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Bomb Sniffing Dogs

05/14/2012 -Triacetonetriperoxide or TATP is a volatile peroxide-based explosive. It can be detonated by impact, temperature changes, or even slight frictions, earning it the nickname theMother of Satan. And because ingredients to make peroxide-based explosives aren’t hard to gather, they’re a favorite among both homegrown and organized terrorist actors.

Peroxide-based explosives are one of the newer threats domestically and abroad, said Cody Monday, a dog trainer with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF). ATF teams travel nationwide to train and certify law enforcement and military explosives detection dogs.

“You can get hydrogen peroxide anywhere and the other substances that are involved with making peroxide-based explosives are pretty readily available to the public,” he said by phone on Monday.

The ATF’s mobile canine explosives training team will certify bomb-sniffing dogs, from local police departments, as well as federal agencies at the National Guard Armory in Fayetteville, North Carolina on Thursday. They will be tested using the National Odor Recognition Test (NORT) developed by explosives experts and chemists. Specialized "imprinting" for the dogs to recognize peroxide-based explosives will be conducted.

“The purpose of the certification is two-fold,” said ATF PIO Earl Woodham. “It’s to make sure they can do their job and it also certifies them as experts at locating those specific explosives so that handler would be able to testify in court in the event there is a legal question of how we found the materials.”

The dogs initially go through the ATF’s 10-week training course and are recertified biannually. Around 150 dogs are certified annually through NORT, Monday said.

For more information on certifying explosives detections dogs, visit theATF Web site.