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C I V I L - M I L I T A R Y



March 2012

Comprehensive Information on Complex Crises

Improvised Explosive Devices:

A Global Review January & February 2012
Mark Checchia
Security and C-IED Desk Officer

This document provides a summary of incidents and trends involving improvised explosive devices (IEDs) as reported in various unclassified publications during January and February 2012. As this report seeks to share information of explosive events with the broader civil-military community, the use of the term IED has been expanded to include explosive incidents in general and is not restricted solely to devices that have been improvised. Related information is available at Hyperlinks to source material are highlighted in blue and underlined in the text.

500 400 300 200 100 0

ATOs Centre of Excellence Defence Against Terrorism (COE-DAT) reported 728 people were killed and 1,434 others injured from 344 reported global IED, vehicle-borne IED (VBIED) or suicide attacks during January 2012. A further 389 people were killed and 1,246 were injured in 288 attacks in February 2012. Combined, there were 632 IED incidents in the first two months of the year which killed 1,117 people and injured another 2,680. In comparison, there were 850 non-IED related terrorism incidents globally in January and February 2012 that resulted in 1,201 killed and 929 wounded, according to COE-DAT. (For a brief discussion of data sources, see Box 1, next page.)

Figures 1 & 2. IEDs by Type and by Casualty Type, February 2011 February 2012
3,000 2,500 2,000 1,500 1,000 500 0 Aug-11 May-11 Nov-11 Mar-11 Dec-11 Apr-11










Suicide Attacks

The Civil-Military Fusion Centre (CFC) is an information and knowledge sharing organisation focused on improving civil-military interaction, facilitating information sharing and enhancing situational awareness through the CimicWeb portal and our weekly and monthly publications. CFC products are based upon and link to open-source information from a wide variety of organisations, research centres and media sources. However, the CFC does not endorse and cannot necessarily guarantee the accuracy or objectivity of these sources.

CFC publications are independently produced by Desk Officers and

do not reflect NATO or ISAF policies or positions of any other organisation.

Feb-11 Mar-11 Apr-11 May-11 Jun-11 Jul-11 Aug-11 Sep-11 Oct-11 Nov-11 Dec-11 Jan-12 Feb-12 Killed Wounded


Source: Compiled from data extracted from COE-DAT Monthly Reports, February 2011-February 2012

Box 1. Note on IED Information Sources

Various government, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and international organisations maintain databases that track global terrorism and IED events. These databases differ in terms of their security classification and, hence, their accessibility to individuals who require or would benefit from related information. Databases also differ in their definition, criteria and classification of explosive events and in the timeliness of their reporting. For instance, classified military databases in Iraq and Afghanistan include IED explosions, IED finds/clears, turn-ins and hoaxes; as a result they consistently report higher numbers of IED incidents than other databases. For consistency and availability, the CFCs Security & C-IED Desk Officer uses unclassified IED data from NATOs Defence against Terrorism Centre of Excellences (COE-DAT) monthly reports. Detailed trends data and incident information through December 2010 are primarily derived from the University of Marylands National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START), which allows analysts to download information from their online global terrorism database. IED events occurring in 2011and 2012 are compiled from various unclassified news reports. Some information is provided by the Realtime Analysis and Publishing of IED Data (RAPID), a US Joint IED Defeat Organization (JIEDDO) contracted weekly publication.

While this section focuses upon IED and C-IED issues in Afghanistan, the security situation and IED incidents in that country may be viewed with an understanding of the on-going phased transition of security responsibility to the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF). In that context, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said on 26 January that the International Security Assistance Force will [S]tick to the roadmap that was outlined at the NATO summit in Lisbon in November 2010. According to which, we will gradually handover lead responsibility to the Afghans. A process that has been started and hopefully will be completed by the end of 2014. According to ISAF, the overall number of executed IED attacks in January and February 2012 (see Figure 3) was measurably lower than during the same months in 2011. In addition, a review of ISAF fatalities show that nine of the 22 military members who died as a result of hostile action in Afghanistan during January 2012 were killed by IEDs in Kandahar and Helmand provinces in the south of the country. By comparison, in December 2011, 16 of 23 NATO casualties were due to IEDs. Figure











Source: ISAF Monthly Data: Trends Through February 2012; IED data in this publicly available ISAF document comes from the Combined Information Data Network Exchange (CIDNE) system

