Home Contact Us
Search :
   

Terrorism - Articles

Print Bookmark Email Facebook Subscribe
#332, 29 February 2000
 
Improvised Explosive Devices - III: Types of IEDs & Training
Mallika Joseph
Research Officer, IPCS
 

Types of IEDs vary based on the type explosive used, method of assembly, and also the method of detonation. As this is restricted only by human ingenuity, the types of IEDs are infinite.

 

 

Types of explosives

 

 

The types of explosives range from explosives that are available for commercial use to those meant specifically for military use. Through the type of explosive that the non-state actors (NSA) uses, it is fairly easy to ascertain whether the NSA receives external support or not. The most commonly found commercial explosive in India is the gelatine stick that is used in the stone quarries for blasting rocks. Despite these explosives distributed only to licensed contractors, NSAs still manage to procure these either through extortion, force or by terror. The Naxals in Hyderabad and Bihar resort to the use of gelatine sticks for their IEDs. 

 

 

Among all military explosives the most widely found in use by NSAs in India is the RDX. Even when used in small quantities, it gives a high yield with excessive destructive capability and rapid detonation. Because RDX is an exclusive military explosive and not found commercially, the use of RDX by a NSA generally points out the involvement of an outside State in the incident. Almost all the militant related IED incidents in Kashmir have used RDX. 23,334 kilograms of explosives have been seized since the start of militancy in early 1990s; 562 kgs of which have been seized only in the first 15 days of Jan 2000. The North-East militants have also come into the possession of RDX though during the initial years there was predominant use of gelatine. In addition to its high explosive potential, the RDX is also light and malleable which helps easy movement without suspicion and facilitates in effective disguise. 

 

 

Types of detonation

 

 

Various detonation methods have been resorted to by NSAs in India . Detonation methods also vary from one militant group to the other. The Naxals in Hyderabad use the simple fuse wire connected to batteries and closing of the circuit initiates the blast. However, in certain areas, specifically in Tada, they have also resorted to blast by pressure, the mechanism being very similar to the conventional pressure initiated mines. Despite most of their detonation methods being similar, their ingenuity lies in the assemblage of the explosive itself that makes one IED deadlier than the other.

 

 

Kashmir militants are renowned for their range of detonating methods. From time pencils and electronic timers to radio waves, they have used almost all known methods of detonation. However recent trends show use of methods like timer devices that enable the militant to be as far as possible from the place of the incident so as to prevent even a chance encounter. Having surplus resources at their disposal, the militants use the most sophisticated and effective of all detonators. In recent incidents, it has been noticed that the militants have in their possession some gadget similar to the conventional 'double impulse fuse' which enables them to initiate automatically in the same IED a second blast, a few minutes or hours after the first blast. Thus the first blast essentially works as bait to lure the security forces to the vicinity, when the second blast occurs.

 

 

Types of assemblage

 

 

The type of assemblage is the crucial part of the IED as the device has to be fool proof and the container chosen disguise the deviousness of the device. The most common model is the IED in which steel pipes that are widely available in the market are used. In addition to these, the Naxals in Hyderabad use steel milk cans, plastic buckets, drums, tube-light frames and mud pots. The Kashmir militants on the other hand, use almost any available container that would be deceptive and effectively mislead the security forces and public. Therefore, there have been IEDs assembled inside pressure cookers, fire extinguishers, household utensils, packets in car, bus, scooter and cycles, gas cylinders etc. Fire extinguishers, pressure cookers and gas cylinders are favoured because of the additional splinter effect they can cause due to their thick metal sheeting. 

 

 

Training

 

 

Barring the most complicated assemblies, most of the IEDs are rather simple to construct and handle, and therefore require no expertise. However, most of the groups in India seem to have received some sort of training in handling explosives at some point. The militants in North-East are alleged to have had some initial training from the LTTE (Liberation Tigers for Tamil Eelam, Sri Lanka) and the Naxals in Hyderabad are suspected have had their training from a retired army personnel from Sri Lanka;  Kondapalli Seetharamaiah, leader of the Peoples War Group. The leading Naxal group in Hyderabad , have however disowned any links with the LTTE. There are confirmed reports about various militant groups in Kashmir being trained in Pakistan . In each militant organization, therefore, there exists some level of expertise in explosives and bomb making.

 

 

The most simple of IEDs found in Hyderabad require no expertise other than some experience. However, IEDs found in Kashmir and North-East not only need expertise and training but also access to resources that are usually not at the disposal of NSAs. Use of RDX and sophisticated detonating methods point out to support of another State, not only in training but also in material supply.

 

 

 

 

 

Print Bookmark Email Facebook Subscribe
IPCS Columnists
Af-Pak Diary

D Suba Chandran
Across the Durand Line: Who is in Control Now? Will That Change?
Taliban Talks and the Four Horsemen: Between Peace and Apocalypse
Pakistan: Talks about Talks with the Taliban, Again
Dateline Islamabad

Salma Malik
Pakistan and TTP: Dialogue or Military Action?
The Musharraf Trial & Beyond

Dateline Kabul

Mariam Safi
Afghanistan, US and the Peace Process: A Deal with the Taliban in 2014?
Dhaka Discourse

Prof Delwar Hossain
Bangladesh: Domestic Politics and External Actors
Bangladesh Post Elections 2014: Redefining Domestic Politics?

