Defense

Homeland Security pays $46 million for counter-IED tools

U.S. Marines rush a colleague wounded in an IED strike to a helicopter for evacuation.

U.S. Marines rush a colleague wounded in an IED strike to a helicopter for evacuation. // Kevin Frayer/AP

The Homeland Security Department has signed on A-T Solutions for a five-year, $46 million intelligence project aimed at thwarting homegrown bombers, according to the contractor, headquartered in Tysons Corner, Va. The firm’s specialty is data-driven threat assessments. First up on the agenda is a job operating the department’s National Capabilities Analysis Database, which houses information about first responders’ level of counterexplosives preparation nationwide.

The $3.1 million database service work is scheduled to last two years.

The purpose of the system is to help government decision-makers deploy resources most effectively in the event of an attack involving bombs, according to federal officials. It may assess, for instance, a Southern Michigan dive team’s technical capability and training.

Under the agreement, A-T Solutions will partner with Homeland Security’s Office of Bombing Prevention in support of local, federal and private efforts “to deter, detect, protect against and respond to attacks involving improvised explosive devices on U.S. soil,” company executives said.

Domestic IEDs range in size from letter bombs, such as those planted by the Unabomber, to explosives-laden vehicles like the fertilizer-filled truck Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols used in 1995 to nearly level the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City.

In late May, A-T Solutions announced it won a $90 million Pentagon contract to expose security weaknesses for the Defense Threat Reduction Agency by modeling terrorist strikes involving weapons of mass destruction.

The company says it employs more IED disposal experts than any other private sector firm.

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