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A report in USA Today on 26 January noted that the total number of IEDs that were cleared or detonated in Afghanistan rose to 16,554 in 2011, an increase of 9% over the 15,225 events in 2010. In 2009, there were a total of 9,304 IED events. While IEDs remain one of the primary causes of casualties for military service members, civilians casualties are rising at an alarming rate. IEDs account for 60% of all civilian casualties, and the number of Afghans killed or wounded by IEDs jumped 10% between 2010 and 2011 to more than 4,000. The New York Times reported that more civilian contractors working for American companies than American soldiers died in Afghanistan last year. The article did not specifically attribute IEDs or any specific cause of death to the drastic increase in civilian deaths stating that many contractors do not comply with even the current, scanty reporting requirements. According to data provided by the US Embassy in Kabul and other public records, at least 430 employees of American contractors were reported killed in Afghanistan in 2011: 386 working for the Department of Defense, 43 for the United States Agency for International Development and one for the US State Department. By comparison, 418 American soldiers died last year in Afghanistan. Experts who have studied the issue say that the true number of private contractor deaths may be far higher. The bulk of the known contractor deaths are concentrated among companies who provide interpreters, drivers, security guards and support personnel. Below are IED events that were reported in Afghanistan in January and February 2012: The most deadly IED attack occurred over 18-19 January, when two IED attacks in southern Afghanistan left 19 people dead and dozens wounded, the Washington Post noted. According to provincial officials, 13 people were killed and 20 others wounded when a suicide bomber detonated his explosives at a popular bazaar in the Kajaki district of Helmand province on 18 January. Subsequently, a suicide bomber killed six civilians at the entrance to a NATO airfield at Kandahar. The Taliban took credit for the attacks. Another incident took place in Kandahar on 12 January, when Suicide VBIED in Kandahar Khan/AP Syed Fazluddin Agha, the administrative head of Panjwayi district, was killed along with two of his sons and two bodyguards in a suicide VBIED. Nine Afghan policemen and a civilian were also wounded in the attack. A suicide bomber targeted a NATO convoy in southern Helmand province on 26 January, the New York Times reported. The attack resulted in the death of three Afghan civilians and injured thirty others. A civilian ISAF official was also injured. A suicide bomber detonated his explosive-packed vehicle outside the gates of Jalalabad airfield on 27 February, according to Tolo News. Local officials reported nine dead and 21 wounded in the attack on the joint Afghan-ISAF airfield; no ISAF casualties were reported, notes the Associated Press. The Taliban claimed the bombing were in retaliation for US troops burning copies of the Quran at Bagram airfield, reports McClatchy. A car bomb exploded near a police headquarters in Kandahar city in Afghanistan on 05 February, killing seven and injuring 19, Tolo News recounted. Five of the dead were policemen, and six police and 13 civilians were among the injured.

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Four people were wounded in northern Takhar province on 29 February, Tolo News reported. Local officials said a bomb placed in a car exploded near the Kabul Bank office in the provincial capital. The wounded were taken to a nearby hospital and Afghan police have started an investigation.. No group has claimed responsibility. In another incident in Helmand province, six people were wounded in a suicide car bomb attack. Local officials said the incident involved a suicide bomber detonating his explosives near the provincial police headquarters in Lashkar Gah, reported Kamal-u Din Shirzai, deputy police chief of the province.

Below are IED events that were reported in Pakistan in January and February 2012: At least 30 people were killed on 10 January after a bomb exploded near a bus terminal in the town of Jamrud in the Khyber tribal region, according to BBC News. Officials say at least 60 other people were injured. Jamrud has been the scene of several attacks in the past, the most recent of which was a suicide bombing at a mosque in August 2011 which killed at least 40 people. BBC News reports that Jamrud is dominated by the Kukikhel branch of the Afridi tribe, which has organised a militia to fight a local faction of the Pakistani Taliban. On 11 January, 14 paramilitary soldiers were killed in a Border Areas, including Jamrud BBC News bomb attack in Balochistan province, Pakistani officials told Pajhwok Afghan News. Another 15 others were injured and taken to hospital. A spokesman for the Baloch Liberation Front claimed responsibility for the attack. According to Pajhwok, this was the third attack on security forces in a week. Attacks on Pakistani soldiers have increased recently; twenty-five soldiers were killed earlier in two attacks in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. A Pakistan official reported that at least 14 people were killed and 20 injured in a bomb blast in the Pakistani town of Khan Pur in Punjab Province on 15 January, CNN reported. The explosion targeted Shiite Muslims on a procession route during the holy day of Chehlum, which marks the anniversary of the seventh century death of Imam Hussain. At least 20 people, mainly Shia Muslims, were killed and dozens injured in a suicide attack near a mosque following prayer in Pakistans north western Kurram tribal region on 17 February, according to Pajhwok Afghan News. The attacker blew up his explosives-laden motorcycle in the market. A car bomb detonated at an outdoor minibus terminal in north western Pakistan 23 February, killing at least 12 people and wounding 32 others, the Associated Press reported. The blast destroyed many of the vehicles waiting to transport passengers from the city of Peshawar to other areas of the country.

