Terrorist Explosive Device Analytical Center (TEDAC) 

TEDAC Headquarters

The Terrorist Explosive Device Analytical Center (TEDAC) was formally established in 2003 to serve as the single interagency organization to receive, fully analyze, and exploit all terrorist improvised explosive devices, or IEDs, of interest to the United States. 

TEDAC coordinates the efforts of the entire government, from law enforcement to intelligence to military, to gather and share forensic data and intelligence about devices, tactics, techniques, and procedures—helping to disarm and disrupt IEDs, link them to their makers, and, most important, prevent future attacks. To date, TEDAC has received more than 100,000 IED submissions from more than 50 countries.

Part of the FBI’s Laboratory Division, TEDAC’s organizational structure consists of a director (FBI); a deputy director (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives); an assistant section chief; the TEDAC Operations, Plans, and Policy Office; and eight units related to forensics, technical exploitation, intelligence, and investigations. TEDAC includes representatives from the Department of Justice, the Department of Defense, and international partner agencies who work collaboratively to address IED-related issues and develop solutions in support of the counter-improvised explosive device (C-IED) fight.

On February 16, 2016, TEDAC celebrated the completion of its new laboratory facilities at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama.

TEDAC Examiner

Mission 

The mission of TEDAC is to exploit IED information and material to produce actionable intelligence to protect the United States and its international partners from terrorist attacks.

TEDAC’s Work 

TEDAC directly supports broader U.S. government efforts to mitigate or prevent IED attacks by performing advanced exploitation of IEDs through physical examination resulting in scientific and technical information and production of actionable intelligence.

TEDAC’s continued success relies on a global, whole-of-government approach to addressing the IED threat. By serving as a collaborative, single-point, advanced IED analytical center, TEDAC is able to produce actionable intelligence, make associations between devices and bomb-makers, and communicate findings to the government and its international partners in law enforcement, military, intelligence, science and technology, and border protection. In addition, through its demonstrated capability and capacity to promptly disseminate raw intelligence, TEDAC serves a key role in broader FBI efforts to acquire, analyze, act on, and share terrorist-related information.

TEDAC performs IED exploitation using both established and innovative forensic techniques in a high-capacity, multi-agency environment with experienced scientists, engineers, and technicians. Along with its existing laboratory analytical capability, TEDAC is establishing the C-IED Collaboration Center (C3). This new center will unite law enforcement, military, intelligence, scientific, and border protection partners in a physical and virtual collaborative environment focusing on global collection and IED exploitation, coordinated knowledge and data sharing, and innovative research and development designed to identify and neutralize, or eliminate, terrorists and associated threat networks.

TEDAC’s global reach is extended through the International Collection and Engagement Program (ICEP). The program furthers the FBI’s long-term C-IED strategy by building relationships with countries that could lead to the submission of IED-related material and information. The ICEP fosters these relationships by deploying special agent bomb technicians, intelligence analysts, and forensic scientists to engage and assist international agencies with their C-IED efforts. The program accounted for 44.5 percent of evidence submissions to TEDAC in 2016.

TEDAC Operations, Plans, and Policy Office 

The TEDAC Operations, Plans, and Policy (TOPPs) Office provides a variety of program and executive management support to TEDAC and corresponding units. TOPPs develops, facilitates, and manages operational and programmatic tasks, ensuring they are executed in a fiscally responsible manner while generating or furthering relationships among stakeholders within the C-IED community.

Biometrics Analysis Unit 

The Mission

The Biometrics Analysis Unit (BAU) supports the U.S. government’s and international partners’ global ability to counter and defeat the IED threat through timely, high-quality, forensic latent print and DNA examination of IED materials, yielding actionable intelligence for investigative use.

The Team

Physical scientist-forensic examiners, physical scientists, biologist-forensic examiners, biologists, latent print technicians, latent print examiners, Next Generation Identification technicians, case flow managers, and a management and program analyst.

The Work

BAU Latent Print Squad

  • Develop latent prints on a wide range of surfaces using state-of-the-art equipment and chemical techniques
  • Search images of latent prints against millions of known reference holdings within the Next Generation Identification (NGI) system
  • Use friction ridge analysis to make critical biometric associations to persons of interest
  • Share fingerprint images with counterpart agencies to create a flow of biometric intelligence on a global scale
  • Provide full support to FBI investigations and prosecution support to partnering countries, special agent bomb technicians, and the intelligence community

BAU DNA Squad

  • Perform nuclear DNA analysis
  • Analyze known and unknown samples using a fully automated process
  • Compare unknown DNA profiles to the known profiles of individuals and upload them to appropriate databases to be searched

Joint Responsibilities

  • Associate IED-related events to one another and connect events to individuals.
  • Participate in scientific outreach by providing briefings, field exercises, and examination training to government and foreign partners.
A member of TEDAC's Biometric Analysis Unit performs a latent print examination.

A technician with BAU's Latent Print Squad examines a circuitboard for biometric evidence.

Evidence Management Unit 

The Mission

The Evidence Management Unit (EMU) is responsible for the receipt, cataloging, photographing, and documentation of evidence submitted to TEDAC. EMU handles and maintains evidence to best preserve it for technical use and forensic examinations.

The Team

Physical scientist-request coordinators, physical scientist-evidence analysts, forensic photographers, logistics management specialists, explosive safety specialists, evidence control technicians, office services specialists, and management and program analysts.

