The car bomb is an incredibly powerful and versatile weapon. Depending on how it’s designed, it can be used to cause unfathomable destruction in all sorts of environments, against targets of varying nature. Car bombs, also known as Vehicle-Borne Improvised Explosive Devices (VBIEDs), are some of the most popular weapons employed by non-state actors. Traditionally speaking, the most commonly used type of car bomb has been the parked VBIED.
With this method, civilian vehicles are usually rigged with explosives, and then parked at their targets before being detonated. The driver ferrying the vehicle to its intended location thus has ample time to slip away, leaving behind what is basically a larger, concealed IED. Alternatively, the VBIED can be driven to the target and detonated by a driver. During the latter half of the past decade, the use of such Suicide Vehicle-Borne Improvised Explosive Devices (SVBIEDs) has skyrocketed, with the Islamic State (IS) as the main culprit. In 2016 and 2017 alone, IS claimed to have used a total of 1,383 SVBIEDs, most of them up-armored, as part of their prolonged military campaigns in Syria and Iraq.