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Afghan_IED Emplacement Guide

Afghan_IED Emplacement Guide

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Published by: aleale7 on Nov 27, 2012
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IED Emplacement Guide
How to find them before they find you
This guide provides information to help the warfighter identify IED emplacement tactics, techniques and procedures. This booklet isn’t intended solely for Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technicians, but rather those personnel, through necessity, who need to identify IED emplacement patterns in the absence of trained EOD professionals. The materials in this booklet are sensitive and require safeguarding.

Distribution Statement F:
Further distribution only as directed by Joint Task Force Paladin. Forward comments or questions regarding this product to Commanding Officer, Joint Task Force Paladin, APO AE 09354

Publication date:

20 October 2008


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Miscellaneous Information


This reference guide was created to help the warfighter identify IED terrain placement patterns and tactics frequently observed in the Afghanistan area of operations. The guide was not intended to cover every possible IED placement method or tactic, but rather illustrates some of the major events and lessons learned from experienced field operators from the Combined Explosives Exploitation Cell. The information presented is intended to assist the reader with recognizing terrain and situations that could offer an advantage to an enemy looking to maximize the effect from an IED strike.


Recovery and handling of IEDs or their components is inherently dangerous. The booklet is not designed to train non-EOD personnel in render-safe techniques. Actual EOD personnel must attend school for nearly a year before assignment to an EOD team. For the safety of yourself and your team, call EOD if you believe you have found an IED or a suspicious object.

Background and overview

This booklet was produced by CEXC Afghanistan, under Joint Task Force Paladin. Information was derived from many sources, but mostly from reports and photographs sent by field operators. CEXC’s mission is to provide technical intelligence on IED techniques, identify trends, and target bomb makers in order to enable both defensive and offensive counter-IED operations. When an incident occurs, all information is passed on to or collected by CEXC investigators. The information is assessed, and any recovered technical material is evaluated. The incident is analyzed and a technical report is produced. The reports are made available as soon as possible and shared at the lowest possible classification. The CEXC team has a mix of skills and experiences: IED and explosives, investigative ability, storage/retrieval/analysis of data, electronic and electrical engineering, operational administration, and of course, desktop publishing (since they produced this booket!)

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Culverts have a small tunnel to allow water to flow under the roadway. The space underneath provides a gap where an emplacer can easily hide a large device without disturbing the road surface. the blast follows the path of least resistance . the difference between the two is that culverts have a much smaller opening than bridges.mostly out the sides. Once the main charge is detonated. Page 1 FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY .Crossings Introduction Among the most ready-made structures for IEDs are bridges and culverts. Some of the more commonly found types of IED devices at crossings include command wires and RCIEDs. but with enough residual energy upward to destroy any vehicles above. In Afghanistan.

so many that it may not be practical to stop at every one. If investigating a suspect crossing.FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Bridges/Culverts There are thousands of such crossings in Afghanistan. Crossings FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Page 2 . The best bet is to research the local threat situation before heading out. dismount and conduct proper vulnerable point checks.

with dangerous mountain switchbacks. armored vehicles weighing several tons each. Existing roads were never meant to support routine traffic.Road Hazards Introduction Simply driving on what passes for a road in Afghanistan could itself be a hazard. all of which can play into the enemy’s hand. FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Page 3 FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY . much less large. The paths are hilly. rough.

The local tactical picture could give a convoy commander information about whether or not a given area has seen recent activity. FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Page 4 . the mound made by an emplacer is difficult to find. but if everything looks overturned.FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Road Hazards Uneven surface Dirt roads can slow convoy traffic. dry ground. their very nature allows for a quick and easy hiding place for an IED. It would be easy to spot fresh dirt in flat.

FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Blast seat (rifle used for scale) Page 5 FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY . Bends in the road force vehicles to slow down or drive singlefile. the IED at this turn detonated before any coalition forces arrived. (Right) Fortunately. possibly over a pressure-plate IED. the better for the enemy.Road Hazards Curves The tighter the curve. All that was left was a blast seat and little evidence.

and still disable any Coalition vehicle. IEDs have been known to function in soft mud if effectively wrapped by a bomber. FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Page 6 .FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Road Hazards Mud Rain and mud pose significant threats to the warfighter.

or where possible. curving paths to their advantage. giving the enemy the opportunity to guess what distance a pressure plate needs to be from the explosive charge to detonate under the driver’s seat and not the engine compartment. it does not necessarily force traffic into one channel. But any incline will slow down armored vehicles. Enemy forces can use narrow. and have a foot patrol check the hill for any devices before proceeding with the convoy. that is. The path up the incline in the picture is non-canalizing. its mountains. Page 7 FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY . make your own tracks.Inclines FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Non-canalizing If there’s one thing Afghanistan has a lot of. Recommend dismount procedures be considered.

FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Inclines Canalizing location of IED An incline with a canalizing or “channeling” path is much more restrictive to convoy traffic. It was estimated to be about 15 kilograms of high explosives. Electric wires coming out of the road surface led EOD to the site. The enemy can slow a convoy. and effectively place an IED with the main charge offset enough to detonate directly under a target vehicle. then estimate its slower speed. FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Page 8 . The main charge for this particular IED (inset) was buried about 45 centimeters below a tire track.

to ensure he’s not found 3. line of sight to the target . time after time. An IED triggerman has three requirements when choosing a location for the next strike: 1. That’s why it’s important to understand the enemy and what they’re thinking.to ensure he’s not captured or killed Understanding his decision-making process will show why some locations are preferred for an IED strike while others aren’t.to make sure he gets the right target 2. techniques and procedures to get maximum effect from an IED strike. concealment .Placement Introduction FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY The enemy is studying Coalition tactics. (Right) Battery pack wrapped in black electrical tape with clip Page 9 FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY . easy escape . and why some IEDs just keep showing up at the same place.

and (above). after it was disrupted. The projectile was covered but found using a metal detector. after it was recovered by EOD.FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Placement Buried (Left) A buried 105 mm projectile. FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Page 10 .

The main charge was partially buried.Placement On the ground FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY This pressure plate IED was turned in by a local farmer who saw someone burying something in the road. the remote-control receiver and pressure plate were resting on the road surface. Possible enemy aiming marker Mod 5 receiver Stones used as markers Pressure plate Main charge Close-up of pressure plate Page 11 FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY . but positioned in the middle of the road to do the most amount of damage possible. Normally concealed.

FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Placement Over a wall The portion of the CWIED in the picture is the part of a 140 meterlong wire that was mostly buried about 20 centimeters deep. well away from the blast seat. except when it ran over a mud wall near the firing point. Command wire FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Page 12 . helped obscure the triggerman from approaching traffic. along with a curve in the road. The wall itself.

do not disturb it! Call EOD for assistance. this fake command wire is along the bottom in what was previously thought to be a safe area for coalition troops. Page 13 FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY . The wire was strung out in a way that if cut. (Inset) One of the recovered charges from the site. it would have detonated all of the charges in the IED. If you find anything looking like a command wire.Placement Along a wall FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Instead of running over the top of a mud wall.

FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Placement On a dirt road The tripwire in this photo is run along the width of the road. closing the circuit. offset by about 25 feet from the main charge. The charge is detonated when the tripwire snags the treads of a wheel and pulls an insulator inserted between the contacts of a clothespin switch. Electrical wire Main charge To power source and clothes pin Tripwire FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Page 14 . The offset is a guess by the enemy as to what distance the charge needs to be from the tripwire to detonate under the target vehicle.

or PBIED) Vest contained primed explosives mixed with TNT and had small arms ammunition for fragmentation.Placement FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY In a vest (Personnel-borne. Page 15 FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY .

FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Placement PBIED #2 Vest in green camouflage pattern cloth had three large pockets. plus a small pocket on the right front pocket above the large one. Rocker switch to function vest Main charge compartment Battery compartment Main charge compartment Page 16 FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY .

This particular truck was in reverse gear and had a rock on the accelerator. a prison wall.Placement FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Vehicle-borne IED (VBIED) A vehicle-borne IED can truly be a deadly weapon since it can carry a large amount of explosives. though the vehicle was destroyed by EOD before the IED could function against its intended target. Page 17 FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY .

the SVBIED can chase after a target. Previous SVBIED drivers were seen to be wearing a hands-free cell-phone device. sometimes from opposing traffic. the SVBIED can be the most devastating kind of attack. perhaps to be in communication with a spotter.FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Suicide-vehicle borne IED(SVBIED) Almost like a guided missile on wheels. This particular vehicle carried various mortars and mines. especially those parked on the road shoulder. (Left) An actual recovered SVBIED. Convoys should be on the lookout for vehicles with a single driver. Placement FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Page 18 . Any identifying marks or numbers were either removed or scratched off the vehicle. A favorite vehicle of the SVBIED bomber is the Toyota Corolla. The SVBIED will likely swerve into a convoy with no notice. Unlike a VBIED.

The package carried two Type 63 107mm rocket warheads. (Below) The same bicycle after disruption by EOD.Placement On a bicycle FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY (Left) A bicycle with a suspicious package sits outside a mosque. Page 19 FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY .

