Sunday, May 22, 2011

Freedom Fighter's Field Manual for Booby Traps (IEDs & Mines)

Freedom Fighter's Field Manual for Defeating Booby Traps
Contributors: DiceyLee

This manual serves as a reference for the Libyan Freedom Fighters to identify and defeat Improvised Explosion Devices (here after IED) deployed by pro-Gaddafi forces. Take time to review the information and incorporate the tactics into everyday operations to increase your, other Freedom Fighters, and civilian's safety.

IEDs, landmines, & booby traps being deployed by Gaddafi forces include parachuted deployed Chinese Type 84 mines, booby trapped cars, anti-personnel mines, and anti-vehicle mines. Each section will include ways to identify the several types of ordinances identified in this manual. If you are unfamiliar with landmines, this manual will not replace genuine experience - Report all IEDs and clearly mark the location.

General Precautions for IED Identification.

  • By definition, booby traps are disguised & well-hidden, using the victim's interactions to activate the devices. Be aware of your surroundings.
  • Successful IED defeat begins with a thorough understanding of the enemy (Gaddafi forces).
  • If something looks displaced, disturbed, or in anyway out of place - report it & form a perimeter.
  • A primary location for mines is along side roadways, usually within 3 meters of the shoulder.
  • Potential sites for booby traps & mines include but are not limited to: Frequently traveled, predictable routes, abandoned structures and areas surrounding a prior enemy position, animal carcasses and human bodies(potentially manikins), unattended vehicles, previous booby trap sites if Gaddafi's forces have been back into an area, and recently disturbed spots on the ground/ piles of debris.
  • Be prepared to implement alternative routes if a mine field or booby trapped vehicle is found.
  • Camouflage: Of the mines deployed so far, only the Type 84 parachute deployed mine is not painted to camouflage into the surrounding dessert. Both anti-personnel mines and anti-vehicle mines have been found painted with a khaki color.
  • It can be expected that the presence of an anti-vehicle mine will be in conjunction with anti-personnel mines, and vise versa.
  • Error on the side of safety, always.

Chinese made Type 84 Model A mines

Mine Information
The Chinese scatterable anti-tank mine is usually deployed by 122 mm rocket launchers. The mine consists of a cylindrical body with three prong legs that form a spike. If the mine strikes soft ground, the spike is driven into the ground and the mine is held upright. These mines drop with the assistance of a parachute, if they do not stick into the ground, the Type 84 is still equipped with multiple anti-handling devices. Primary, the Type 84 mines found in Misrata are equipped with a magnetic detecting fuze, which can explode the mine if a magnetic object passes through it's immediate environment. This change can be the result of a vehicle passing over it or a person approaching. The standard weight triggered fuze still are incorporated into the Type 84. Many of these mines are also equipped with a time delay fuze that will cause mines to self destruct, which requires quick identification & formation of a perimeter. The Type 84 mine can be deployed from a few miles by the 122mm rocket launchers.
Mine Identification
The Type 84 mine is fairly easy to identify as the Green shroud will be as identifiable as the green of Gaddafi's flag. These mines may also be covered by the forest green camouflage parachute.

Mine Disposal
The best way to destroy the Chinese Type 84 mine once identified, is to first create a safe perimeter, then shoot the munition with a rifle. Removal by hand is not recommended; if there is no ammo or firearms near by, a rope can be attached to a piece of metal. Drop the piece of metal to one side of the Type 84 such that the rope can safely be walked around the munition, the piece of metal can then be drug into the Type 84 – Destroying it. (see below)

PRB-M3 Anti-Tank Landmine

Mine Information

The PRB-M3 & PRB-M3A1 anti-tank/ anti-personnel mines are an effective and damaging, weight triggered push-plate mine. These mines are waterproof and can be deployed with a M30 anti-handling device. The fuze of the PRB-M3 is very sensitive as is its initiating charge, the weight of a person may trigger the munition to explode.

Mine Identification

The PRB-M3 mine is unfortunately difficult to detect. These mines can be buried underneath a thin layer of dirt or placed underneath debris. Moreover the mostly plastic components make detection with a metal detector nearly impossible. If the Anti-handling device is rigged, the M30 detonates the mine if it is lifted more than 3 cm off the ground. The best way to locate the mine is on ones hands and knees, then digging out the dirt around the mine once found.

