By Maryclaire Dale
The Associated Press
PHILADELPHIA — U.S. police agencies need to understand the latest terrorist bomb-making techniques being used overseas if they are to help thwart domestic bombings, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said Thursday.
Chertoff, in a visit to Philadelphia, said his agency is training state and local police in several cities in the wake of terrorist bomb attacks in London, Glasgow and other cities. The Department of Homeland Security has also created a Web site on which they share information gleaned overseas with local bomb squad members and other law enforcement.
"The idea is to train them in what is going on in Iraq and Afghanistan and in other parts of the world," Chertoff said at a City Hall news conference, where he was flanked by the mayor, police commissioner and others.
Improvised explosive devices, or IEDs, have caused many of the military and civilian casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan.
"We go into places like Iraq, where the military is collecting literally cutting-edge information about ways bombs are being put together. We take the materials they are discovering — written materials, recipes for bomb-making — and we put it over the Internet," Chertoff said.
The site is password protected, but available to a few thousand law enforcement officers.
The bomb-training program will be introduced in numerous cities, Chertoff said.
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In June, two cars packed with gas cylinders and nails were discovered in London's entertainment district. The next day, two extremists smashed their flaming Jeep Cherokee into security barriers at Glasgow Airport's main terminal.