UK warns world about useless ‘bomb detectors’
A UK government ban on the export of “magic wand” bomb detectors to Iraq and Afghanistan becomes effective on 27 January, as the BBC reveals further shocking evidence of the shortcomings of these devices.
The restriction is being imposed following a BBC Newsnight investigation which showed that the supposed detectors were incapable of detecting explosives or anything else.
There are concerns that they have failed to stop bomb attacks which have killed hundreds of people.
The British Foreign Office has told the BBC that they will now be urgently warning all governments who may have bought devices such as the ADE651 and GT200 that they are “wholly ineffective” at detecting bombs and explosives.
The ADE651 is made by a company from Somerset called ATSC. The director of the company, Jim McCormick, was arrested at the beginning of this month on suspicion of misrepresentation.
The GT200 is sold by Global Technical in Kent.
Despite advice from the British embassy in Baghdad, the ADE651 is still in use on checkpoints in Iraq, while an investigation ordered by the Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki continues.
In the past three days, 58 people have died there in bombings.
In Pakistan, which is not covered by Britain’s export ban, rows have broken out after newspapers highlighted the continued use of similar devices at Jinnah International Airport in Islamabad.