Iraqi MPs Demand Defective Bomb Detector Withdrawal

25 January 2010 (Last Updated January 25th, 2010 18:30)

Iraqi lawmakers have demanded the withdrawal of a UK-made bomb-detection device following the UK Government's announcement that the device is ineffective and the arrest of the manufacturers on suspicion of fraud. An investigation has been ordered by Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki ov

Iraqi lawmakers have demanded the withdrawal of a UK-made bomb-detection device following the UK Government's announcement that the device is ineffective and the arrest of the manufacturers on suspicion of fraud.

An investigation has been ordered by Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki over the mass purchase of the ADE651 wand for Iraqi security forces before the UK imposed an export ban on the device.

The ATSC-manufactured ADE651 wand, which is used to detect bombs at checkpoints, uses a series of interchangeable credit-card-sized paper cards to detect explosives such as C4 and TNT, and other weapons.

US military scientists examined the wand by using X-ray and laboratory analysis and claimed that the devices contained only a chip to detect theft from stores.

US military spokesman Major Joe Scrocca said the examination showed there was no possible means by which the ADE651 could detect explosives and therefore was determined to be totally ineffective and fraudulent.

Iraqi MP for the security and defence committee Hussein al-Falluji said these devices had caused nothing but big problems in Iraq.

"They have failed to detect bombs and thousands of Iraqis have been killed. It has been proven that they are a 100% failure," he said.

A BBC Newsnight investigation tested the wand in a Cambridge University computer lab, which demonstrated the device contained nothing that could detect explosives.