Career of Tomorrow: Car Bomb Forensics ExpertS

Yes, it's another dystopian morning filled with the smell of burning chemicals and scorched ideology. And nothing says dark future more than working as a car bomb forensics expert, the detective who gets called in when a car bomb like this one (set off in Thailand over the weekend) goes off. It turns out you can learn an awful lot about who set this bomb off from reading the debris it left behind.

Career of Tomorrow: Car Bomb Forensics ExpertS


Here you can see the car after the flames have been put out, and the injured and dead have been taken away. This particular bomb was set off in a hotel parking lot by Muslim insurgents, and claimed at least two lives.

Career of Tomorrow: Car Bomb Forensics ExpertS


Forensics experts gather three kinds of evidence: chemical, to see if the "signature" of the bomb's materials matches those of known terrorist groups; mechanical, which is to say how the bomb was set off (is it an IED or something made by professional military?); and finally, they look for DNA evidence to see whether they can identify the bombers by bits of skin or hair they may have left behind. The BBC has an interesting article on car bomb forensics. Car bomb forensics may not be a futuristic science, but car bomb forensics expert is a job that is (unfortunately) only going to become more common. Images by MUHAMMAD SABRI/AFP/Getty.