FBI explosives expert to address URI Forensic Science Seminar Series Nov. 13

Media Contact: Dave Lavallee 401-874-2116

Crime scenes related to terrorism on the agenda

KINGSTON, R.I. — November 10, 2003 — An explosives device examiner at the Federal Bureau of Investigation will discuss bombing scenes associated with terrorism on Thursday, Nov. 13 at the University of Rhode Island’s Forensic Science Seminar Series.

Michael G. Leone will lecture from 4 to 5:30 p.m. in Room 124 of Pastore Hall. Like all forensic lectures, Leone’s talk, “The FBI Explosives Unit, Role and Responsibilities,” is free and open to the public.

The FBI’s Explosives Unit is the primary entity within the United States that deals with forensic analysis/investigation of bombing crime scenes associated with acts of domestic and international terrorism.

The Explosives Unit was formed in 1972 and consists of a group of individuals who specialize in the physical and chemical analysis of improvised explosive devices and their components. Leone’s presentation will focus on the capabilities of the Explosives Unit, with a particular emphasis on improvised explosives. A survey of terrorist bombing cases in which the Explosives Unit has performed forensic analyses will also be presented.

Leone, who holds a master’s degree in physics from Indiana University, has been an explosive device examiner with the FBI since March 2000. He began his career in 1990 as a research physicist with General Research Corp., a defense contractor in Santa Barbara, Calif. During his tenure at General Research, he was involved in the theoretical and experimental aspects of shock wave physics as applied to the response of materials to shock waves generated from nuclear explosions.

In 1995, Leone transferred to the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology’s Energetic Materials Research and Testing Center. During that time, he conducted theoretical investigations of the energy releases of terrorist explosives, managed a small group dedicated to developing better computer models of terrorist explosive energy release, and also served as the director of the center’s Counterterrorist Explosives Center.