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Office of Bombing Prevention (OBP)

DHSLocation: Washington D.C.

Website: http://www.dhs.gov/obp

The OBP is an office of the USA’s Department of Homeland Security. It is a product of the National Policy for Countering Improvised Explosive Devices. Its mission is to enhance the USA’s ability to prevent, protect against, respond to, and mitigate the use of explosives against critical infrastructure; the private sector; the federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial entities.

The OBP has four core initiatives:

  • Coordination of National and Intergovernmental Counter-IED Efforts
    • OBP is instrumental in aligning DHS and national c-IED efforts through centralised and effective coordination of on-going programs, resulting in better resource allocation within OBP and across DHS and our federal, state, local, tribal, territorial and private sector partners
  • Capabilities Analysis and Planning Support
    • Identifies and assesses the nation’s capabilities to counter IED threats and drives capability improvement through enhanced strategy, investment, and planning-based resource optimisation
  • Information Sharing and Decision Support
    • The OBP makes use of its wide range of contacts, including detailed assignments at key federal agencies, such as the FBI National Explosives Task Force, to ensure that timely and accurate information is provided to senior decision-makers across DHS, other Federal agencies, and state, local, and private sector partners across the US to support threat and incident-based crisis decision-making
    • The OBP also runs TRIPwire, a secure online portal designed to bring technical and operational information on terrorist tactics, techniques, and procedures to the desktop of officers in the bombing prevention community. It is intended to facilitate information-sharing
  • Counter-IED Training and Awareness
    • OBP courses educate federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial participants, such as municipal officials and emergency managers; state and local law enforcement and other emergency services; and critical infrastructure owners, operators, and security staff on strategies to prevent, protect against, respond to, and mitigate the effects of bombing incidents

Since 2003, OBP has delivered more than 1,900 courses to more than 74,000 organisations and bodies. Its training courses include:

  • Bomb-Making Materials Awareness Program Training
  • Bomb Threat Management Workshop
  • IED Counterterrorism Workshop
  • IED Search Procedures Workshop
  • Protective Measures Course
  • Surveillance Detection Course for Law Enforcement & Security Professionals
  • Vehicle-Borne IED Detection Course

The OBP also produces a number of awareness-raising and educational C-IED products:

  • Awareness Cards and Posters
  • Bomb Threat Guidance Products
  • Protective Measures
  • Vehicle-Borne IED Threat Products
  • Incident Management Preparedness and Coordination Toolkit

For about $12, first responders can purchase the FiRST phone app from the OBP. The app provides information directly to first responders on their smartphones or laptop computers in order to quickly define safe distances to cordon-off around a potential bomb location, calculate rough damage and injury contours, suggest appropriate roadblocks, determine when mandatory evacuation or shelter-in-place circumstances apply, and to identify nearby areas of particular concern. The app also provides geospatial information regarding potential injury, glass, or structural damage impact area.

This profile is part of AOAV’s investigation into counter-IED (C-IED) actors around the globe. To see the list of all C-IED actors recorded by AOAV, see here. To see those engaged in the Middle East, the Sahel, North Africa or other highly impacted countries please see here, here, here, and here respectively. This research was made possible by funding from the NATO Counter Improvised Explosive Devices Centre of Excellence (C-IED COE). To read the full report, ‘Addressing the threat posed by IEDs: National, Regional and Global Initiatives’, see here.