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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 76479 Find in a Library
Title: Mail Bombs (From Clandestine Tactics and Technology - A Technical and Background Intelligence Data Service, Volume 1 - See NCJ-77154)
Author(s): C R Newhouser
Date Published: 1973
Page Count: 34
Sponsoring Agency: International Assoc of Chiefs of Police
Alexandria, VA 22314
Sale Source: International Assoc of Chiefs of Police
44 Canal Center Plaza, Suite 200
Alexandria, VA 22314
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Citing incidents of mail bomb attacks by terrorist groups, this article describes types of mail bombs, including letter, soft cover pocket book, hard cover book, and large manila envelope bombs, as well as mail bomb countermeasures.
Abstract: Photographs, charts, and illustrations augment textual descriptions. Generally, mechanically fused letter bombs, which can take the shape and size desired, are designed to explode if the letter is removed from its envelope. Book bombs are usually set to detonate after a piece of paper, such as a paper band, is removed from between the detonator caps hidden within. During times in which the use of mail bombs appears to be on the rise, security directors and potential targets should become suspicious of letters and packages mailed from foreign countries, bearing extra postage to compensate for increased weight (especially in the case of letters), handprinted, and slightly oil-stained (from plastic explosives). Due to the enormity of implementing U.S. Postal Service-sponsored mail bomb countermeasures, the only logical point for inspection and interception of mail bombs is at the actual point of delivery. Good preventive measures will sharply limit the chance of successful bomb delivery to the target and could conceivably lead the terrorist to abandon the mail bomb tactic in favor of more effective methods of attack. The precise position of inspection and screening will vary with the size and function of each organization and can be determined after a detailed study of the internal mail distribution system. Employees performing the screening should be mature, responsible, and emotionally stable individuals who are motivated and cautious enough to guarantee a high level of efficiency. Financial incentives and frequent testing of the screening function will increase proficiency and overall protection. Visual/manual screening procedures, including secondary back-up and verification procedures, x-ray and metal detection screening, and explosive vapor detection by both electronic instruments and dogs are detailed. The addresses of manufacturers of x-ray detection instruments and metal and explosive detection equipment as well as sources for explosive-detecting dogs are appended. A list of 12 related publications is included.
Index Term(s): Bomb detection; Bomb threats; Business security; Counter-terrorism tactics; Explosives; Mail bombs; Police dogs; Postal crimes; Terrorist tactics
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