John Perren Describes the WMD Directorate's National Improvised Explosives Familiarization Course

John Perren describes the WMD Directorate's National Improvised Explosives Familiarization (NIEF) course.


Video Transcript

Countermeasures is the capital “P” in the WMD directorate for prevention. That’s key. That is liaison, outreach, tripwire initiatives. That’s where we sit down with academia, we sit down with the private sector, we sit down with the scientific community and what we do is we describe to them what we view as the threat. Then together we decide what are the gaps, what are the vulnerabilities. How do we mitigate these gaps and vulnerabilities?

I’ll give you a good example of one of our tripwire initiatives. It’s called NIEF.  National Improvised Explosive Familiarization course, And what we do is we train regionally. We go out with our, to the bomb techs and the WMD coordinators—and this is state, local, and federal bomb techs—and we put on a course: what explosives can you buy commercially off the shelf—precursors. Mix them up into an explosive. And what kind of damage it can do?

That’s a three-day course. First day is classroom, second day they are mixing these recipes together, and the third day we bring in CEO’s and heads of security of all the companies that own these products and we take them down to a demonstration range. And we show them what their products, mixed in the right recipe, can do. Everything from blowing up mailboxes to vehicles and the damage it causes.

And that resonates with these folks. They see that and they go, “wow.” What they do is they talk to their CEOs to send all that information out to all of their shops and all of their folks out there.

And what that does is they know who to call if they see suspicious purchases of certain precursors or certain equipment bought with precursors. And they give us a call. And those are our tripwires that we set in place. And that’s just one example of many of the initiatives that we have.

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