Mine Disposal
Once identified, the PRB-M3 should be checked for any anti-handling fuzes that maybe attached. This process's complexity maybe compounded by the deployment of multiple fuzes/ mines. If no anti-handling device is located, the mine can be lifted from its location and placed aside for later detonation. If an anti-handling device(s) is connected, it is recommended that only someone experienced with the ordinance disarm mine. If detonation is required, a relatively large parameter should be formed as other PRB-M3s can be set of by the percussion of a nearby explosion. The location of the mine should be marked and recorded.

Type-72SP Anti-Tank Landmine

Mine Information

The Type 72 may be the most frequently encountered mine in the world. These anti-tank mines are metallic & can be located with a metal detector. These mines also have a high threshold (+300 Kg) for the weight triggered fuze, which is designed to not be set off by the weight of a human. The Type 72 was designed to destroy tanks, and it does the job well. The mine if triggered can cripple a vehicle with massive isolated damage.

Mine Identification

The common shape and metallic casing makes these mines more identifiable than the more modern PRB-M3. Again, look for dirt that had been recently disturbed or suspicious rubble piles on the side of the road.

Mine Disposal

Disarming the Type 72 requires a very tricky removal of the fuze; defusing this mine is always difficult. Defusing should not be attempted by anyone without prior knowledge of the mechanism. Clearly mark the mine, record its location, and report its location. (Below is a diagram of possible anti-handling devices that must be check prior to defusing)

Anti-Handling Devices Possibly Deployed with PRB-M3 & Type 72 Anti-Tank Mines

T-AB-1 Anti-personnel Mine

Mine Information

The T-AB-1 anti-personnel mine is a very small, weight triggered, plastic mine. There is a single fuze that activates the device. The T-BA-1 can multipurpose as fuze for an anti-vehicle mine with same name. The T-AB-1 mines used in Libya are painted with a khaki/ desert matching color. The mine can disable a vehicles the size of a lorry by shredding tire. The T-AB-1 potentially can cause mechanical damage on civilian vehicles, rendering them inoperable.

Mine Identification

These tiny mines(only 60mm top to bottom) are incredibly difficult to locate. They will not set off a metal detector in the field and can be set of by the weight of a small child (Fuze sensitive to 16kg). The mine is waterproof and shock resistant; it can be remained armed even if deployed in salt water. The best way to identify the mine is on ones hands and knees. This requires a slow, diligent, & well marked/ documented identification process.

Mine Removal

This mine once found can be picked up with ones hands. The location it was found should be marked. The munitions should be gathered for despoil by mass controlled detonation.

Booby Trapped Cars/ Vehicle-based IED
Bomb Information
Car bombs are an Improvised Explosive Device that acts as its own delivery system, carrying a relatively large amount of explosives with little suspicion. The extent of damage caused by an IED depends on its size, construction, placement, and whether it incorporates a high explosive or propellant. Reports are that Gaddafi has armed anywhere between 300 and 800 civilian cars with IEDs. Caution: In cases outside of Libya, car bombs have been hooked up with anti-handling devices.

Booby Trap Indicators
Vehicle-based IEDs can be placed in, on, or under many different types of vehicles. The primary indication of an IED will be a change in the environment, bellow are some possible indicators of a vehicle-based booby trap:
  • Noticeably fewer people or vehicles in a normally busy area.
  • Markers by the side of the road, such as tires, rock piles, ribbon, graffiti, etc., that may identify an IED location to the party that planted it. (be weary of the Green of Gaddafi's flag.)
  • Obstacles in the roadways; such as dirt piles, construction, dead animals or bodies, trash, etc..
  • Vehicles that are parked close to buildings or checkpoints, or are parked away from other cars.
  • A vehicle that looked to be apart of a convoy but pulled away and parked.
  • Parked vehicles that have their suspension compressed signify a potential vehicle-based IED.

Render Safe Procedure
Once a vehicle has been identified as potentially being a vehicle-based IED, the disposal process begins. As each vehicle-based IED is wired using different types of munitions, fuzes, number of fuzes, the booby traps integration into vehicle(mounted or wired into car), and size of payload. Ordnance detonations may be preformed using any type of explosive ordinance. If possible, by setting off a precise controlled explosion will cause the vehicle-based IED to detonate in a way that is less damaging than if the car bomb were to detonate as Gaddafi's men intended. The best method is to have anyone experienced with similar ordinances form a team once bomb types are identified.

Preventing Gaddafi From Planting Vehicle-based IEDs
The best way to protect against booby trapped vehicles is to prevent them from being planted. This involves search points located as far from civilian populations as possible. Searches should involve extensively checking the trunk, undercarriage, cargo, & bonnet of vehicles traveling into cities & towns. General questioning of the driver and occupants is recommended. 

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