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[FEATURED NEWS] TechXchange with renowned explosives expert Michael Cardash

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Renowned explosives and bomb disposal expert Michael Cardash has spent most of his professional life responding to the threat of improvised explosive devices (IEDs). The former deputy head of the Israeli National Police Bomb Disposal Division this week shared his insights on emerging global IED trends in a TechXchange talk organised by HTX’s Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosives (CBRNE) Centre of Expertise.

There were no major IED attacks during the COVID-19 pandemic as there were no crowds, Michael observed. However, with COVID-19 restrictions easing around the world, we need to be prepared for such incidents, he added. There was also the need to be extremely careful when dealing with IEDs because of the recent trend of making complicated IEDS that are designed with anti-tampering features.

Staying ahead of evolving IED threats

In response to a question during the Q&A segment from an audience member on how law enforcement can stay ahead of IED threats, Michael said that adversaries or terrorists are also constantly keeping themselves updated on the technology to exploit for IEDs.

“As the technology becomes cheaper, more readily available, easy to acquire and widely used, adversaries will exploit and use it,” he said, noting that weaponised unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) or drones have emerged as a recent trend for IED attacks.

“This was a whole new level of exposure of IED matters coming from someone from a place where such threats are ever present. It also gave me a good insight on the trend and evolution of such threats,” said Sivakumar Maniam, Senior Scientist at HTX’s Disruptive Technologies Office, who also attended the talk.

Michael, currently a senior counter-IED (C-IED) analyst with intelligence services company Terrogence and a senior instructor at the Central European CBRN-E Training Centre, also spoke about sticky bombs and anti-removal devices, as well as terrorists’ IED tactics, techniques, and procedures.

Exchanging insights, anticipating future threats and opportunities

Close to 200 Home Team officers attended the talk held on September 6, 2022 at the Home Team Academy. The audience included officers and commanders from the Singapore Police Force and Singapore Civil Defence Force.

“The session is definitely useful as awareness for response on the trends (UCIED, sticky bomb and more) of IED attack,” shared Jurong Island Fire Station Commander MAJ Keith Chua.

“This TechXchange talk organised by HTX is part of our efforts to learn from leading experts and raise the awareness of global CBRNE threats and trends as we work together to advance science and technology to keep Singapore safe and secure,” said May Ong, Director, CBRNE Centre of Expertise.

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Chief Superintendent (ret) Michael Cardash speaking at the TechXchange on “Anticipating IED Trends 2020 – 2022” held on September 6, 2022 at the Home Team Academy (Photo: HTX/ Tan Jun Wei)

Cardash_3HTX Deputy Director (Operations), CBRNE Ong Kak Wee (third from left) presenting Chief Superintendent (ret) Michael Cardash (second from left) with a token of appreciation after the talk. With them are (from left to right) HTX Senior CBRNE Scientist (Research) Dr Kenneth Chung, Terrogence Global CEO Shai Arbel, HTX Senior CBRNE Scientist (Operations), CBRNE Nur Fadzilah Binte Abdul Salim, and HTX Senior Lab Technologist (Operations), CBRNE Kelvin Koh. (Photo: HTX/ Tan Jun Wei)