January 2012 statistics show that there was an increase in casualties during the month. Two of the three organisations that maintain monthly death counts for Iraq showed increases in January 2012. The Iraq Body Count tracking website registered 458 killed, up from 371 in December 2011. The United Nations reported 500

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deaths in January compared to 313 the previous month. Iraqi government ministries only counted 151 deaths, down slightly from 155 in December. Below are IED events that were reported in Iraq in January and February 2012: A number of bombings across the country killed at least 60 people in Iraq on 5 January, reports CNN. The bombers targeted Shiites. Authorities said these attacks raised fears of increased sectarian violence. The deadliest of the attack was a suicide bombing west of Nasiriya that killed at least 36 people and wounded more than 72 others. Blasts in Baghdad killed 24 people and wounded dozens more. A suicide bomber disguised as a policeman targeted Shiite pilgrims outside the southern Iraqi city of Basra, killing at least 53 people and injuring 137 others on 14 January. The explosion took place at a police checkpoint near a Shiite mosque and occurred as pilgrims were going to worship to commemorate Arbaeen. Arbaeen, one of the holiest days in the Shiite sect, commemorates the seventh century death of Imam Hussein. These attacks marked the deadliest attack on the Shiite community in Iraq since the US military VBIED in Iraq completed its withdrawal from the country in December 2011.


A suicide bomber detonated his explosive-laden vehicle near a funeral procession in the Baghdad district of Zafaraniyah on 27 January, killing as many as 32 people and injuring 65 others. At least half of the dead were policemen. Minutes after the explosion, gunmen opened fire at a checkpoint nearby, killing two other policemen. At least 16 people were killed on 09 January in a series of car bombings and assassinations. Two car bombs exploded in Shiite areas in Baghdad, killing 12 people and injuring 50. In Kirkuk, two Kurdish security personnel were killed at a checkpoint. Iraqi officials reported 13 people have been killed in two separate bomb attacks on 26 January. Ten members of a single family, including two police officers, were killed in a bombing in Kirkuk. In a separate incident, three people were killed by a motorcycle bomb parked near a primary school. According to BBC News, at least 13 people were killed and 62 wounded in four separate car bomb attacks in Baghdads Shiite districts on 24 January. Six roadside bombs planted near houses of Iraqi police officers in Baqouba, northeast of Baghdad, on 04 January resulted in two children killed and nine people wounded. Simultaneous early morning attacks on mostly Shi'a targets across Iraq killed at least 60 people and wounded dozens on 23 February, Reuters reported. The attacks appeared to pit al Qaeda-linked Sunni Muslim insurgents against Shi'as, and raised fears of a return to the widespread sectarian violence of 2006 and 2007.

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Other Notable Global IED-Related Explosive Events

In addition to the IED incidents noted above in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq, a number of prominent attacks involving IEDs also took place in places such as Nigeria, Syria, Ethiopia, Iran and Somalia. These incidents are outlined below.

A coordinated series of IED explosions and shootings by Boko Haram, a radical Islamist sect, killed 186 people in Kano, Nigeria on 20 January, the BBC reports. Kano, Nigerias second largest city, has more than nine million people and is an important political and religious centre for Nigerias predominantly Muslim North. A Boko Haram spokesman claimed responsibility and said the attacks were motivated by the governments refusal to release Boko Haram members in custody. The 20 January attacks targeted police stations, immigration offices and the local headquarters of the Nigerian secret police and left the police headquarters and other government buildings in ruins. Boko Haram was profiled in the December CFC publication on Improvised Explosive Police Inspect Kano Bomb Site Reuters Devices. Nigerian Foreign Minister Mohammed Bazoum said on 24 January that members of Boko Haram have received explosives training at al Qaeda camps in the Sahel region of northern Africa. He further stated that another group received training from al Shabaab in Somalia. A suspected suicide bomber disguised in military uniform was killed on 07 February when his car bomb exploded under fire from soldiers outside a military base in the northern Nigerian city of Kaduna, a Nigerian army spokesman said. The soldiers repelled the attack and were able to stop what will [sic] have been a suicide bombing. However, after firing [at] the suicide bomber who tried to force his way, the bomb exploded... The suicide bomber was the only casualty, read a statement from the Nigerian army. Although there was no immediate claim of responsibility, Boko Haram is suspected given similar attacks which it had carried out recently.

Powerful car bombs exploded minutes apart outside two security headquarters in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo on 10 February, killing 28 and injuring 235 people according to an official count; it also injured approximately 235 people. According to a government statement, military and police personnel, as well as civilians, were killed outside a military security headquarters and a police compound. The blasts were blamed on opposition forces seeking the ouster of the current regime.

