Sunday, July 3, 2016

Finally, A Backlash Against Iraq's Fake Bomb Detectors

The most recent terrorist attack in Baghdad killed more than 120 persons and employed a suicide car bomb in a shopping district. Also, it seems to have provoked a long overdue and richly deserved public backlash against the Iraqi government and its outrageous practice of using fake bomb detectors at checkpoints through the country.

From the WaPo story linked above, there is this:
On social media, Iraqis turned their anger toward a wand-style device that has been proved to be fake but is still widely used at checkpoints as a bomb detector. On Sunday night, Abadi announced that the devices should be withdrawn from checkpoints. Little more than an aerial attached to a plastic handle, they have been sold as capable of detecting explosives.

Earlier Sunday, after the bombing, the Interior Ministry’s website was hacked and a picture was posted of a bloodied baby and one of the supposed bomb detectors. “I don’t know how you sleep at night,” the hacked website read.

Hacked Iraq MOI website image

The scandal of these fraudulent devices, which were sold to Iraq under the name ADE 651, is well known and documented. See this Vanity Fair article for background. The Iraqi government purchased the scam detectors in 2008 at a cost of $85 million.

According to the WaPo's Baghdad Bureau Chief, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has finally, just tonight, ordered all the ADE 651s removed from Iraqi checkpoints. That decision comes about two years after he first acknowledged they were fake and promised to remove them.

Now, how about the governments of Pakistan, Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, Mexico, and Thailand? So far as I know, they all still use the ADE 651 or a copy, under various names, to pretend to detect bombs at airports and other potential targets. Is a hacked website all it will take to cause them enough embarrassment that they'll stop that nonsense?


Anonymous said...

Happy 4th of July TSB and James!

Anonymous said...

TSB: That Abadi is one sharp cookie. I hear his limo was pelted
with bricks and stones when he rushed to the scene to survey the damage. gwb

Anonymous said...

TSB: Tuesday tactical tip:

Dodgers Eagle Celebrates Independence By Flying Away During Pregame Ceremony
The eagle hasn’t landed.
07/04/2016 11:31 pm ET

(When you get a chance to beat the traffic at Dodger Stadium, Take It!) gwb

Anonymous said...

TSB! See, Hillary and Obama said all along, there wasn't anything to be concerned about. gwb

TSB said...

GWB: Director Comey's announcement has completely assuaged my suspicions about Hillary. She is as honest as the day is long, at least, if you ignore what she has been saying in her own defense for the last year or so.