Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Iraq’s Interior Minister: Fake Bomb Detectors Fiasco

The Independent’s Patrick Cockburn recently interviewed Iraq’s Interior Minister Mohammed Ghabban, and discussed the ADE-651 bomb detectors. The minister admitted that the 651s were a sign of the corruption within the government, which undermined the country’s security. Ghabban went on to say that officials who took bribes to buy the devices are blocking any investigation into the incident. Jim McCormick who manufactured the 651s was convicted of fraud over them in an English court in 2013. During his trial it was revealed that the 651s had no working parts. The antenna that was supposed to point towards bombs was not connected to anything. Likewise the data card that was inserted did not do anything. Iraq’s Interior Ministry conducted its own investigation and found that 75% of the money spent on the devices actually went to kickbacks to Ministry officials. During his trial McCormick corroborated that when he admitted to paying bribes to Iraqis. Despite all this, Minister Ghabban didn’t explain why the ADE-651s are still being used in Iraq. In February for example, the head of the Baghdad Operations Command claimed that they worked 30-40% of the time, showing that members of the Iraqi government were still unwilling to admit their mistakes.


Cockburn, Patrick, “Iraq’s Interior Minister on why state corruption is helping the murderous campaign of Isis Baghdad,” The Independent, 3/2/16

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