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A terrorist who has made an explosive device will almost certainly leave behind traces of the substances used in the process. There is a good chance that some of these traces are present in the oily substance of a fingerprint, on objects, clothing or hair. The Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research (TNO) is going to research analysis techniques to detect and identify these traces in fingerprints. This could help in tracking down at an early stage suspects who are preparing a terrorist attack.

European project against bomb attacks

The research is part of the European INHERIT (INHibitors, Explosives and pRecursors InvesTigation) project, in which fourteen international partners from ten different countries are joining forces in the fight against terrorist bomb attacks. The consortium comprises several European knowledge institutes, police forces, universities and companies. The FBI is also affiliated. Leading the project is a Swedish knowledge institute, the FOI (Swedish Defence Research Agency). The INHERIT project, which is made up of several components, has been awarded a five million euro grant from the EU.

The research by TNO is part of a PhD study in which there is close cooperation with the University of Amsterdam and the Netherlands Forensic Institute on the transfer of specific chemicals from explosives to various (sub)surfaces.