The placing of grenades that far off the ground was possibly an attempt to target the roofs of passing coalition vehicles. The threat is all around you. Remember to also look up while conducting 5 and 25 checks. FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Page 20 .FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Placement In a tree Hand grenades (inset) were found in a tree by local children.

the bomber emplaced a land mine in the blacktop road right next to debris from a prior IED blast. There was even a small notch in the road to hide the command wire. Traffic was forced to go around the old site and drive over the land mine. FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Path of command wire Previous blast debris Land mine Page 21 FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY .Placement Used IED site In this photo.

FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Placement Used IED site Close-up of land mine site Blasting cap taped to detonation cord with yellow leg wires FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Page 22 .

Coalition vehicles also use them. the wadi’s smoothness makes them a welcome option for vehicle traffic in a country with few passable roads.Wadis FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY “Wadis” (or Wadi for singular) are dry riverbeds where water flows during Afghanistan’s rainy season. The local population uses water collected in the wadis to fill their cisterns to last the rest of the year. When dry. which also makes them a hotbed of activity for IEDs. Two wadis Page 23 FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY .

Wadis Main charge? buried section Exposed command wire in wadi FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Page 24 . such as command wire leading from the main charge to a distant firing point. components may be visible in the wadi.FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Depending on the device. The buried section would be nearest the main charge to keep the IED hidden.

but with two different devices. Emplacers know which routes are used more often and target those areas. Page 25 FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY .Wadis Trip wire FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Trip wire line Some emplacers use the exact same spot for IED emplacement. Both this and the next page show the same spot months apart.

A red and yellow wire was also found. The main charge was eventually found and blown in place. 10” diameter Suspected pressure plate FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Page 26 . white lamp cord and two 9 volt batteries were found in the same spot months later. new device A pressure plate. Wadis 9 volt battery connectors Pressure plate Main charge. but couldn’t be traced to what it connected to. 18” long.FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Same place.

Anytime rock piles are encountered the patrol should dismount and investigate before proceeding. If it doesn’t belong there. mines. something new might become apparent. the presence or absence or people. They are placed by locals to demark tribal areas. FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Page 27 FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY . it might be an indication of an IED. Take the time to learn local customs and routines. The only way to be sure of what’s diffrent is to understand what’s normal. and sometimes. so this might be a clue. and even the surroundings. any discovered IEDs. The piles also create a vulnerable point. Knowing that. (Right) Rock piles don’t occur in nature.Suspicious Items Convoys should always be aware of anything out of the ordinary. forcing vehicles to slow down and go around.

The donkey might be towing an explosive device. FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Page 28 . especially one with a cart.FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Suspicious Items Usually a donkey with a cart is led by somebody. but an unattended animal should raise a red flag.

Is there a way to escape. down. or even up a mountain? .Methods FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Enemy TTPs When planning a strike.Is the target route used by coalition forces? If so. out.Is there a way for coalition forces to escape from an ambush should one vehicle be hit by an IED? . 1 . Case no. a convoy could be better prepared for a possible IED strike. when and where? . the enemy has several factors to consider: .view from blast seat of IED strike Page 29 FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY .Is there a sharp corner that could reduce the effectiveness of electronic countermeasures? The enemy wants to make sure no IED gets wasted. By learning what they’re looking for. so they’re going to be thinking about how the terrain works for them.Is there a landmark that can be used as an aiming marker? .

He only needed to touch the command wire end to the battery terminals to detonate the charge. To escape. from firing point FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Page 30 . across a field and into a village.FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Possible aiming marker Contact point Enemy TTPs The bomber had a clear view of the target from behind the rock wall. Methods Same site. the bomber could have gone down a steep hill.

The CWIED itself was buried along a low wall and led to a firing point about 100 meters away to the opposite side of a hill. 2 .a way to aim (the low wall) . where the bomber could slip away unnoticed.A CWIED hit the first of a fourvehicle convoy. The enemy picked this spot because it had two advantages: .someplace to hide and escape (the hill.Enemy TTPs Case no. about 100 meters away) Firing point Methods FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Contact point Page 31 FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY .

FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Enemy TTPs Battery and switch Methods Contact point Insulator Egress routes Firing point FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Page 32 .

suggesting the IED was prestaged. which led about 150 meters away to a nearby qualat (mud-walled compound). Upon investigation. all the bomber had to do was attach a power source to initiate the device. 3 . The wire near the contact point was buried. Page 33 Firing point Splice found here Path of command wire Looking towards firing point from seat of explosion Close-up of spliced section FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY . a metal pole beside the road. This spot offered two things: . .Methods FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Enemy TTPs Case no.A possible aiming marker.A CWIED strike hit the trailing vehicle in a convoy. far from the contact point.A place to hide. but surfaced partway to the qualat. a buried command wire was found.

FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Enemy TTPs Contact point Methods Possible aiming marker End of command wire View from firing position FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Page 34 .


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