs Many devices are pipe bombs but (explosively formed projectiles), others and their mechanisms are

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This memorial in Market Street, Omagh, Co Tyrone is dedicated to the 29 victims of the 15 August 1998 bombing by the Real IRA.

attack on a hotel used for PSNI recruitment. Explosives hauls On 18 May a "terrorist hide" was uncovered by two members of the public in an arms dump in Capanagh Forest, near Larne, Co. Antrim that could have been used to make dozens of bombs. Items found included an armour-piercing improvised rocket and two anti-personnel mines. On 7 March the PSNI said the discovery of a “significant terrorist hide” in a country park potentially saved lives after four plastic barrels were spotted – again, by a member of the public. Two barrels contained wiring, toggle switches, circuit boards, partially constructed timer power units, ball bearings and a “small” amount of explosives. In December 2015 Gardai (Republic of Ireland Police) found

The New IRA, Continuity IRA (CIRA) and Óglaigh na hÉireann (ONH) continue to target officers of the PSNI, army officers and prison officers.

©Belfast Media Group

with potential armour-piercing capability. In August 2015 a mortar bomb found in a graveyard in Strabane, Co. Tyrone, was an attempt to kill officers. An EFP attack on a PSNI patrol in west Belfast in March 2015 was of a design that has been used by Iraqi insurgents but originally developed as a terrorist weapon by the PIRA – comprising a conically shaped warhead that can be fired from a tripod or tube. The warhead solidifies into a kinetic slug and can penetrate a vehicle surface at as high a speed as 8,000m/sec. Just picking a recent incident out of the air, on 30 July a "viable explosive

device" said to have fallen off a vehicle in Lisburn town centre had to be safely disrupted after a security alert lasting several hours. High-grade plastic explosives are being used – including the IRA’s favourite, Semtex, most likely Libyan supplied and purloined from a PIRA arms dump in the Irish Republic as far back as 1997, by a PIRA operative who then joined the Real IRA. Semtex has a shelf life of over 30 years and was used by PIRA mainly in mortars and as a booster for vast ammonium nitrate (AN) VBIEDs. In 2015 AN was found in devices aimed at police and improvised explosives in a firebomb

a substantial haul of AK-47 assault rifles, mortars, detonators and other bomb components in Co. Monaghan, close to the border, said to have posed "a very significant threat to security personnel on both sides of the border.” A month earlier police seized 700 rounds of assorted ammunition, seven mercury tilt switches, detonator cord, and black powder during searches in west Belfast. On 2 September 2016 a Royal Marine from Northern Ireland was charged with offences related to dissident republicanism, including bomb-making and storing weapons, after a further discovery in Larne and one in Devon turned up caches of IEDs and components. ✺

Andy Oppenheimer AIExpE MIABTI is Editor-in-Chief of CBNW Xplosive and CBNW magazines and author of IRA: The Bombs and the Bullets – A History of Deadly Ingenuity (2008).







he unique capability offered by T-REX, delivered by an innovative combination of three technologies (Surface Acoustic Waves, fluorescence, Quartz Crystal Microbalance), gives it a significant advantage over the competition in the EVD field and indeed, over all other portable explosives detection systems dedicated to second level or random control. The high level of assurance provided by the sensors array T-REX has created what we believe is the unique selling point for the system. This level of assurance will offer up an unprecedented level of confidence to security commanders. T-REX can detect and identify in a short response time (10 seconds to two minutes) military and commercial explosives (TNT, DNT, EGDN) and homemade explosives (hydrogen peroxide, nitromethane, TATP, nitrobenzene) or taggants (nitrotoluene) with an alarm (sound and graph). ✺


• • • • •

Critical infrastructures

Civil support teams

Mass transit Aviation security First responders Counter-terrorism task force





BBI DETECTION LAUNCHES THE NEW EXPLOSIVE DETECTION IMASS Innovative, rugged and simple to use Explosive Detection System


BI Detection, a leader in the development and supply of innovative technologies for rapid sampling and identification, announces the formal launch of its new Explosive Detection IMASS product. The Explosive Detection IMASS utilizes the same easy-to-use platform as the Biothreat Detection IMASS system. The product is designed for the detection of both military grade explosives (TNT, RDX, PETN and their derivatives) and ammonianitrate-based homemade explosive components – ammonia, nitrate and sugar. The unique integrated sampling and assay system gives visual results in three minutes, has no power requirements, and has a very low training burden. The new Explosive Detection

