Post-Blast Investigator Training
Twice a year, FBI bomb technicians set off dozens of explosions to show investigators how to recognize specific bomb traits.
[Ambient noise: loud explosions]
John Perren, Special Agent in Charge, Counterterrorism Division, Washington Field Office: What we’re doing today is, FBI does what we call post-blast investigations. This one in particular is one that we give about twice a year. And what we do is we invite state, local, and federal partners in to not only train with us but be part of the student class.
We do post-blast investigations. We do identification of explosives. Identification of precursors. What those explosives can do. What amount of damage they can do. What their capabilities are, so when these people come on a scene and they investigate the aftermath of an explosion, certain things that they learned in class will rise and they will be able to make certain sight identifications as far as if it was an explosion. If it was a chemical explosion, if it was a powder explosion, if it was a high explosive. And they’ll go through a lot of the techniques and explosives today.
[loud explosions, sound of car alarms]
Perren: It’s good to be there first-hand and see it. First of all, you’ll feel it. You’ll see it. You’ll be able to smell it. No matter how violent the explosion is, you’re going to have evidence there in the aftermath. And that’s what we try to show them: that just because something explodes it doesn’t mean that we don’t have evidence anymore.
And we have bomb techs form the FBI. Bomb techs from our state and local partners here today. And we all work together and they set up the training. And it’s a good concerted effort.
Today they’ll show things as low explosives, high explosives, det cord, Molotov cocktails.
People that utilize it within the Bureau would be our Evidence Response Teams, our Rapid Deployment Teams, our SWAT folks, our WMD folks. We need to have that in background. It’s not going to make you an expert, but it’s good to have in your tool chest when you’re conducting the investigation.
Our bomb techs are very, very experienced. They’ve deployed to Iraq. They go on 90-day tours. They deploy to Afghanistan--90-day tours. And there’s a reason for that. We want to see what they’re using our there. We want to see what sort of tradecraft, what sort of components. And we want to see if there’s any sort of migration into the United States.