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Book Review: Explosives

​CRC Press; crcpr​; 285 pages; $89.95.

In these days of domestic and foreign terrorism, those responsible for the security at any facility must be prepared for the threat of explosive devices. Bombs, IEDs, and Explosives provides a resource to assist security personnel in detecting an explosive device and responding effectively.

While bomb technicians will learn fundamental concepts and skills necessary for their profession, security practitioners will gain a solid understanding of the various types of explosives and priming devices and how to identify each. Other topics such as bomb threats, incident response, and evidence handling are also explored.

Author Paul Laska provides a historical background of bomb disposal and how bomb disposal units are used today. He details standard operating procedures for a number of bomb threat and response scenarios, an understanding of how units will respond to an incident, how and where they need to stage, and what assistance and support is expected of the on-site security team. Such information is useful for planning and training for a bomb threat or actual event.

Bombs, IEDs, and Explosives is well written and thorough. It contains many photos of explosive devices, disposal devices, testing equipment, and tools, as well as the results of different types of explosions. The photos are particularly beneficial for security professionals to aid them in identifying the existence of an explosive device and determining the appropriate response.

The reader will appreciate the discussion of real bombing events that have occurred. Laska provides details of each event including what types of explosives were used and what happened when they exploded or how they were disarmed. Probably the most important information for the security practitioner is the response of the local law enforcement and emergency agencies, and their post-incident handling.

Every security practitioner should have a copy of this book. Although it is directed at bomb disposal personnel, all readers will gain a basic understanding of bombs, their associated components, and how to handle them. They will learn how to assist responders without getting in the way.


Reviewer: Derk J. Boss, CPP, CFE (Certified Fraud Examiner), CSP (Certified Surveillance Professional), is principal consultant for DJ Boss Associates. He is a casino security and surveillance expert who serves on the ASIS Gaming and Wagering Protection Council and is former chair of that council. He is a published author and recognized speaker.