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Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) / Booby Traps

Firing Devices

In low-intensity, stability and support operations and counterterrorism conflicts, there may be high incidences of improvised devices and booby traps. It is impossible to provide a complete list of firing devices (FDs) and improvised demolition materiel that can be used. Most improvised traps are variations of those described below. Some IEDs can be victim-activated.

  • Improvised electric FDs. An electric FD requires a current to pass between two contacts. The ways in which this can be achieved are unlimited. Booby traps/IEDs utilizing electrical components are limited by having to use a power source. In most cases, the power source will be a battery. The life of this type of booby trap is limited to the life of the battery.


  • Nonelectric FDs. Most nonelectric FDs are based on pressure, pressure release, or trip wire actuation. Improvised FDs are usually of the shear pin or pin removal type.




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