Programs within the Counter-IED Section (C-IEDS) play a vital role in the Bureau’s strategic objective to prevent and effectively respond to terrorist or criminal use of hazardous devices, explosives, and weapons of mass destruction (WMD).
Since 1971, the section has managed the nation’s only facility to train and certify public safety bomb technicians to render safe hazardous devices. The FBI’s Hazardous Devices School (HDS) at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama is often referred to as the national academy for bomb technicians. HDS has provided training to over 20,000 state and local first responders. National standards published by the FBI for training state and local bomb squads provide the necessary foundation for an effective response to federal crimes involving hazardous devices, terrorist bombing campaigns, or use of a WMD.
A natural extension of the FBI’s bomb tech school is the Special Agent Bomb Technician (SABT) Program. SABTs provide training to local and state bomb squads and serve as the workforce for the FBI’s explosives-related operations and activities worldwide. SABTs undertake some of the most dangerous duties in the FBI. They respond to actual and threatened improvised explosive device (IED) incidents domestically and internationally. They provide assistance during major cases, special events, and federal, state, and local training events. Additionally, they enable first- and middle-tier response to WMD incidents involving chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear devices.
The C-IEDS is also responsible for responding to WMD incidents around the country and carrying out render safe procedures as required. C-IEDS fulfills this mission in partnership with the Department of Energy, the Department of Defense, and a variety of state and local agencies.
Within the C-IEDS, the Counter-Improvised Explosive Devices Unit is the FBI’s focal point for sharing hazardous device-related information among federal, state, and local bomb technicians and investigators, as well as international bomb data centers and general audiences. The unit publishes bulletins, guides, and other materials designed to offer continuing education to bomb technicians beyond the structured learning provided by the Hazardous Devices School.
It also publishes bulletins and posts explosives-related information to investigators and general audiences through bulletins and the resources available on Law Enforcement Online, which can be accessed by law enforcement through the Law Enforcement Enterprise Portal (LEEP).