NATIONAL DEFENSE – BETHESDA, Md. — Improvised explosive devices continue to be one of the greatest threats facing troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, the director of the Joint Improvised Threat Defeat Agency said Aug. 2.

The IED “continues to be the tactical operational strategic weapon of choice” for terrorist groups including the Islamic State and al-Qaida, said Army Lt. Gen. Michael Shields. The Islamic State’s ability to manufacture and deploy IEDs on an industrial scale has proved to be a challenge for JIDA and its partners in Central Command’s Combined Joint Task Force, he said at the annual Global Explosive Ordnance Disposal Symposium. Continue reading.