DHS Stresses the Dangers of Improvised Explosive Devices

By Matthew Harwood

The Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) annual preparedness grants for fiscal year 2008 will stress the dangers of improvised explosive devices (IED), reports (subscription only).

“In terms of funding priorities, we continued our focus on critical national preparedness capabilities, which of course are consistent with our National Preparedness Guidelines and the National Response Framework, which we released at the beginning of the year,” DHS chief Michael Chertoff said. “A particular focus has been improved explosive device deterrence, prevention and protection.”

Chertoff noted that almost every major terrorist attack perpetrated in the West after 9-11 involved an IED. While IEDs conjure up images of the sophisticated roadside bombs planted by insurgents and terrorists in Afghanistan and Iraq, Chertoff says IEDs are more properly understood as "home-made bombs" that  are “not manufactured as part of a military program or some institutionalized way of making bombs.”

To defend against IEDs, DHS has directed states to allocate 25 percent of their funding under the State Homeland Security Program (SHSP) to either counter-IED initiatives or preparedness planning. DHS has awarded $861.3 billion to the SHSP this year out of the total $1.69 billion allocated to the Homeland Security Grant Program. All told, DHS will distribute $1.8 billion dollars in preparedness grants this year, according to



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