POSTED: Tuesday, December 7, 2010 - 7:51pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, December 8, 2010 - 9:11pm
EL PASO- A car bomb explosion in El Paso. It's a big what if, but authorities in the area are preparing for such an event.
We took a trip out to McGregor Range, where the F.B.I. office gave local law enforcers a crash course on car-bomb investigation techniques.
A powerful explosion in the desert, followed by another. Both used C-4 and were set off by the F.B.I. as part of a training seminar.
The goal, to teach local agencies how to investigate the aftermath of a car bomb. This, after a car bomb exploded in Juarez just months ago.
"We certainly are aware of the incidents that we had in Juarez, but we didn't plan this training in response to that," said Special Agent W. Jay Abbott.
Back in June, four people were killed and 20 injured after a car-bomb rocked Juarez streets. A cartel claimed responsibility, calling it retaliation and promising more in the future.
El Paso's proximity to the violent city makes the car bomb threat all the more real.
"It is good timing to practice these skills and recovering evidence in a situation like this but we certainly don't anticipate and would hope nothing like that would ever happen," said Special Agent Abbott.
The F.B.I. says gathering evidence quickly is extremely important at scenes like these because otherwise evidence can be lost.
That's why law enforcement personnel are not only learning investigative techniques, but how to do them fast.
That speed can help authorities track down those responsible, and prevent them from striking again, making sure the only explosions on U.S. soil are for training and not for real.
The F.B.I. says it only assisted as an observer during the Mexican investigation of the car bomb in Juarez.
One official told me that while diligent, Mexican officials lag far behind in investigative technique.