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IEDs In America?

By Military Connection Staff Writer Carol Miraula

Acts of terrorism usually occur outside of our nation’s borders, but the recent bomb attacks at the finish line of the Boston Marathon remind us that we are not immune from attack. The two devices were designed to kill and injure as many people as possible. In the ensuing panic following the first explosion, many ran towards the second bomb, which detonated shortly thereafter. According to Paul Fennewald, a retired FBI bomb technician "You can't fault security. If we're going to have any type of an open society whatsoever, you're going to have things like this."

So this begs the question, are we facing an increase of IEDs in America? Do we need to become more vigilant, similar to countries like Israel and Northern Ireland, where security is a way of life? In those countries, it is not uncommon to see security signs reminding citizens to be aware of unattended packages.

The IED bomb design is touted by al-Qaeda for use by its operatives around the world. Terrorists have used similar devices to achieve mass casualties in numerous countries. The bomb’s simplicity and readily available components complicate the task of determining whether the maker was an international terrorist, a homegrown extremists or a disgruntled local citizen. Experts believe that the use of IEDs is becoming a preferred tool of terror in both domestic and global attacks. "Most people in law enforcement believed we would see these IEDs begin emerging in the U.S.," says Craig Dotlo, a retired FBI agent who helped investigate the Sept. 11 attacks in New York.

But if there can ever be a silver lining to such a horrific event, it can be found in the acts, deeds and spirit of the people who were touched by the tragedy. Ordinary Americans displayed acts of selflessness, running into the area to help the wounded in whatever way they could. Within hours, city officials received calls from individuals asking how they could help. The One Fund was set up to compensate the injured and the families of those killed. As of the third week of April, the fund has received more than $21 million dollars in commitments already. Some 50,000 individuals have promised nearly seven million dollars. The rest of it is coming from corporate donors. The charitable impulse of the American people is ever present.

The prayers and concerns of the entire country are with the victims of this tragedy, and with their families and friends.