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CISA’s Office for Bombing Prevention Marks 15th Year Protecting the U.S.

In 2020 alone, there were more than 12,000 explosive-related incidents and more than a 70% increase in domestic bombings.

Created in response to terrorism events around the globe, CISA’s Office for Bombing Prevention (CISA OBP) plays a leading role in protecting the United States against bombing incidents by enhancing security and resilience at all levels of government, across the private sector, and among the public.

In 2006, Congress recognized the need for an enhanced and coordinated national bombing prevention effort and directed that CISA OBP take action. Fifteen years later, CISA OBP has stayed true to that mandate, working tirelessly across all States and territories to strengthen the knowledge and capabilities of local agencies, law enforcement officers and first responders, businesses and critical infrastructure facilities, schools and faith-based institutions, and the public. Its successful domestic work has also been exported globally, through information sharing, training, and assistance to partners ranging from the European Union, Mexico, and Canada, to the Caribbean, Asia, and the United Nations.

OBP shares detailed IED threat information, conducts risk and capability analysis, develops lessons learned, provides security planning assistance, delivers vital training, promulgates guidance and best practices, and coordinates efforts across DHS and, in partnership with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), nationwide.

These efforts resulted in the first national strategy to counter IEDs, first unifying Presidential Directive, first coordination plans and mechanisms, first comprehensive risk management guidance for all stakeholders, and free, innovative capacity-building programs that continue to be relied upon every day. These programs include:

It all adds up to better preparedness, less risk, and, ultimately, lives saved.

“Rising domestic violent extremism has coincided with a significant increase in bombing incidents that pose risks to communities of all types and to critical infrastructure,” said Dr. David Mussington, Executive Assistant Director for Infrastructure Security at CISA. “The recent bombing in Nashville and placement of IEDs near the U.S. Capitol on January 6 illustrate how bombs can cause cascading impacts to critical infrastructure or threaten to disrupt our democratic processes. We must not be deterred, and CISA will continue to support and empower our partners to secure and defend infrastructure. CISA is proud that OBP has become a true ‘national asset’ for its critically relevant mission.”

In 2020 alone, there were more than 12,000 explosive-related incidents and more than a 70% increase in domestic bombings, according to the Department of Justice, U.S. Bomb Data Center. Major bombings can cause mass casualties, lead to hundreds of millions of dollars in damage, and cause cascading damage across vital physical and cyber infrastructure. Even hoaxes and bomb threats impose costs by disrupting commerce and drawing on precious law enforcement and first responder resources.

“As modern threats become more sophisticated, it is important to stay vigilant and collaboratively take proactive measures to enhance the security and resilience of our communities and critical infrastructure,” said Sean Haglund, Associate Director for CISA OBP. “For OBP, it is the events that don’t happen that serve as the hallmark of success. One bomb attack is one too many, and we will continue working aggressively with our partners to get ‘left-of-boom’ on this issue.”

In light of the anniversary and the current heightened threat environment, CISA encourages active participation and partnership in the collaborative national effort to enhance security and resilience for IED incidents. For example, CISA OBP is leading a national initiative called Operation Flashpoint with the FBI that encourages businesses and the public to voluntarily report suspicious activities, such as buying large amounts of chemicals and materials (or a combination thereof) that can be used to build bombs.

CISA OBP is committed to continuing to enhance and coordinate national bombing prevention efforts and stands ready to assist communities, businesses, and individuals across the U.S.

Learn more at www.cisa.gov/obp.

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The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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