After a bombing takes place, much information about the improvised explosive device can be obtained through careful processing of the bomb scene. In bombing incidents in which black or smokeless powder is used, bomb components recovered may include unreacted or partially burned powder, chemical products of the reaction, and parts of the device, such as the container used to contain the powder, the container used to transport the device, triggering or delay mechanisms, and adhesive tape. Identifying and tracing the origin of these components, including the brand and product line of the smokeless or black powder used in a bombing, may aid in identifying and eventually convicting the bomber. The Committee on Smokeless and Black Powder was specifically charged with determining whether taggants, added to black or smokeless powder, would substantially assist law enforcement personnel in identifying, apprehending, and convicting bomb makers.1

Identification taggants are coded materials that can be added to a product by the manufacturer to provide information that can be ''read'' by investigators at some later stage in the use of the product. Taggants are currently added by manufacturers to a variety of products, such as gasoline, construction materials, and perfume, to enable detection of product tampering or counterfeiting.2 These


See Appendix B for the statement of task.


Some commercial applications of taggants for prevention of counterfeiting and for product identification are given by Schlesinger (1998).

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