IMASS recently completed independent testing carried out at Hertfordshire University’s chemistry laboratory and Cranfield University’s explosive range. The lab and field testing took place over two days and assessed the product against explosives at and below product literature claims, along with field tests of real-world samples at Cranfield Explosive Range. The testing confirmed the product’s ease of use and low training burden. The report concludes with a quote from Cranfield range staff and retired EOD officer, UK Military:

©BBI Detection

More information about BBI Detection’s IMASS product range and services can be found at:




usch PROtective has developed a superior level of ballistic head protection for anti-terror teams. The AMP-1 TP is the first Aramid (Kevlar) helmet to achieve VPAM (HVN-2009 – Level 3) certification from an independent laboratory in Mellrichstadt, Germany. This helmet is manufactured using our patented process, which gives the helmet élite ballistic capabilities – previously only possible with titanium helmets. The helmet’s tested capabilities include being able to stop bullets up to 20 mm from the helmet’s edge, bolt shots (negating fragmentation), multiple impacts on a small surface area, and random shots on any part of the helmet – and seriously limits head trauma by reducing the energy transfer to the skull to less than 25 joules. The risk of being shot in the



head region when entering the threat area are real-time hazards, as the officer’s head will be exposed from all angles. VPAM testing measures back-face deformation as this area is commonly overlooked. Most ballistic helmets on the market claim to stop the bullet, but fail to mention the back-face deformation. On impact the bullet’s kinetic energy causes huge shell deformations, leading the helmet to bulge into the user’s head, causing very serious brain trauma. Furthermore, our CPP pad suspension system within the helmet is EN 397-certified, providing further protection on impact – while the wheel-dial retention sizing system provides for a secure and stable fit, making target acquisition easy. Lastly, our unique rail-system offers modular protective capability, giving


the officer the ability to use our ballistic visor. The visor speedsystem enables the visor to be attached or detached to the helmet’s side-rail within seconds (no tools), thereby reducing weight, decreasing fatigue, and increasing performance, while still keeping the picatinny side-rail free for tactical devices. These increased capabilities enhance the helmet’s élite performance and provide protection were it really matters, making the AMP-1 TP the ‘Ultimate Law Enforcement Helmet!’ ✺


RESOLVE – HANDHELD THROUGH-BARRIER ID A new capability for Search, EOD, Hazmat and Law Enforcement


esolve uses Cobalt’s unique handheld Spatially Offset Raman Spectroscopy (SORS) technology to positively identify hazardous materials through a wide range of barriers such as coloured plastics, dark glass, paper, card, sacks and fabrics. The system identifies substances from comprehensive libraries including explosives, precursors, toxic industrial chemicals, chemical warfare agents and narcotics. Resolve enables operators to ID materials without opening or moving the container. Hazards remain contained allowing response

teams to make better decisions early in an operation, prior to escalation. Resolve is fast, accurate, ruggedized and simple to use – the user simply chooses the container type and the system then determines which measurement mode to use: Through-Barrier, Surface Scan (traditional point-and-shoot), or Vial Holder. Through-barrier ID means time spent in protective gear is reduced or used more efficiently. Measurements take about one minute (or less in some modes of operation), with no sample preparation or consumables needed. ✺

For more information, visit or to request a Resolve demonstration, contact




oxic industrial chemicals (TICs) and traditional chemical weapons pose a major threat. The SyrianMedical Society (2016) documents 161 attacks with a further 133 not fully verifiable in Syria alone since 2011. The attacks left 1,500 dead and 15,000 injured: over a third of these attacks used chlorine. The use of chlorine and other chemicals as weapons in developed countries is an increasing threat. Identifying chemicals used in an attack is key to applying correct preventative and corrective actions. To assist first responders, the military and others at risk of being exposed to an attack, KeTech offers easy-to-use non-electronic detection equipment to alert to the presence of traces of agents.

