In a shocking display of depravity, two detonated improvised explosive devices (IEDs) met a crowd of enthusiastic runners at the finish line of the Boston Marathon on Monday afternoon, leaving three people dead, while maiming and injuring more than 100 victims in what the Obama White House is now labeling an “act of terror.” Meanwhile, police and military bomb experts believe the IEDs themselves may lead to identifying the perpetrators of Monday’s terrorist attack — an attack that turned celebration and outdoor fun into a war zone on American soil.
According to White House officials, the Patriot Day attack is the worst bombing on U.S. soil since security was tightened after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
During a televised address to the nation, President Barack Obama said the United States will hunt down the people or groups responsible for the attack on a day when tens of thousands of spectators packed the streets to watch the Patriot Day marathon in Boston.
Boston police detectives claim they discovered what could be five additional, non-detonated IEDs around the Boston area. While providing limited information on the explosive devices found, Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis said during a press conference that they were “powerful devices.”
More than 16,500 improvised explosive devices were detonated — or were discovered before detonation — against U.S. military personnel deployed in Afghanistan in 2011, proving that the improvised explosive device (IED) is the current terrorists’ and insurgents’ weapons of choice, according to a government report obtained by the National Association of Chiefs of Police’s Explosives and Incendiary Devices Study Group.
According to officials at the Department of Defense, IEDs will most probably be encountered in present and future conflicts due to being relatively inexpensive to develop while their effectiveness is proven by the number of military deaths and casualties, as well as the destruction of military vehicles and other assets. And that doesn’t include those IEDs developed by domestic terrorists on the U.S. mainland.
A number of DOD divisions, including all of the military branches, have been pursuing counter-IED (C-IED) efforts leading up to when DOD established the Joint IED Defeat Task Force, and then followed it with the creation of the Joint IED Defeat Organization (JIEDDO) to lead and coordinate all DOD actions to defeat IEDs.
“From fiscal years 2006 through 2011, JIEDDO has received over $18 billion in funding, however, DOD has funded other C-IED efforts outside of JIEDDO, including $40 billion for Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles,” states the Government Accountability Office report.
GAO analysts reported in February 2012 that DOD does not have full visibility over all of its C-IED efforts. DOD relies on various sources and systems for managing its C-IED efforts, but has not developed a process that provides DOD with a comprehensive listing of its C-IED initiatives and activities.
GAO analysts stated in their report:
“This would include programming and funding pursued by a military service, combatant command, or other DOD component, in addition to activities funded by JIEDDO. In January 2012, DOD estimated it would complete draft revisions to DOD Directive 2000.19E in early 2012, but as of July 2012, Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) officials stated that the revised draft was under review at the OSD level, and therefore, not issued. In addition, according to JIEDDO officials, DOD is conducting an ongoing review of C-IED capabilities across the Department that may affect JIEDDO and the contents of the draft directive.”