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Inside the Terrorist Explosive Device Analytical Center (TEDAC)

The Terrorist Explosive Device Analytical Center (TEDAC) is the government’s single repository for improvised explosive devices (IEDs) that have been collected or are of interest to the United States government.

TEDAC is the government’s single repository for IEDs that have been collected or are of interest to the United States government.

For instance, it’s the bomb library of America.

It basically provides you the one source, the one location where all IEDs of interest to the U.S. government can come and have forensic exploitation to help us identify the bomb-makers, looking at associations and linking bombs together from one incident to another based on the forensic evidence.

We have a lot of experience in identifying IED components, blast damage. It’s just like putting a puzzle back together.

So you’re starting looking at some of the telltale blast characteristics on the components, understanding what blast damage is.

So you can start saying, well this was in close proximity to the blast, this was indigenous to the scene, it doesn’t need to be collected. It’s basically a screening or a sorting if you will.

Identifying those key components from an IED is very, very critical early on.

So one of the benefits of TEDAC is utilizing traditional forensic capabilities of the FBI and law enforcement has used for virtually 100 years, whether it be fingerprint techniques or DNA of recent times, tool mark examinations. For instance, when a tool is used for making an IED it leaves unique marks on those items.

By doing the tool mark examinations we’re able to link devices together and show associations. And then obviously if we have a fingerprint we now may be able to identify an individual on multiple devices that we don’t have biometrics on. But because of using their trace disciplines such as hairs, fibers, and things of that nature, of being able to make the associations from some of those other disciplines that are not identification-based but more pattern-based.

From our perspective, we see the more visibility that we have looking at IEDs from around the world, the better we are to be able to protect the homeland. Because we realize that what’s happening overseas eventually could come here to the United States.

We want to get our hands on those IEDs and exploit them to help identify the networks, looking at the types of materials that the bomb-makers are using so we can put the tripwires in place here to basically identify these threats if we have an individual in the country that may be relying on those same instructions that the terrorists overseas have used.

One of our goals is to stay as far left of the boom as possible. We don’t just respond to a bomb after it occurs. We’re trying to identify the bomb-makers and the groups way out in front of the threat from actually happening and disrupting that plot before they even have placed the bomb.

February 16, 2016

The Terrorist Explosive Device Analytical Center (TEDAC), a multi-agency organization that performs a critical function in the fight against terrorism, was officially welcomed to its new home today at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama.

Before TEDAC’s creation in 2003, no single government entity was responsible for analyzing and exploiting intelligence gleaned from improvised explosive devices (IEDs). Since then, TEDAC has examined more than 105,000 IEDs from around the world, providing intelligence to the military, law enforcement, and the intelligence community at home and abroad.

“TEDAC links IEDs to the bomb makers and recognizes trends in how those bombs are being constructed and with what materials,” Composed of 30 partner agencies including the FBI, the Department of Defense, and the Department of Homeland Security, TEDAC was formerly located at the FBI Laboratory in Quantico, Virginia. The move to Alabama centralizes the government’s efforts regarding IEDs and terrorism. Redstone Arsenal is also home to the FBI’s Hazardous Devices School, the ATF’s National Center for Explosives Training and Research, and other operations.

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