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Exclusive: New U.S. Government Videotape Simulates Terrorist Attacks

Brian Ross and Asa Eslocker / ABC | September 13 2006

ABC News has obtained videotapes of dramatic U.S. government field tests of new methods to thwart terrorist attacks against U.S. embassies abroad.

In the videotape tests, government scientists stage real terror attacks -- slamming trucks at high speed into barriers and exploding bombs near buildings.

Multiple camera angles capture the blasts' effects on test dummies, posing as diplomats seated at their desks.

The U.S. Department of State spends $2 million a year to develop better boundary security equipment against such potential assaults.

The tape also shows the results of tests of promising new technology to protect lives.

Here, removable bollards, or waist-high concrete posts used in driveways, resist the impact and the slow motion video shows the strength of the new materials being tested at a 50mph collision with a two-ton truck.

Watch the collision in slow motion.

Watch the collision in real time.

Large, flat bed diesel trucks loaded with barrels and traveling between 50 and 60mph were used in these "anti-ram" tests.

Watch the "anti-ram" tests.

An incredibly strong "super fence" proves to be a formidable barrier against this truck traveling at 50mph.

Watch the truck's collision with the "super fence."

An armored steel beam is the barricade in this video.

Watch the collision with the armored steel beam.

And in the case of a larger explosion, new technologies in wall, door and window protection are in development against terrorist attacks as well. Wall fabrics and polycarb window retentions prevent shrapnel and shattered glass from entering the building, while armored and reinforced doors and walls absorb much of the explosion without collapsing.

Watch how shrapnel does not penetrate the wall fabric.

Watch how the reinforced doors and walls stay standing during the explosion.

One of the new products being tested is a thermoplastic window curtain designed to protect embassy employees sitting at their desks from blown out windows. More than 200 people were killed by flying glass when terrorists bombed the U.S. Embassy in Kenya in 1998.

Watch how blown out windows have affected embassy employees in the past.

Finally, repeated blows by sledgehammers barely dent this armored window.

Watch how the sledgehammers fail to damage the armored window.


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