Fake Bomb Detectors still Endanger Iraqis

Despite all the rumors that have circulated for years, the Iraqi Interior Ministry, which imported the devices, does not seem interested in the evidence, nor the opinions of Iraqis. Ministry officials continue to insist that the device was effective, including former Iraqi Interior Minister Jawad Bolani in January 2010.

Radio Demozy is located in the eastern Karrada district, one of the areas most vulnerable to bombings in Baghdad. Saadi expressed his displeasure with seeing Iraqi security officers insist on using these devices, and said that the practice is an insult to Iraqis and their lives, adding, “Many Iraqis died because of these devices.”

Saadi said that continuing to use these devices is an attempt to cover up the corruption suspected in their importation. The former officials who imported them insist that they are effective because acknowledging their ineffectiveness would open them up to liability.

Due to the uproar over the continued use of these devices and the absence of any serious investigation to hold those responsible accountable, a number of Iraqi activists have created the "National Campaign for the purchase of real bomb detectors.” The campaign has a Facebook page to gather the latest developments about the detectors.

These activists say the goal of the campaign is to force the government to replace the ADE651 devices with real detectors and prosecute those involved in their sale to Iraq.

The new Iraqi government is seeking a solution to this problem. For the first time, in October 2014, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi admitted that these devices are useless and promised to replace them.

However, this does not seem to be enough for Iraqis, Saadi told Al-Monitor. Replacing these devices with effective ones is an important step, but it should be accompanied by an expanded and serious investigation to hold accountable those responsible for this deadly and corrupt deal.

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