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The Explosives Unit examines evidence associated with bombings. Explosives examinations involve the identification and function of the components used in the construction of incendiary as well as improvised explosive devices. In addition, the Unit performs chemical analyses to determine the type of explosive used in an improvised explosive or incendiary device, which includes bulk substance analysis as well as analysis of the residues left behind when an explosive detonates.

Unit personnel also assist investigators in determining whether debris from a fire of suspicious origin indicates the presence of an accelerant. Providing field support, bombing crime scene investigations, and searches of bomb-making factories and safe houses in which bombs or bomb components may be encountered are other responsibilities of Unit personnel.

The Unit maintains the Explosives
Reference Search System and the
Explosives Reference File.

For more information about explosives evidence or the Explosives Unit, see the Explosives Examinations section of the Handbook of Forensic Services.

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Postblast: Khobar Towers, Saudi Arabia

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The Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City following the explosion caused by Timothy McVeigh

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Information revised October 2000