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Frequently Asked Questions

If you need additional assistance or information, please Contact TRIPwire.

Technical Issues: Errors, Problems, Pop-Ups, and Passwords

Do I need a secure e-mail address to gain access to TRIPwire?

TRIPwire membership does not require a secure e-mail address. However, to be eligible for a TRIPwire account, an individual must be a member of one of the following communities: homeland security, law enforcement, bombing prevention or emergency response. Additionally, he or she must meet specific eligibility criteria, as described in TRIPwireTerms of Service.

Why am I required to change my password every 90 days?

TRIPwire upholds stringent password requirements as mandated by DHS. There are policies for both inactivity-related password resets and routine password resets for active accounts. Routine password resets are required every 90 days for active accounts. Reminder e-mails are sent fourteen days and seven days prior to account lock, and reset reminders will also display upon logging into the system.

How often do I need to log into TRIPwire to maintain my status as an "active" user?

Members must log into the system at least once every 90 days in order to maintain an active account. Failure to log in for 90 days will result in a locked account. Reminder e-mails are sent seven days and one day prior to account lock. Upon account lock, the user will need to contact the help desk to initiate a password reset in order to re-instate active status.

I am having difficulty viewing PDF files on TRIPwire. Why do I see a warning sign when attempting to open various reports? How do I navigate through the Java pop-ups?

TRIPwire uses applet viewers in order to keep content secure (read only). Additionally, certain TRIPwire maps are delivered via technology outside of secure-socket layer (SSL). This combination of factors causes pop-ups and warnings for some users. The specific messages are based on your choice of browser, browser version, settings, and add-ins.

TRIPwire is a trusted source and can be added to your list of exceptions. As long as you are logged into TRIPwire, answer "yes" or "no" as appropriate, to close the pop-ups and view all portal products with confidence.

Why do I continue to see an error message when attempting to view certain types of reports?

TRIPwire is best viewed when operating in Google Chrome or Internet Explorer. You may need to download the latest available version of your chosen browser. To determine your browser version, click "Help" and then "About" from the browser toolbar; the browser version should be documented. If you continue to see errors after downloading the latest available browser version, please contact our help desk for assistance.

Why do I not receive e-mail alerts from TRIPwire?

The TRIPwire system uses e-mail to communicate with users during initial registration and periodic reverification of your account. In order for system alerts to reach you, you must have a valid, professional e-mail address listed for your account. You may edit your e-mail address at any time via the "My Account" page. If you alter user settings via My Account, review and confirm agreement with the Terms of Service and click "Submit" to save your changes.   

If you are a member of TRIPwire with a valid address on file and are still not receiving system e-mail alerts, you may need to add to your address book so system alerts are not treated as spam.

Content / Features

What are TRIPwire Explosives Related Profiles?

The profile page is the basic unit of information in the TRIPwire portal, designed to present explosives-related content in a concise manner. Each profile contains contextual analysis to assist operators in developing broad threat recognition. Additionally, the profile contains analysis and trends provided by DHS subject-matter experts as well as graphics and diagrams to depict actual terrorist incidents, materials, tactics, and devices.

Profiles are organized according to the Weapons Technical Intelligence Improvised Explosive Device Lexicon and can be found by navigating to the Explosive Related Profiles and selecting from the following categories, many of which also have subcategories: Precursors, Switches, Initiators, Main Charges, Enhancements, and Incidents.


What are Emergency Responder Notes?

Emergency Responder Notes (ERNs) provide those on the front lines of IED prevention with concise, relevant information. These materials are designed to make readers aware of what products, materials, and behavior may be associated with a particular incident or threat. 

What is BMAP?

The Bomb Making Materials Awareness Program (BMAP) is a national program sponsored by the Department of Homeland Security Office for Bombing Prevention. BMAP is designed to increase public and private sector awareness of the terrorist manufacture of homemade explosives (HME) and the common chemicals used to create HME. BMAP materials are currently available to key private sector partners in order to engage businesses and encourage them to play a role in national IED awareness and incident prevention with minimal resource investment. Additional BMAP information is contained on the Bomb Making Materials Awareness page.

What TRIPwire Reports are released on a regular basis?

TRIPwire produces a variety of Open-Source reports that incorporates research by the TRIPwire team on domestic improvised explosive device (IED) usage. The open-source information reports shows total numbers of domestic incidents. These incidents are arranged into the following categories: incidents in which bomb squads responded, emplaced IEDs, instances in which a device was rendered safe, arrests for activities associated with IEDs, injuries related to IEDs, and bomb threats.  These products are produced weekly, monthly, and on an annual basis.  More information can be found either through the Library for TRIPwire Weekly and Monthly Reports or view the open-source information information through our dynamic Domestic IED Incident Map.

Does TRIPwire report every bomb call in the United States?

No. Many IED-related calls are never documented or recorded, or are documented in such a fashion that they cannot be properly identified as bomb-related. Because of this, it is not currently feasible to report every bomb call made in the United States. However, TRIPwire is constantly expanding its coverage through a variety of collection and collaboration tools, and makes every attempt to provide resources on the entire threat spectrum.

Site Navigation

How do I navigate to the profile pages?

Profiles are organized according to the Weapons Technical Intelligence Improvised Explosive Device Lexicon. They can be found by navigating to the "Explosive Profiles" from the Library menu and selecting from the following categories: Precursors, Switches, Initiators, Main Charges, Enhancements, and Incidnets.

Can I share TRIPwire content with colleagues?

Yes, most TRIPwire content has a "Share" button at the bottom of the page, which allows you to e-mail a link of the content to your colleagues. Depending on the specific content, your colleague may need to register for an account to access it. We encourage current TRIPwire users to use this feature to help promote TRIPwire. Note: TRIPwire does not capture, store, or reuse your colleague's email addresses.    

How do I post information about a recent event?

Currently, the TRIPwire system does not support user published content. All content published on the TRIPwire system must undergoe a verification process before publication. That process does not support timely verification of user submitted content. TRIPwire users are invited to provide feedback on content in the form of "Valuable" and "Unhelpful" buttons that are used to evaluate product effectiveness in the C-IED community.  We also welcome feedback through the Contact TRIPwire form.   

How do I report suspicious activity?

Suspicious activity should always be reported to local law enforcement. 

Membership Information, Requests, and Submissions

How can I get my coworkers to create an account with TRIPwire?

We invite your colleagues to register for a TRIPwire account by navigating to and clicking on the "Register Now" hyperlink on the page. 

Can volunteer service members have access to TRIPwire?

Yes, volunteer services members can have access to TRIPwire as they are valuable assets to the first responder community.

How do I submit a Request for Information (RFI)? 

Submit your request via the Contact TRIPwire link under the Contact Us menu. For events, please provide as much information as possible, such as Event Name, Date, Location, Agenda, and link to event registration if possible.

How can I gain access to more content on TRIPwire?

Based on the user information you've provided and as confirmed by Employment Verification Contact (EVC) you provided, you are assigned a role within TRIPwire. Your user role determines what areas of the site and content you are able to access. If you feel that you should have increased access, please contact the Help Desk. The Help Desk will review your request and the information supplied to determine if increased access is warranted.