Improvised Explosive Devices research

AOAV is one of the few charities that has a particular research focus on Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs).  Please find below our research on a weapon that causes more death and injury than any other explosive weapon group.

Between October 2010 and the end September 2020, there have been 28,729 incidents of explosive violence, resulting in 357,619 casualties (263,487 civilians) recorded in English language media worldwide. Of these, 171,732 people were recorded as being from IEDs – a number that includes both civilians and armed actors.  48% of all people killed or injured by explosive weapons globally, then, were harmed by IEDs.

AOAV’s key IED reports include: IEDs: past, present and future (pdf); An examination of the precursor chemicals found within IEDs (pdf); The Challenge IEDs Pose for the Humanitarian Mine Action (HMA) Sector (pdf) The Improvised Explosive Device and ‘The Propaganda of the Deed’ (pdf); Addressing the threat posed by IEDs (pdf); Understanding the rising cult of the suicide bomber (pdf);  Understanding the regional and transnational networks that facilitate IED use; Tracking IED Harm (pdf); Anatomy of a Suicide Bombing (pdf); Material Harm (pdf); and Blood on the Streets of Boston (pdf).

Latest IED research

  • At Least 50 Killed in Attack on Catholic Church, Ondo, Nigeria

    On Sunday 5 June, gunmen with explosive devices attacked St Francis Catholic Church, in Owo, during morning mass. No figures have been officially confirmed, but doctors on the ground claim at least 50 people, including women and children, have been killed, and some 48 injured.

  • Four Explosions in Afghanistan Kill At Least 16 People On Wednesday 25 May

    Four bombs exploded in Afghanistan on Wednesday 25 May, leaving 16 people dead and over 33 injured. Three of the attacks have been claimed by ISIS. This is the latest in a string of explosive violence incidents in Afghanistan since April, many of which have been claimed by ISIS.

  • Nine Killed and 27 Injured in Confirmed IED Explosion, Kano, Nigeria

    On Tuesday 17 May 2022, an took place near a school in Sabon Gari, Kano (Nigeria). The casualty count was eventually confirmed at nine fatalities and 27 people injured. Immediately following the blast, authorities claimed it was due to a gas cylinder explosion, although witnesses claimed to have seen a suicide bomber blow himself up. However, in the last few days, Nigerian police have arrested two Boko Haram suspects and confirmed that the blast was due to an IED explosion.

  • Covid-19 and its impact on extremist groups’ use of IEDs

    How has Covid19 impacted global IED attacks? AOAV looks at the data.

  • The birth of terror: how the first ever suicide bomber emerged in Russia

    Russia saw the birth of the suicide bomber, when Tsar Alexander II was assassinated in 1881. In this extract from his book The Price of Paradise, Iain Overton looks at the events leading towards and away from that explosive moment.