Preventing, Countering and Investigation Terrorist Attacks Through Prognostic, Detection and Forensic Mechanisms for Explosive Precursors

ODYSSEUS aims to increase the knowledge on homemade explosives (HMEs) and explosive precursors, including precursors not previously studied, and develop effective and efficient prognostic, detection, and forensic tools to improve the capabilities of Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs) towards the prevention, countering, and investigation of terrorist incidents involving HMEs. ODYSSEUS will build upon relevant previous projects mainly HOMER, through the involvement of HOMER’s core partners in this consortium, and will thus continue the work already performed in HOMER on some precursors and also further extend it to not previously studied precursors.

To discover potentially hitherto unknown information, online HMEs recipes will be collected and their content will be analysed in order to extract knowledge about (possibly unknown) precursors and HMEs. Selected precursors will then be characterised and analysed for determining their explosive properties, feasibility, and potential for becoming a threat. This knowledge will be leveraged for developing (i) tools for chemical supply chain monitoring for irregularity detection to enable prediction and localisation of potential threats; (ii) advanced sensors for detecting in (near) real-time explosive precursors through air emissions and sewerage networks; (iii) robotised tools for improved mobile detection and in-situ forensic support; and (iv) tools for automated threat detection, localisation, and assessment; these tools and the sensors’ outputs will be integrated into a configurable platform that will assist LEAs’ operations in diverse scenarios.

ODYSSEUS will be validated in lab and field tests and demonstrations in three operational use cases. Extensive training of LEAs’ personnel, hands-on experience, joint exercises, and training material will boost the uptake of ODYSSEUS tools and technologies. With a Consortium of 4 LEAs, 9 Research/Academic partners, and 5 industry partners, ODYSSEUS delivers a strong representation of the challenges, requirements, and tools to meet its objectives.

M4D is the Scientific Manager of ODYSSEUS and will thus oversee all research aspects of the project. M4D will also lead the activities related to the discovery, collection, and analysis of HMEs recipes from online sources, being responsible for the multilingual textual content analysis and visual understanding of multimedia HME recipes, as well as for developing multimodal analytics solutions towards extracting intelligence. Finally, M4D will lead the task on airborne threat detection and localisation and the task on threat assessment for decision support.