Common chemicals as precursors of improvised explosive devices : the challenges of controlling domestic terrorism
Rostberg, James I.
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During the past decade the world has witnessed an increase in the use of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs). Explosives in the hands of terrorists continue to pose a significant threat. Lessons learned indicate that when traditional explosives become difficult to obtain, bomb makers turn to common chemicals as precursors to manufacture explosives. Only the imagination and the availability of certain chemicals limits the number explosives which can be manufactured with relative ease utilizing common chemicals readily available in our communities. Availability of precursor chemicals and ease by which explosives can be manufactured, increase the potential that IEDs will be deployed in the Homeland and requires a careful study of the options necessary to defeat IED deployment. This thesis analyzes various options, policies and procedures to ascertain which would be most appropriate to defeat explosives manufactured from common chemicals. Options include removing, restricting, and tracking certain chemicals available to the public as well as increasing awareness to emergency responders and the public. State and federal legislation pertaining to methamphetamine laboratories is analyzed to identify potential crossover legislation to counter explosives manufacture. Intelligence gathering and information sharing technologies and procedures are assessed for effectiveness as law enforcement tools.
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