WIT Press

Integrated Anti-terrorism Physics-based Modelling Part 2: Understanding Injuries Caused By Terrorist Attacks In An Urban Environment


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WIT Press


L. A. Young, F. A. Maestas & J. L. Smith


Bombs are increasingly being used by insurgents and terrorists worldwide against both civilian and military targets. Explosives are inexpensive, require little training to deploy, are made from easily obtained materials and serve as an effective means of causing mass casualties. Between 1988 and 1997, the number of criminal bombings in the United States doubled from the previous decade to a total of 17,579, or 5 bombings per day. According to the Department of State, in 2003, 208 terror attacks were perpetrated worldwide, leading to 4,271 casualties. In 2005, the attacks increased to 11,111 attacks, resulting in 39,307 casualties, with the majority of terrorist attacks executed using bombs. The US Department of State’s record of worldwide significant terrorist events reveals a dramatic increase in US homeland attacks beginning after 2001, and a review of the last twelve months in Iraq, Israel, London, Pakistan, India and Egypt shows that improvised explosive devices remain the weapon of choice for today’s terrorists. To design mitigation and response strategies and to make appropriate medical responses to a terrorist attack, physical security personnel must understand the quantity, nature and severity of injuries that will be caused by direct blast effects, structural debris and building collapse. The purpose of this paper is to provide a survey of existing methodologies for predicting and quantifying blast \“bio-effects” and make recommendations for addressing existing shortfalls. Keywords: survivability, blast injuries, mitigation, physical security, modelling, simulation.


survivability, blast injuries, mitigation, physical security, modelling, simulation.