From local bomb threats to the Boston Marathon bombings, first responders are the Nation’s first line of defense against improvised explosive devices (IEDs). IEDs use everyday objects—peroxide, cleaning products, nails etc.—to cause maximum damage and loss of life at a low cost. This past year, according to open-source reporting, first responders in the United States reacted to nearly 2,800 IED-related incidents. According to this data, IEDs caused 265 injuries and 8 deaths in communities of all sizes. With this in mind, the Department of Homeland Security’s TRIPwire program provides first responders with the information they need to prevent, protect against, respond to, and mitigate life-threatening IED incidents.

TRIPwire, the Technical Resource for Incident Prevention, is the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) online, collaborative information-sharing network for first responders, bomb squads, and other public safety professionals. The website provides IED-related information to enhance stakeholder knowledge of IED attacks and components, and to highlight suspicious behavior and indicators that accompany bomb-making activity. The site increases awareness of evolving terrorist IED tactics, techniques, and procedures, and gives incident lessons-learned and specific counter-IED preparedness information.

Developed and maintained by DHS’ Office for Bombing Prevention, the TRIPwire system combines expert analyses and reports with relevant documents, images, and videos gathered directly from terrorist sources to help users combat IED incidents. It uses a variety of open-source multimedia ranging from international news services to specialized websites to gather explosives-related information from all around the world and from here at home: in the digital age, tactical bomb-making information spreads across the globe in a matter of seconds.

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