Explosives are a popular terrorist weapon. This is because they can cause mass casualties / fatalities, disruption and media attention.
Owners and operators must know how to protect their space from this type of attack. This includes understanding the impact of a threat of Improvised Explosive Device (IED) attacks on their site.
Terrorists can send IEDs through the post; transport them on their body, in baggage, or in a vehicle.
Characteristics of IED attacks
IED's are often:
- low cost
- simple to construct
- made of materials that are easily accessible.
IED’s can vary in:
- methods to set off the explosion
The two main terrorist tactics for IED attacks are:
- Person Borne Improvised Explosive Device (PBIED): An improvised explosive device worn, carried or housed by a person, willingly or unwillingly.
- Vehicle Borne Improvised Explosive Device (VBIED): An improvised explosive device delivered by or concealed in a vehicle.
Protecting your crowded place
Owners and operators can prevent and prepare their sites to prevent IED attacks.
It is recommend these security measures be in place:
- training staff on security awareness and procedures
- having inspection procedures for suspicious packages, people and vehicles
- exercise security plans regularly. Staff must understand their priority actions. They need to be able to perform these actions in a high-stress environment.
Changing the design of high-risk areas can reduce the chances of an attack initiated through weapons, vehicles, explosives and or Chemical, Biological and Radiological (CBR) attacks. It can also reduce the impact of an attack.
Consider the following when designing your site:
- choice of facades
- interior walls
- window glazing
- stand-off distances
- preventing progressive collapse
- built and natural environment barriers.
During an attack
If an attack occurs, owners and operators of crowded and public places should prioritise these activities.