29 September 2003
U.S., UK, Colombia, Mexico Share Data on Explosives Incidents
Database called "potent tool" in war on terrorism
The Justice Department's Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms
and Explosives (ATF) has begun sharing a new database on arson
and explosives with officials in Britain, Colombia and Mexico.
The database is restricted to law enforcement agencies and provides
for the exchange of information on explosives incidents including
the groups or individuals involved, vehicles used, power source,
and initiation system.
ATF says the project will serve as a potent tool in the international
war on terrorism, and welcomes participation by other countries.
Following is an ATF press release:
Department of Justice
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives
September 26, 2003
ATF SHARES UNIQUE ARSON AND EXPLOSIVES DATABASE WITH INTERNATIONAL
Britain, Colombia and Mexico Participating So Far
WASHINGTON - The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives
(ATF) and law enforcement agencies in Britain, Colombia and Mexico
are sharing a new database on arson and explosives information
that will serve as a potent tool in the international war on terrorism.
The XBase Project provides its users with a comprehensive international
and national information management system on explosives incidents,
while facilitating and promoting the sharing of information among
participating members and national bomb data centers worldwide.
"In an age when bombs and other explosives are the terrorist weapons
of choice, XBase has already proven itself to be an invaluable
resource," said Kathleen L. Kiernan, ATF's Assistant Director for
Strategic Intelligence and Information. "By allowing ATF and law
enforcement agencies around the world to share and compare information
securely and electronically, XBase permits those agencies to marshal
their collective expertise against terrorist bombings and other
The XBase Project grew out of discussions that ATF's Arson and
Explosives National Repository, which Congress has entrusted with
maintaining all national information on explosives incidents and
arson, and Britain's Bomb Data Center began in 1999 in an effort
to automate the British files.
Scotland Yard contracted with ImageBase Technology, Ltd., a British
firm, and then worked with the company and ATF to develop the XBase
technology. In 2000, ATF helped bring law enforcement agencies
in Mexico and then Colombia online. Other countries interested
in the project are welcome and will be directed to ImageBase Technology
for information about joining.
XBase represents a breakthrough in technology and information
sharing because it is cost-effective for developed and developing
countries alike, the software it employs is user-friendly and does
not require extensive new training to utilize, and all types of
law enforcement can use its applications.
The project now allows ATF's Arson and Explosives National Repository
to gather information on explosives incidents worldwide, and provides
all four countries participating so far with "one-stop shopping" for
XBase users, which are limited to law enforcement agencies, exchange
information via encrypted messages that include, among other things,
information on the explosives incident, groups or individuals involved,
vehicles used, power source, initiation system and firearms. The
information arrives in a format adaptable for use in any language,
so that law enforcement agencies around the world can work in their
Information is exchanged on a case-by-case basis, triggered by
a specific request from one county to another and is "permission-based," meaning
each country will send a requester only what it feels is necessary.
Under XBase, each country continues to maintain and control information
in its own National Repository or bomb data center.
More information on ATF can be found at www.atf.gov and on the
Arson and Explosives National Repository at www.atf.gov/aexis2/index.htm.
Contact: Andrew L. Lluberes 202-927-8500