Stopping Truck Bombers

Stopping Truck Bombers

Crash-rated barriers have long history with U.S. Department of State

Crash-rated barriers have long history with U.S. Department of StateVisit any U.S. Embassy throughout the world, including major embassies, such as Beijing, and smaller ones in Estonia, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Ivory Coast, Guatemala, Nepal, Lithuania and Madagascar, even consulates in Florence, Italy, Sarajevo, Vienna and cities in Germany, Greece, Macedonia and Saudi Arabia, and you will find them protected from vehicle assaults and some even from bio-attacks.

The following provides examples in which highly-secure, crashrated, vehicle barricade systems and bollards have saved lives as well as buildings and property from the destruction of attacks.

U.S. Embassy in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania and Nairobi, Kenya. In Tanzania, 1998, a crash-rated, moveable barricade prevented an attacker’s vehicle from entering the rear compound of the building, thus, reducing the loss of lives and damage to the facility. Unfortunately, no barricades were used at the embassy in Kenya when it was bombed the same day.

By September of that year, however, 14 barriers, including moving- wedge barricades and crash-rated bollards, were shipped to these two embassies.

Harry S. Truman Building. At the dedication of the U.S. Department of State headquarters, held in Washington, D.C. on Sept. 22, 2000, bollards provided a first line of defense by securing the diplomatic and congressional drive entrances.

These custom, stainless-steel bollards feature lights to improve visibility at night. They are designed to destroy the front suspension system, steering linkage, engine crank case and portions of the drive train of any 15,000-pound, non-armored or non-tracked vehicle hitting them at 62 mph. The system will also stop a 30,000-pound vehicle traveling at 44 mph.

These bollards are raised and lowered into the guard position by a remote controlled, precision, hydraulic power unit or a precision pneumatic power system. Under emergency conditions, the bollards can be raised in as little as a single second. And, with the exception of minor, non-structural damage, such as scratches, they are fully operational after taking a 65 mph hit from a five-ton vehicle.

Yemeni port of Aden. Just one month after the dedication of the U.S. Department of State headquarters and within hours after the terrorist bombing of the USS Cole at the Port of Aden, on Oct. 12, 2000, barriers were airlifted to Yemen for deployment there and at nearby, prospective targets.

U.S. Embassy in Yemen. At the most recent attack in September 2008, barricades were up protecting the entrance and keeping bombers outside the compound. These barriers tested at K54, which will stop a 65,000-pound truck, traveling at 70 mph. That’s 5.4 million foot-pounds of energy!

At the entrance to the embassy, the barrier creates a sally-port with a crash-resistant gate to tightly control traffic into the embassy. It is lowered to let in a car, while the gate in front of the car stays closed. The barrier in back then raises, and the car is sandwiched between it and the gate. Once searched and approved, the gate opens, and the car is allowed to enter the embassy.

U.S. Embassy in Amman, Jordan. Situated in the middle of one of the most volatile areas of the world, this embassy relies on a crashrated barrier to protect its facilities from the threat of terrorism. The barrier protects the compound from charging vehicles and creates a sally-port, similar to that at the Yemeni embassy, which tightly controls traffic into the embassy.

U.S. Consulate in Peshawar, Pakistan. In 2010, barricades helped retain attackers by preventing a bomber’s vehicle from crashing past pedestrian gates, forcing the attackers to detonate a truck bomb far from the building. The barricades successfully stopped the attack vehicle away from the building and diminished the high-pressure shock wave of a bomb blast, saving lives and the property.

With more than 170 U.S. Embassies and Consulates in 130-plus countries, it is imperative to incorporate premier, perimeter protection that meets or exceeds U.S. Department of State and Department of Defense certification standards, while providing high-security in order to counter terrorism.

This article originally appeared in the November 2013 issue of Security Today.

About the Author

Greg Hamm is the vice president of sales and marketing at Delta Scientific.


  • 12 Commercial Crime Sites to Do Your Research

    12 Commercial Crime Sites to Do Your Research

    Understanding crime statistics in your industry and area is crucial for making important decisions about your security budget. With so much information out there, how can you know which statistics to trust? Read Now

  • Boosting Safety and Efficiency

    Boosting Safety and Efficiency

    In alignment with the state of Mississippi’s mission of “Empowering Mississippi citizens to stay connected and engaged with their government,” Salient's CompleteView VMS is being installed throughout more than 150 state boards, commissions and agencies in order to ensure safety for thousands of constituents who access state services daily. Read Now

  • Live From GSX: Post-Show Review

    Live From GSX: Post-Show Review

    This year’s Live From GSX program was a rousing success! Again, we’d like to thank our partners, and IPVideo, for working with us and letting us broadcast their solutions to the industry. You can follow our Live From GSX 2023 page to keep up with post-show developments and announcements. And if you’re interested in working with us in 2024, please don’t hesitate to ask about our Live From programs for ISC West in March or next year’s GSX. Read Now

    • Industry Events
    • GSX
  • People Say the Funniest Things

    People Say the Funniest Things

    By all accounts, GSX version 2023 was completely successful. Apparently, there were plenty of mix-ups with the airlines and getting aircraft from the East Coast into Big D. I am all ears when I am in a gathering of people. You never know when a nugget of information might flip out. Read Now

    • Industry Events
    • GSX

Featured Cybersecurity


New Products

  • FEP GameChanger

    FEP GameChanger

    Paige Datacom Solutions Introduces Important and Innovative Cabling Products GameChanger Cable, a proven and patented solution that significantly exceeds the reach of traditional category cable will now have a FEP/FEP construction. 3

  • Mobile Safe Shield

    Mobile Safe Shield

    SafeWood Designs, Inc., a manufacturer of patented bullet resistant products, is excited to announce the launch of the Mobile Safe Shield. The Mobile Safe Shield is a moveable bullet resistant shield that provides protection in the event of an assailant and supplies cover in the event of an active shooter. With a heavy-duty steel frame, quality castor wheels, and bullet resistant core, the Mobile Safe Shield is a perfect addition to any guard station, security desks, courthouses, police stations, schools, office spaces and more. The Mobile Safe Shield is incredibly customizable. Bullet resistant materials are available in UL 752 Levels 1 through 8 and include glass, white board, tack board, veneer, and plastic laminate. Flexibility in bullet resistant materials allows for the Mobile Safe Shield to blend more with current interior décor for a seamless design aesthetic. Optional custom paint colors are also available for the steel frame. 3

  • Luma x20

    Luma x20

    Snap One has announced its popular Luma x20 family of surveillance products now offers even greater security and privacy for home and business owners across the globe by giving them full control over integrators’ system access to view live and recorded video. According to Snap One Product Manager Derek Webb, the new “customer handoff” feature provides enhanced user control after initial installation, allowing the owners to have total privacy while also making it easy to reinstate integrator access when maintenance or assistance is required. This new feature is now available to all Luma x20 users globally. “The Luma x20 family of surveillance solutions provides excellent image and audio capture, and with the new customer handoff feature, it now offers absolute privacy for camera feeds and recordings,” Webb said. “With notifications and integrator access controlled through the powerful OvrC remote system management platform, it’s easy for integrators to give their clients full control of their footage and then to get temporary access from the client for any troubleshooting needs.” 3