Learn About the IED Risk and What is Being Done

Criminal organizations, terrorist groups, extremist individuals, and insurgents throughout the world have used bombs, often called improvised explosive devices (IEDs), to try and further their cause.  Landmarks, special events, political leaders, critical infrastructure, transportation systems, and commercial venues are common targets.  So-called “soft targets” are often attacked because they are easily accessible by nature.

Serious IED attacks in America are relatively rare, with the majority of incidents related to criminal activities and mischief, but significant plots are thwarted more frequently than commonly thought.  Besides the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, 1994 Oklahoma City bombing, 1996 Olympic Park bombing, and recent Boston Marathon bombing, nearly 40 significant terrorist bombings were thwarted since September 11th alone, including numerous aviation plots, attempted vehicle bombings, and attacks on prominent landmarks or critical infrastructure. 

Overall, global attacks are rising and more and more IED incidents here in U.S. have origins abroad.  More than 3,000 IED attacks occurred worldwide in 2012, with over 20,000 killed or wounded. 

The United States recognizes that the IED threat will remain high, evolve rapidly in response to countermeasures, occur transnationally, and endure in the coming decade.  To that end, Presidential Policy Directive 17, Countering IEDs (PPD-17), outlines a national policy for collaboration among federal, state, local, tribal, territorial, and private sector partners, as well as foreign governments, to effectively prevent and respond to IEDs.

The national policy will increase the U.S.’ effectiveness in countering IEDs by:

  • Enhancing the ability to discover and prevent IED threats
  • More effectively neutralizing or mitigating the consequences of an attack
  • Leveraging, integrating, and aligning United States Government efforts
  • Enhancing the focus on protecting American lives; and
  • Promoting cooperation with government, international, and private sector partners

Read the attached information for additional details:

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Policy Document