An apparatus and method for detecting explosive-indicating compounds in subsurface soil. The apparatus has a probe with an adsorbent material on some portion of its surface that can be placed into soil beneath the ground surface, where the adsorbent material can adsorb at least one explosive-indicating compound. The apparatus additional has the capability to desorb the explosive-indicating compound through heating or solvent extraction. A diagnostic instrument attached to the probe detects the desorbed explosive-indicating compound. In the method for detecting explosive-indicating compounds in soil, the sampling probe with an adsorbent material on at least some portion of a surface of the sampling probe is inserted into the soil to contact the adsorbent material with the soil. The explosive-indicating compounds are then desorbed and transferred as either a liquid or gas sample to a diagnostic tool for analysis. The resulting gas or liquid sample is analyzed using at least one diagnostic tool selected from the group consisting of an ion-mobility spectrometer, a gas chromatograph, a high performance liquid chromatograph, a capillary electrophoresis chromatograph, a mass spectrometer, a Fourier-transform infrared spectrometer and a Raman spectrometer to detect the presence of explosive-indicating compounds.