Sample Block

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

FY 05-07

Contacts: Sheree L. Mixell/Drew J. Wade


For Immediate Release

February 1, 2005


Web-Based Bomb Arson Tracking System Shares Data with State, Local Agencies

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Director Carl J. Truscott of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives announced today the creation of the second version of ATF’s Bomb Arson Tracking System (BATS 2.0). It is the first, web-based intelligence database that will allow federal, state and local law enforcement and bomb scene commanders to share crucial information about arson and explosives incidents around the nation.

BATS is an arson and explosives incident database for the entire U.S. Department of Justice. It was developed to achieve an unprecedented degree of information sharing among law enforcement agencies and fire service organizations at every level of government.

“ATF brings unique resources and expertise to arson and explosives investigations,” said Director Truscott. “BATS is a real-time investigative tool that will help law enforcement and fire investigators keep America safer.”

ATF expects to see an increase in the links between arson and explosives incidents as a result of the new system. Jurisdictional boundaries, created by legislation and state or local borders, will now be minimized. Participating investigative agencies can immediately share key information about arson and explosives incidents with counterparts in other states or regions. BATS allows those agencies to share crucial intelligence and information as incidents occur.

The BATS database will improve coordination and cooperation in the fight against terrorism. It will allow images of arsons, improvised explosives devices, and crime scenes to be shared online with law enforcement partners anywhere in the United States. Investigators will be able to track trends and compare incidents for similarities in motives, leads and potential suspects.

BATS 2.0 – page 2

In October 2004, the Attorney General directed the Department of Justice’s chief information officer to consolidate all DOJ arson and explosives incident databases into a single database. The final determination was made that all such databases within DOJ shall be maintained by the ATF, specifically based on the BATS model.

ATF has established more than 500 accounts for federal, state, local and tribal agencies to access BATS, which is currently populated by more than 3,100 records. ATF is adding new users daily and plans to have 10,000 users by 2010. Also, international investigators will be able to access similar information through the DFuze system, another database developed and used by ATF.

In 2004, BATS received the E-Gov Institute’s Pioneer Award and the FOSE Showcase of Excellence Award.

ATF is the primary, federal law enforcement agency for investigating arson and explosives incidents. Its special agents investigated more than 400 incidents involving bomb and improvised explosives devices in 2004. Its National Response Team has responded to more than 550 arson incidents since 1989.