The Long War Journal reported that an al Shabaab suicide bomber attacked an Ethiopian military compound in western Somalia on 24 January. Al Shabaab claimed credit for the attack and said that 33 Ethiopian soldiers, including four senior commanders, were killed and up to 72 injured. The attack took place in the city of Beledweyne near the border with Ethiopia. Al Shabaab said the attack targeted a building known as the

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Regional Headquarters, which housed more than 200 Ethiopian troops. Ethiopian officials did not confirm the number of casualties from the al Shabaab attack, but The Long War Journal said African countries which have forces in Somalia often underreport casualties. At least 15 people were killed and more than 20 people injured when a car bomb exploded on 09 February near a cafe in Somalias capital, Mogadishu, the BBC reported. Officials said the vehicle was parked close to the Hotel Muna, which is frequented by Somali politicians and which was the target of an attack by militants in August 2010. Al Shabab claimed responsibility for the attack.

Israeli Targets
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu blamed Iran for attacks on 13 February on Israeli embassy staff in Georgia and India that wounded at least two people, one of them an Israeli woman, The Times of India reported. These attacks were in addition to a bomb incident in Bangkok, Thailand, where two Iranians were arrested after an explosion at a house they were renting. One of the men blew off his legs as he tried to throw an explosive at police while fleeing, Thai media said. A third man was arrested in Malaysia, and Thai authorities have issued arrest warrants for two other Iranians who have fled the country. The Delhi Police said it will check with the authorities in Georgia and Bangkok to find out more about the explosives used in the bomb attack on an Israeli embassy car on 13 February in Delhi, India News Online reported. We will get the samples of explosives from Georgia where a bomb was defused and from Bangkok, where an attack has taken place. We will check whether the same kind of explosives was used in Mondays blast, Delhi Commissioner of Police B.K. Gupta told reporters.

The Washington Post reported that a scientist associated with Irans nuclear programme was killed along with his bodyguard when an unidentified attacker placed a magnetic bomb on his car in Tehran on 11 January. The scientist, Mostafa Ahmadi-Roshan, is said to be the deputy director of Irans largest uranium-enrichment facility, which is located near the town of Natanz. Ahmadi-Roshan is the fourth Iranian scientists killed by bombs in the past two years. Iranian officials accused the United States and Israel for conducting the attack. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton categorically denied involvement in the attack; Israeli officials did not respond to the allegation.
If your organisation has unclassified, validated density or trends data that you wish to share with the wider civilmilitary community, we would be pleased if you could provide this information to the CimicWeb Security and CIED Desk Officer Mark Checchia, As always, your comments and feedback are welcome. Please email comments to the CFC Executive Officer, We encourage you to share this unclassified thematic report with other interested civilian or military personnel.

Annex A. Additional IED Resources

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Annex A: Additional IED and C-IED Resources

Defence Against Suicide Bombing, Course 1 report, NATO Centre of Excellence Defence Against Terrorism (COE-DAT) Defence Against Suicide Bombing, Course 2 report, NATO COE-DAT Defence Against Suicide Bombing, Course 3 report, NATO COE-DAT Warfighter Support. Challenges Confronting DOD's Ability to Coordinate and Oversee Its CounterImprovised Explosive Device Efforts Joint IED Defeat Organization (JIEDDO) Oct 2009 Improving Situational Awareness in the Counter-IED Fight with the Utilization of Unmanned Sensor Systems JIEDDO June 2009 Dragon's Claws: The Improvised Explosive Device (IED) as a Weapon of Strategic Influence JIEDDO, March 2009 Suicide Terrorism: A Global Threat. October 2009 Combating the No. 1 killer of troops in Afghanistan CNN, May 2010 Attack the Network, Defeat the Device and Train the Force: US Outlines its Counter-IED Strategy Defence Update, March 2008

Recent CFC C-IED Publications

Improvised Explosive Devices: Trends & Issues, November 2011 in Review, December 2011. This report provides a summary of notable IED events in November 2011. Also include a topical report on Boko Haram, an insurgent group operating in Nigeria. Improvised Explosive Devices: Trends & Issues, October 2011 in Review, November 2011. This paper discusses the impact of high-profile attacks, such as vehicle-borne IEDs and suicide bomber attacks. Other topics include illegal transfer of calcium aluminium nitrate into Afghanistan, and al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula IED activities in Yemen over the past several years. Summary of Notable Security Incidents & Trends Involving Explosive Devices September 2011, October 2011. This document provides a summary of improvised explosive devices (IED) related events and trends by global regions during September 2011.

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