Ten Years Later: Examining the Success of the FBI’s Terrorist Explosive Device Analytical Center

Called a “potent weapon on terror” when it was first introduced, the Terrorist Explosive Device Analytical Center (TEDAC) recently marked its ten-year anniversary. So what better time to reflect on this multi-agency operation and its success with the nation’s fight against terrorism?

Before the creation of TEDAC, no governmental agency or entity existed for analyzing evidence and intelligence related to improvised explosive devices (IEDs) used by both domestic and international terrorists.

What is TEDAC?

TEDAC and its Intelligence Unit is a collaborative effort by analysts from a number of agencies, including the FBI, the Department of Defense, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, among others. It is the job of the analysts of TEDAC to uncover intelligence through the forensic examination of IEDs.

There are now 13 government agency partners and 17 external partners working with TEDAC.

The work of TEDAC allows the United States’ military and intelligence agencies to understand the link between specific bomb makers and devices. Upon their forensic examination, TEDAC analysts produce reports that are used by the military, a number of law enforcement partners, and bomb technicians all over the world.

The Success of TEDAC

Since its inception, TEDAC has been able to share more than 37,000 latent prints with its partner agencies. Their work allows them to predict future attacks, thereby allowing the government to focus on these threats and develop countermeasures and detection techniques to address any security and intelligence gaps.

TEDAC Director, Special Agent Greg Carl, said that the evidence and intelligence gathered by IEDs has “helped save American lives.” TEDAC has examined more than 100,000 IEDs since its creation in 2003. TEDAC analysts receive about 800 submissions per month. Carl said that “we have identified over 1,000 individuals with potential ties to terrorism.”

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