Non-political Motives. Bombing has often been used as a method for homicide, intimidation,
harassment, and revenge. Bombings can be used to put a competitor out of business or to get even
with management in labor disputes. Monetary gain through ransom or merely destroying evidence at a
crime scene are other non-political motives. Many bomb threats are rooted in the psychological
disorders of the perpetrator.
Political. Some bombings are designed to stop or impede government operations by destroying
records and interrupting normal operations. Other bombings are more symbolic. They are used to
demonstrate opposition to a political cause. The bombing is used as an avenue to publicity that might
not otherwise be available. The bombing can serve the dual purpose of interfering with an activity and
calling attention to the political motives of the bomber. Political bombings tend to avoid personal injury
so as to not adversely affect their public image.
The most serious form of political bombing is that related to terrorism. The aim of terrorism is to
promote fear in the populace and to make them lose faith in the government. Terrorists are not
interested in maintaining a good image. Therefore, injury and death are often a part of their bombing
Unfortunately, bombings may also be contagious. Other groups of persons may take up where the
original group left off.
Despite the growth of Anti-establishment feelings in the 60's and early 70's, bombers motives have
stayed pretty much non-political. Bombings of military facilities and related communications and
transportation facilities, though fewer in number, are more likely to be politically motivated.
Part C: BOMB THREAT CONTINGENCY PLANNING
The first moments of a bomb threat can be crucial to the evaluation of an incident. It is important to
obtain as much information from the threat source as possible. The person receiving the bomb threat
should attempt to get as much information as possible from the caller.
When a telephone bomb threat is received, one or both of the following are occurring:
o Someone has actual knowledge that a device has been planted.
o Someone wishes to disrupt an operation (pranksters).
Noting what is said, and how it is said during a bomb threat call can help determine which of these is
true. The person receiving the call may be the only one to have contact with the bomber. It is,
therefore, important that