WASHINGTON, July 30 (UPI) -- Cooperation between the U.S. military and state law enforcement agencies is being sought amid reports of the growing use of IEDs in the Americas.
IEDs, or improvised explosive devices, have been used extensively against Western forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, reported the Houston Chronicle. In classified testimony to Congress last month, the director of the Defense Department's Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization said the use of such ordnance in Texas and the United States is growing.
"The domestic IED threat from both homegrown terrorists and global threat networks is real and presents a significant security challenge for the United States and our international partners," said. Army Lt. Gen. Michael Barbero.
NATO says IEDs were used in 109 attacks in 2011, most of them in Colombia and Mexico.
Among the recent examples of IED use cited by authorities is that of the Colorado theater shooter, who allegedly rigged his apartment with the devices.
Restrictions on military involvement in domestic law enforcement date to the post-Civil War era and the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878.
Several Republican congressmen believe such restrictions should be relaxed, arguing that the knowledge the military has gained in disarming such explosives should be shared with local law enforcement.