Improvised explosive device

From Academic Kids

IED is also an abbreviation for the Indo-European Etymological Dictionary by Julius Pokorny.


An Improvised Explosive Device (IED) is a formal name for explosive devices as used in unconventional warfare by terrorists, guerrillas or commando forces in a theater of operations.

An IED is a device placed or fabricated in an improvised manner incorporating destructive, lethal, noxious, pyrotechnic, or incendiary chemicals and designed to destroy, incapacitate, harass, or distract. It may incorporate military stores, but is normally devised from nonmilitary components.

An IED typically consists of an explosive charge, possibly a booster charge, a detonator and a mechanism either mechanical or electronic, known as the initiation system. IEDs are extremely diverse in design, and may contain any type of firing device or initiator, plus various commercial, military, or contrived chemical or explosive fillers.

Usually, IEDs are of crude design. However, terrorist groups have been known to produce sophisticated devices. Highly sophisticated IEDs have been constructed from arming devices scavenged from conventional munitions and easily purchased electronic components, as well as consumer devices such as mobile phones. The degree of sophistication depends on the ingenuity of the designer and the tools and materials available.

These IEDs are mostly conventional high-explosive charges, also known as homemade bombs. However, there is the threat that toxic chemical, biological, or even nuclear (dirty bomb) material can be included to add to the destructive power and psychological effect of the device.

A VBIED is a Vehicle Borne IED, a U.S. military term describing a car bomb or truck bomb.

Detecting and disarming an IED

Since these devices are nonstandard, there are no specific guidelines for Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) personnel to use to positively identify or categorize them.

EOD personnel are trained in the render safe and disposal of IEDs. The use of nuclear, biological, or chemical (NBC) material in an IED requires additional precautions. As with other missions, the EOD CP provides the area commander with an assessment of the situation and of support needed to complete the mission.

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