Explosions rock Albuquerque as part of ATF bomb training

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – Molotov cocktails, car bombs and IEDs, they’ve been a common sight in one part of Albuquerque this week. Investigators have been blowing stuff up left and right, and all that destruction, is part of an effort to make you safer.

“Unfortunately this is the world we live in, IEDs, bombs of various types, we certainly see them throughout the world being used in domestic terrorism,” said ATF Special Agent Tom Mangan.

That’s why investigators are here in Albuquerque this week sharpening their skills. ATF officials have brought together state and local bomb technicians and first responders.

Mangan said, “We want to bring this collective, there are no egos here, we check those at the door.”

The group spent classroom time examining bomb pieces before and after blasts. Now they’re out in the desert just south of the Sunport, seeing the explosions firsthand, then taking a hard look at what’s left behind.

“They’re going to shift through that scene, looking for pieces and components, set those aside and then they will reconstruct that device,” said Mangan.

Pieces that could mean little by themselves, but all together help investigators put the puzzle back together.

Mangan said, “We’re all here to determine the cause and origins of these blasts and ultimately leading to the arrest of that person or persons who are responsible in the real world.”

For some of the trainees this is their first time working with these types of materials, but for others, like those who dealt with 2014 fire bombing of an Albuquerque mosque, or more recently, last month’s Las Cruces church bombings, it’s another chance to broaden their skill set.

“There are people that are working that crime scene, that are here today to also enhance the investigative techniques and share those techniques with real world scenarios that they have actually lived here within the last year,” said Mangan.

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