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Homeland Security

Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA)

CISA and FBI Join Forces to Prevent Bomb-Making with Operation Flashpoint

Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA)

August 2, 2021

WASHINGTON -- The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) have launched a 90-day pilot program called "Operation Flashpoint" across CISA's southeastern region to build awareness in communities about how to prevent bomb attacks. As part of this pilot, CISA and FBI officials are encouraging businesses and the public to voluntarily report suspicious activity such as buying large amounts of chemicals and materials (or a combination of these) that can be used to build bombs.

"It's a high priority for the FBI to keep explosives out of the hands of those who shouldn't have them," said FBI Assistant Director of the Weapons of Mass Destruction Directorate, Donald Alway. "To obtain this goal, we will work tirelessly with our federal partners and the private sector to protect our communities."

Operation Flashpoint highlights the threat posed by domestic violent extremists and others who can build improvised explosive devices (IEDs) from common household items found at retail stores across the country. Approximately 250,000 businesses in the United States sell, use, or distribute materials that can be used to build bombs. IEDs can cause mass casualty events and pose a significant threat within the United States. In 2020 alone, there were 2,061 total bomb threats, suspicious packages, and device-related incidents across the Nation, according to CISA's Office for Bombing Prevention TRIPwire report.

This 90-day pilot kicked off June 30th in Clinton, Miss. and will continue with stops in the southeastern cities of Columbia, S.C.; Louisville, Ky.; and Tampa, Fla.

"To enhance security in our communities, we rely heavily on retailers and the public to remain vigilant," said Dr. David Mussington, Executive Assistant Director for CISA's Infrastructure Security Division. "They are our Nation's counter-IED 'eyes-and-ears,' and the first line of defense in providing early detection of potential terrorist attacks and criminal activity."

Operation Flashpoint seeks to reduce the threat of IED attacks by helping businesses detect the acquisition, theft, or diversion of dangerous chemicals. If business owners or employees observe suspicious activity, they should confidentially report the information to 1-800-CALL-FBI (1-800-225-5324) or contact local law enforcement (for emergencies, please dial 911).

More information for businesses interested in Operation Flashpoint is available at cisa.gov/bmap. Businesses interested in participating in Operation Flashpoint are invited to email CISA's Operation Flashpoint program office at bmap@cisa.dhs.gov.

Follow #OperationFlashpoint on Twitter: @CISAgov and @CISAInfraSec.


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