Global Counter-IED MapInternational Counter-IED operations

Suicide Bomber Counteraction and Prevention (SUBCOP)

subcopLocation: Stockholm, Sweden


Type: International

SUBCOP sets out to develop technologies and procedures that can be applied by the Police Security Forces when responding to a suspected PBIED (Person Borne Improvised Explosive Device) using less than lethal means.

It is a collaborative project between 11 different organizations from six European Union and associated states. The project is financed by the European Union through the 7th Framework Programme.

SUBCOP addresses the course of action to take when an alert to a possible PBIED has been issued, and an attack may be imminent.

SUBCOP is insensitive to how the alert is raised, for example, should it be based on detection of explosives or explosive devices, informants reporting, or other intelligence sources.

As part of SUBCOP’s efforts it assesses and develops technology and methods to meet three overarching objectives:

  • SEPARATE the suspected bomber from any bystanders
  • PROTECT bystanders and first responders from the explosion effects should the bomb detonate and protect against the possibility of remote initiation
  • ENGAGE with the suspect effectively and non-lethally

SUBCOP also provides support tools and guidance to train for balanced decision-making during responses to bomb threats.

To aid those involved in this type of work, SUBCOP also delivers ethical handbooks for tool developers and practitioners, which can help in future development and implementation of non-lethal alternatives to PBIED interventions.

The SUBCOP setting is typically a location where there can be some level of situational control, like a metro station or transportation hub.

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.