The Work

  • Coordinate with contributors to submit evidence to TEDAC and track shipments
  • Receive evidence submissions to TEDAC, perform data entry, and create an itemized log of the items and proper chain-of-custody documentation
  • Provide critical safety measures to ensure evidence submitted is screened and in a safe condition for transport and examination
  • Develop the examination plan for evidence in a manner that best preserves its integrity and prevents contamination
  • Photograph evidence and upload images to the Explosives Reference Tool (EXPeRT) database for visibility to partners
  • Transfer evidence to appropriate forensic disciplines to perform examinations
  • Photograph all latent images with the highest quality techniques and provide images to latent forensic examiners
  • Maintain the TEDAC IED repository and evidence storage facilities
  • Provide prosecutorial support for cases throughout the world by vetting chain-of-custody documentation and ensuring evidence is packaged and ready for court testimony
  • Assist with pre-deployment training and logistical support

Explosives Unit 

The Mission

The Explosives Unit (EU) examines evidence associated with bombing matters; conducts forensic examinations of IEDs, incendiary devices, and their respective remains; and provides expert witness testimony in court regarding the results of these examinations. The EU also provides direct field support in bombing matters, bombing crime scene investigations, and searches of bomb factories and safe houses in which bombs or bomb components may be encountered.

The Team

Senior scientist, supervisory special agent-forensic examiners, physical scientist-forensic examiners, chemist-forensic examiners, chemists, physical scientists, and management and program analysts.

The Work

  • Manage critical programs and/or long-term projects relating to the forensic analysis of bombing matters
  • Maintain the Explosives Reference File (ERF)
  • Conduct training in bombing crime scene investigations and terrorist bombing matters
  • Perform chemical analyses to determine the type of explosives used in an improvised explosive or incendiary device
  • Assist investigators in determining if debris from a fire of suspicious origin has an accelerant present
Vehicle Explosion

Intelligence Unit 

The Mission

The Intelligence Unit (IU) provides timely, all-source strategic and tactical intelligence and investigative leads on IEDs, facilitators, and supply chains to TEDAC partners. The IU supports law enforcement and the intelligence community in the detection, identification, and assessment of individuals associated with fabricating and placing terrorist explosive devices and providing material support to IED networks around the world.

The Team

Supervisory intelligence analysts, intelligence analysts, and management and program analysts.

The Work

  • Respond to requests for information from U.S. government and partner agencies
  • Provide intelligence products to the greater intelligence community
  • Provide oversight for TEDAC release of information to foreign partners
  • Provide leads to FBI investigations
A forensic examiner with TEDAC's Scientific Analysis Unit performs explosives chemistry testing.

Scientific Analysis Unit 

The Mission

The Scientific Analysis Unit (SAU) provides high-quality and high-fidelity results of scientific exploitation of IED materials. These examinations include trace evidence, toolmarks, and explosives chemistry available to the U.S. government and partner nations for actionable intelligence and investigative use. SAU also develops and uses innovative scientific methods and techniques for enhancement of current IED examination capabilities.

The Team

Physical scientists, physical scientist-forensic examiners, biologists, chemist-forensic examiners, chemists, and management and program analysts.

The Work

  • Provide expert examination in the forensic disciplines of toolmarks, trace evidence, and explosive chemistry
  • Link IED incidents through textiles, cordage, and toolmarks
  • Identify unique improvised explosive chemical mixtures used in IEDs
  • Participate in scientific outreach by providing briefings, case exercises, and exploitation training to U.S. government and foreign partners
  • Provide maintenance and validation to TEDAC instrumentation through its Instrumentation Group

Technical Exploitation Unit 

The Mission

The Technical Exploitation Unit (TExU) characterizes and identifies the electronics of an IED to create technical trends and associations. In support of TEDAC’s mission, TExU collects electronic data from all submitted IEDs; leverages historically archived data to enable comparative analysis; serves as a single location for partner and TEDAC collaboration for examining electronics; and shares its analysis and trending with the intelligence community, law enforcement organizations, military branches, and international partners.

The Team

Supervisory special agents, electronic engineers, electronic technicians, and management and program analysts.

The Work

  • Perform digital forensic examinations
  • Respond to technical exploitation requests for information
  • Provide device and electronic characterizations
  • Provide investigative lead through device associations

TEDAC Improvised Explosives Detection and Synthesis (TIEDS) Center 

Photo sequence of explosives testing at the TIEDS Center test range.

The Mission

 

The TEDAC Improvised Explosives Detection and Synthesis (TIEDS) Center is an FBI and Department of Homeland Security collaborative project to rapidly and authoritatively test the safety and performance characteristics of improvised explosives (IEs) and IEDs and to evaluate civilian explosives detection technologies.

The Team

Physical scientists, research chemists, logistics management specialists, and management and program analysts.

The Work

  • Manufacture and assess current and imminent IEs for safety and performance at a state-of-the-art facility
  • Document test results and disseminate reports and bulletins to the FBI, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Defense, law enforcement, intelligence community, and international partners
  • Assess civilian explosives detection technologies to ensure quick discovery and accurate identification of IEs and IEDs
  • Work with explosives detection equipment manufacturers to address performance and update sensors and operational algorithms
  • Synthesize and characterize IEs and construct mock IEDs, as well as evaluate civilian explosives detection technologies, in one in-house location