War zones in Iraq and Afghanistan are the template for Boston’s fight against terrorists and other “bad actors,” according to a police plan to stage intense training to ready SWAT teams and bomb squads for threats that could “hit our shores in full force,” the Boston Herald reports The Boston Police Department request for proposals seeks an organization to lead a five-day, 40-hour course for 30 SWAT team members and 22 bomb-squad members, training them to recognize IED components and booby traps and splitting them into teams to role-play as terrorist cells and plan attacks on a given target. “The increasing operational tempo of terrorist organizations and lone wolf actors around the world are shaping the battlespace into one resembling the wars of Iraq and Afghanistan,” the request says.
Police spokesman Det. Lt. Michael McCarthy noted that terrorists trade diagrams of explosive devices via social media, and the devices used in the Boston Marathon bombings were modeled after designs in Iraq and Afghanistan. “We adapt our training to keep it relevant to what is happening around the world and here at home,” McCarthy said. “In terms of improvised explosives devices it is imperative that we train for those types of threats.” John Jay College of Criminal Justice Prof. Eugene O’Donnell, a former New York police officer, said Boston is “blazing a trail” and correctly taking major threats seriously. “Terrorists are experimenting and innovating at an alarming rate, there are lots of evil minds looking to inflict carnage,” he said. “It’s refreshing and encouraging to see law enforcement trying to get out in front of that, trying to create their own innovations to stop these guys dead in their tracks.”