Today, the FBI, along with its law enforcement and military partners, participated in a groundbreaking for a new Terrorist Explosive Devices Analytical Center (TEDAC) Laboratory at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama. It is a milestone in TEDAC’s development and in the combined efforts to defeat the threat of improvised explosive devices, or IEDs.
The new building will provide dedicated forensic and technical exploitation workspace for TEDAC. Currently, TEDAC shares laboratory facilities with the FBI Laboratory at Quantico. The Huntsville laboratory will provide processing and examination capabilities in various forensic disciplines. The facility also will support technical exploitation of IEDs and related devices and will facilitate the exchange of personnel among TEDAC partner agencies, further strengthening TEDAC’s interagency role and mission.
Breaking ground: pictured from left to right are FBI Director Robert S. Mueller, III; Redstone Arsenal commander Major General Lynn Collyar; U.S. Senator Richard Shelby; and Acting ATF Director B. Todd Jones.
Beginning in 2003, the FBI Laboratory began receiving recovered and seized IEDs and related materials from the Department of Defense (DOD) for forensic and technical analysis in support of the ongoing war on terrorism and combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Subsequently, in December 2004, TEDAC was formally established and given the mission of forensically and technically exploiting, for evidentiary, investigative, and intelligence purposes, IEDs used by terrorists. Prior to TEDAC, no single entity in the government was responsible for this critical mission.
Over the past nine years, TEDAC has proven to be one of the nation’s most valuable tools in the war on terror. Since its creation, TEDAC has processed more than 80,000 submissions of IEDs and related forensic materials from Iraq, Afghanistan, and other foreign countries. Scientists and engineers have made dozens of forensic matches and connections between seemingly unrelated IEDs.
Interagency partners participating in TEDAC include the FBI; Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF); the Department of Defense (DOD) Combined Explosives Exploitation Cells (EXCs); Biometrics Task Force; Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization; National Ground Intelligence Center; the U.S. Army Intelligence and Information Warfare Directorate; the Defense Intelligence Agency; the U.S. Army Asymmetric Warfare Office; the National Security Agency; the Central Intelligence Agency; and the Counter Terrorism Command, London Metropolitan Police Service.
The FBI and its partners at Restone Arsenal—alongside the FBI’s Hazardous Devices School and the ATF’s National Center for Explosives Training and Research—join to advance TEDAC’s mission by enhancing collaboration and further strengthening a government-wide approach to countering IEDs and other explosives threats.