IRAQ – Iraqi Prime Minister, Haider al-Abadi, has ordered security services to stop using fake bomb detectors at checkpoints after an Islamic State-ordered bombing on July 3 killed almost 300 people.
Iraqi PM Abadi 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.
He also ordered more reputable vehicle inspection systems to be installed at entry points into Baghdad and other provinces.
The ineffective devices, commonly known as the “magic wand”, were still in use five years after the scandal about their 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.
Comments on social media voiced outrage that the 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.
ISIS 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.