|Topic:||Containing the Threat from Illegal Bombings|
NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL
Board on Chemical Sciences and Technology
Commission on Physical Sciences, Mathematics, and Applications
Tuesday, March 3, 1998 - 4:00 p.m.
Room HC-7 - The Capitol
Containing the Threat From Illegal Bombings:
An Integrated National Strategy for Marking, Tagging, Rendering Inert,
and Licensing Explosives and Their Precursors
Marye Anne Fox, vice president for research and Waggoner Regents Chair in Chemistry, University of Texas at Austin and Co-Chair, Committee on Marking, Rendering Inert, and Licensing of Explosive Materials, National Research Council
Edward M. Arnett, Reynolds Professor of Chemistry, Emeritus, Duke University, Durham, N.C. and Co-Chair, Committee on Marking, Rendering Inert, and Licensing of Explosive Materials, National Research Council
In the wake of the 1993 World Trade Center and 1995 Oklahoma City bombings, the growing threat of terrorist attacks has become an issue of national concern. In response to requirements in the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 (P.L. 104-132), a National Research Council committee was charged with considering the advisability of physically altering explosive materials and of controlling access to them for the purpose of suppressing illicit use of explosives. The committee's report, Containing the Threat From Illegal Bombings: An Integrated National Strategy for Marking, Tagging, Rendering Inert, and Licensing Explosives and Their Precursors, investigates possible technologies for aiding law enforcement and preventing illegal bombings, including (1) evaluating the technical feasibility and practicality of using markers for pre-blast detection, taggants for pre- and post-blast identification, and inertants for desensitization of explosives and (2) assessing the implications of imposing regulatory controls on a prioritized set of precursor chemicals. An integrated, threat-based strategy is proposed.
This briefing was for members of Congress and congressional staff only. The report was publicly released on March 4, 1998 and can be found, in its entirety, on the Web site of the National Academies Press.