Eagle Eye

Prof Chintamani Mahapatra
US in Asia: A 'Non-Alignment' Strategy?
Indo-US Strategic Partnership Post Khobragade: The Long Shadow
East Asia Compass

Dr Sandip Mishra
North Korean Peace Gestures and Inter-Korea Relations
Japan: Implications of Indiscriminate Assertiveness
China, Japan, Korea and the US: Region at Crossroads

Himalayan Frontier

Pramod Jaiswal
Chinese Inroads to Nepal
Constituent Assembly-II: Rifts Emerging
Nepal: The Crisis over Proportional Representation and the RPP Divide
Maritime Matters

Vijay Sakhuja
Increasing Maritime Competition: IORA, IONS, Milan and the Indian Ocean Networks
China in the Indian Ocean: Deep Sea Forays
Iran Navy: Developing Long Sea Legs

Middle Kingdom

DS Rajan
China in the Indian Ocean: Competing Priorities
China-Japan Friction: How can India Respond?
Nuke Street

Amb Sheelkant Sharma
Nuclear Security Summit 2014 and the NTI Index
Nuclear Power: An Annual Report Card

Red Affairs

Bibhu Prasad
Maoists in the Northeast: Reality and Myth-Making
Surrender of Gudsa Usendi: Ominous beginning for the Naxals?
South Asian Dialectic

PR Chari
Federalism: Centre as Coordinator and Adjudicator
Limits of Federalism

Spotlight West Asia

Amb Ranjit Gupta
Saudi Arabia-US Estrangement: Implications for the Indian Subcontinent
Syria Today: Is Regime Change the Answer?
The Arab World: Trying Times Ahead
Strategic Space

Manpreet Sethi
US, China and the South Asian Nuclear Construct
Responding to Pakistan’s Tactical Nuclear Weapons: A Strategy for India

The Strategist

Vice Admiral Vijay Shankar
Strategic Non-Nuclear Weapons: An Essential Consort to a Doctrine of No First Use
 

OTHER REGULAR contributors
Gurmeet Kanwal
Harun ur Rashid
N Manoharan
Wasbir Hussain
Rana Banerji
N Manoharan

Ruhee Neog
Teshu Singh
Aparupa Bhattacherjee
Roomana Hukil
Aparupa Bhattacherjee


 

Browse by Publications

Commentaries 
Issue Briefs 
Special Reports 
Research Papers 
Seminar Reports 
Conference Reports 

Browse by Region/Countries

East Asia 
South Asia 
Southeast Asia 
US & South Asia 
China 
Myanmar 
Afghanistan 
Iran 
Pakistan 
India 
J&K  

Browse by Issues

India & the world  
Indo-Pak 
Military 
Terrorism 
Naxalite Violence 
Nuclear 
Suicide Terrorism 
Peace & Conflict Database 
Article by same Author
Expanding Indian Navy: The Scorpene Deal

The Srinagar-Muzaffarabad Bus Service: Is the Cart Pulling the Horse?

India-China Strategic Partnership: Implications for US and Pakistan

Profiling the T-90S 'Bhishma'

The Attack on Chandrababu Naidu: Glaring Security Lapse

Combating Drugs in Taliban Land

Drug Cultivation in Taliban Land

Drug Abuse in Taliban Land

Nepal Overview: July 2002

Use of mines in the Indo-Pak border: A loud political statement

Profile of Indian Paramilitary Forces – IV Indo Tibetan Border Police

Profile of Indian Paramilitary Forces – III The Central Industrial Security Force

Profile of Indian Paramilitary Forces – II Border Security Force

Profile of Indian Paramilitary Forces – I Central Reserve Police Force

Border Management: A Rebuttal to Brig Chandel’s A Border Guards Organization for Anti-Terrorist Operations

Security threat assessment of Naxalites in India

Initiating IEDs in the Small Arms Debate

President’s Visit in the Totality of Sino-Indian-US Relations

Improvised Explosive Devices - V: IEDs & Land Mine Treaties

Improvised Explosive Devices - IV: IEDs & Mines

Improvised Explosive Devices - II: The Targets

Improvised Explosive Devices - I: In the terrorist tool kit

India's Draft Nuclear Doctrine

Disguised blessings from Lahore

Nepal Elections: Why not a Hung Parliament

ADD TO:
Blink
Del.icio.us
Digg
Furl
Google
Simpy
Spurl
Y! MyWeb
Facebook
 
Print Bookmark Email Facebook Subscribe
Year 2014
 January  February  March  April  May  June  July  August
 2013  2012  2011  2010  2009  2008  2007  2006
 2005  2004  2003  2002  2001  2000  1999  1998
 1997
 
 

The Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies (IPCS) is the premier South Asian think tank which conducts independent research on and provides an in depth analysis of conventional and non-conventional issues related to national and South Asian security including nuclear issues, disarmament, non-proliferation, weapons of mass destruction, the war on terrorism, counter terrorism , strategies security sector reforms, and armed conflict and peace processes in the region.

For those in South Asia and elsewhere, the IPCS website provides a comprehensive analysis of the happenings within India with a special focus on Jammu and Kashmir and Naxalite Violence. Our research promotes greater understanding of India's foreign policy especially India-China relations, India's relations with SAARC countries and South East Asia.

Through close interaction with leading strategic thinkers, former members of the Indian Administrative Service, the Foreign Service and the three wings of the Armed Forces - the Indian Army, Indian Navy, and Indian Air Force, - the academic community as well as the media, the IPCS has contributed considerably to the strategic discourse in India.

 
Subscribe to Newswire | Site Map | IPCS Email
B 7/3 Lower Ground Floor, Safdarjung Enclave, New Delhi 110029, INDIA.
Tel: 91-11-4100 1900, 4165 2556, 4165 2557, 4165 2558, 4165 2559 Fax: (91-11) 41652560
Email:
© Copyright 2014, Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies.
        Web Design by http://www.indiainternets.com