For toxic gases, KeTech offers the TIC Card. Easy to use: simply wave it in the air. This card alerts in seconds to the presence of hydrogen cyanide, phosgene, ammonia, and acids, as well as chlorine/bromine. The cards alert to low levels allowing preventative action to be taken, or if used in post-event assessment, for gases to be identified quickly. The card is pocket-sized and uses no electronics or power; it is therefore available for instant use. For conventional chemical agents (nerve agents, mustard/blister agents), KeTech offers the Residual Vapour Detector (RVD), which is supplied to the British Army as the standard ‘unmasking aid’ - and is considered to be the world’s leading equipment for this role. The RVD is small and uses no batteries, ensuring

that it can be carried easily and ready for instant use when required. ✺





NERVA-LG Improved efficiency and better safety when putting your detectors on robots

©Nexter Robotics


hen suspecting a CBRNE threat, a short response time is required. However, this is challenging - as first responding needs staff to don protective clothing or use heavy-to-deploy equipment. Use of light, robust and fast ground robots can drastically improve this critical phase: with a weight below 10 lbs (4.5 kg), the NERVA-LG robot

from Nexter Robotics is easily transportable; its speed is over 9 mph (15 km/h), and it can support drops over 6 ft (2 m) high. But the most interesting aspect comes from its high modularity and versatility: indeed, beyond its native reconnaissance capabilities (four on-board cameras for 360° vision), the robot can be equipped for free with almost all existing CBRNE


detectors or effectors, provided their weights comply with the 12-lb (5.4-kg) payload capacity. Detectors can be interfaced with the robot in two ways: Tight coupling or loose coupling. When tight coupled, detectors are physically wired to the robot; they are fully remotely operable from the robot Control Station; all measurements are recorded, dated and, if GPS is available, geo-referenced. The map displayed on the control station can also be coloured according to the local level of contamination (red, orange, green…). In case GPS is not available (indoor use for example) the robot can be equipped with a 2D-mapping system, which automatically makes a map of the local environment (also with colours according to measured contamination). When detector and robot are loose coupled, a micro-camera watches the embarked detector display, which then appears as Picture-In-Picture on remote Control Station. ✺




he hand-held COMID™ represents the latest development in Schiebel’s mine detection technology: It is characterized by easy handling in static search and simplified ground calibration procedure. The COMID™ is able to consistently pinpoint small and large targets with extreme accuracy; this is further enhanced by visual and acoustic support functions. Detecting minimum-metal content mines in nearly all types of soils and terrain conditions, the COMID™ is especially viable in areas with severe laterite conditions. Simplified pinpointing is made possible with different audio signals for the left and right halves of the search head, aiming at maximum support with minimal training effort. Always in the visual field of the operator, an LED display, integrated



in the search head, minimizes the risk of distraction. The LED also displays a rippling effect for large targets. The infrared data port allows a quick update with new software versions. While utilizing the COMID™, the operator sweeps the search head, as close to the ground as possible, in a side-to-side motion across the lane. A distinctive signal will sound in the headphone when the search head passes over a metal object. The acoustic signal changes in frequency to assist in exact target location, differentiating if the find is underneath the right or left half of the search head. Static search mode allows the detector to be positioned exactly over the target midpoint, as continuous movement is not needed. With an operational weight of only 3.13 kg and a typical operating

endurance of 70 hours, the COMID™ provides the best combination of cutting edge technologies for the maximum operational benefit. ✺

Respond with greater confidence.



now has 4C™ Technology! New predictive software will ‘foresee’ a greater threat to keep you safer while identifying the widest range of chemical precursors: • WMDs • IEDs • Homemade explosives • Drug labs


Download a FREE copy of our new Guidebook

Get answers to questions like “Do I need a handheld ETD in my toolkit?” and “What are the performance advantages and trade-offs for the various detector technologies?”


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Terrains change. Recon methods change. Missions change. SO SHOULD YOUR ROBOT. The NERVA® LG from NEXTER ROBOTICS is a is a mini multi-purpose unmanned ground vehicle (UGV) which can be used for different applications like; reconnaissance missions, as an EOD platform, CBRNe detection platform, smoke generator, transportation platform, etc.

Learning the tradecraft


SCORCHED EARTH In a summer of carnage


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THE GOLDEN HOUR Afghanistan’s fragile future


PROTECTING THE ATO Through innovation and collaboration

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