Bulletin Reports

Recovery of DNA from Improvised Explosive Device Containers

Apprehending individuals who use improvised explosive devices (IEDs) is a high priority given their use both domestically and abroad. These devices often are concealed in bags, boxes, or backpacks to prevent detection.

Research was conducted to identify IED handlers through postblast DNA recovery from the IED containers. Study participants were asked to use backpacks for 11 days, after which the packs served as containers for pipe bombs. Eleven postdeflagration backpack areas that likely were handled were swabbed and analyzed. Profiles from all these areas were considered to help with identification. Results were correct for all, except one that remained ambiguous. The results indicated that recovering DNA from IED containers is a viable approach for aiding in the identification of individuals who may have been involved in an IED event. More information on investigative studies into the recovery of DNA from IED containers may be found at www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=262339, NCJ 240264.