Explosive Threats: The Challenges they Present and Approaches to Countering Them

  • Peter J. HotchkissEmail author
Living reference work entry


This chapter focuses on explosives-based threats, the challenges they present, and various means by which these challenges can be overcome. It begins with an introduction to explosive threats, detailing statistics regarding their use, and some overarching challenges associated with properly mitigating the risks they present, before delving deeper into different areas of response by government agencies. These response areas are broadly categorized as deter, prevent, detect, delay/protect, and respond/analyze.

Deterrence refers to trying to discourage people from becoming malefactors, with a focus on anti-radicalization programs and ways by which people can be dissuaded to join extremist movements. The section on prevention discusses means by which access to explosive precursor materials and information can be controlled, with a focus on polices and regulations. This includes examples of current regulations, discussion of why specific chemicals are on controlled chemicals lists, and information campaigns to raise awareness of IED threats. The following section gives a brief understanding of the important aspects to consider in detection and describes different explosives detection methods used. Approaches to delaying the use or impact of an explosive threat, as well as those that provide some sort of protection against the effects of an explosive threat, are then described. Lastly, current approaches to response to explosive threats, either before or after detonation, and the importance of analysis, are discussed before summarizing the chapter and providing a near-future outlook.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Sandia National LaboratoriesAlbuquerqueUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Augustus Way Fountain III

There are no affiliations available

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