The Homeland Security Department is developing camera systems, chemical sensors, and other technologies to detect improvised explosive devices (IEDs), a threat officials warn is growing in the nation’s big cities, says USA Today. Security officials are researching new technologies that could be used at airports and in subways, at sports stadiums and on city streets to alert police and security officers that someone is carrying an IED.
Camera systems are being developed that could identify whether someone is hiding a bomb under clothes. The camera software could detect a bomb by analyzing the way a person moves while walking, or by focusing on tiny sensors that could pick up chemicals used to make homemade bombs. Other computer programs could be used to analyze cellphone calls, chat room discussions, bank records, photos, and any other documents collected by investigators that might identify patterns suggesting terrorist behavior. Since the war in Iraq began, more than 1,600 troops have been killed by IEDs. Security experts say it’s only a matter of time before some are set off here. Key members of Congress from both political parties are pushing legislation that would authorize $60 million over three years for Homeland Security’s new Office of Bombing Prevention and other government agencies to share “military know-how” and anti-IED technology.