Iraq finally bans fake bomb detectors after July 3 blast

The reason it took so long is likely the widespread corruption in the government

Reuters/news Desk July 26, 2016
An Iraqi policeman uses a hand-held device that is supposed to detect bombs at a checkpoint in Basra. PHOTO: AFP

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi ordered security services to stop using fake bomb detectors at checkpoints after a bombing on July 3 killed almost 300 people in Baghdad in an attack claimed by the Islamic State.

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Reacting after the deadliest attack so far this year, Abadi also ordered a new investigation into "corrupt deals" to buy ADE 651 devices developed as lost golf balls finders and sold to Iraq and other nations as hand-held bomb detectors.

These devices, commonly known as the "magic wand", were still in use five years after the scandal about the sale to Iraq broke out.

The British businessman who sold the detectors to Iraq and other countries, James McCormick, was sentenced in 2013 in Britain to 10 years in jail for endangering lives for profit.

McCormick earned more than $40 million from sales in Iraq alone, British police said at the time. His customers also included the United Nations.

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Abadi ordered more reputable vehicle inspection systems too be installed at entry points into Baghdad and other provinces.

Comments on social media voiced outrage that police still used the fake bomb detectors at checkpoints despite the devastation caused by Islamic State bombings.

After a sweeping expansion in Iraq in 2014, the ultra-hardline Sunni group has been losing territory since last year to US-backed Iraqi government forces and Iranian-backed Iraqi Shia militias.

Islamic State has preserved the ability to stage bombings in Baghdad despite its defeat last month in Falluja, a city just west of Baghdad that the militants captured in January 2014.


Fahad | 6 years ago | Reply When will they ban this scam in Pakistan? I see it everyday at the airport!
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