Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) are a major threat to Canadian and allies troups involved in peacekeeping and minor conflict operations and despite their relative low technology they represent a major challenge in terms of detection and countermeasures. In order to provide tools to detect these threats, Defence Research & Development Canada - Valcartier initiated a research project to the feasibility of using terahertz (THz) radiations to detect and identify the presence of commonly used explosives and concealed weapons in a standoff method. This paper presents the initial results of the first year of the project and the future directions. A compact THz time domain spectroscopy was developed to build a THz signature table of commonly used explosives.© (2007) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.