Baghdad, Asharq Al-Awsat- The general leadership of the Iraqi armed forces has formed an investigation committee to determine the effectiveness of bomb detection devices imported by Iraq from Britain.
Major General Qassim Atta, the official spokesman for Baghdad operations said that Nuri al Maliki, General Commander of the Armed Forces and Prime Minister, ordered the formation of the high-ranking committee and said that it began its work as soon as it was formed.
A few days ago, the British authorities announced the arrest of Jim McCormick, the director of the company that produced these devices, on charges of fraud by misrepresentation. The British government also banned the exportation of specific devices to Iraq and Afghanistan after US experts and military officials suspected the effectiveness of these devices especially with the recurring deadly bombings in Baghdad in particular where these devices are used at security check points.
Atta indicated to Asharq Al-Awsat that “whether this device is 100 percent effective or ineffective cannot be determined now,” and confirmed that the subject “has now been raised and the concerned bodies must verify the matter technically and experts and university professors specializing in this field must put an end to the suspicion.” Atta said that the investigation committee will also discuss the costs of the prices of these devices in global markets and it will also look into the contracts. He added that it was too early to comment on the results of the ongoing investigations.
During a parliamentary session at the beginning of the week, Iraqi parliament, through the Security and Defense Committee, called on the government to request financial compensation for the poor quality of the devices and their ineffectiveness that caused major financial losses from British companies that provided the Iraqi security ministries with bomb detection devices. The Security and Defense Committee was charged with looking at the contracts, their background and any potential collusion within them, an MP told Asharq Al-Awsat.
The Al-Qaeda affiliated Islamic State of Iraq claimed responsibility for the three coordinated attacks this week that targeted hotels in Baghdad, reported the SITE monitoring group on Wednesday. Based on a statement published on various forums, SITE said that “The Islamic State of Iraq, the Al Qaeda front in Iraq, claimed the coordinated suicide bombing attack that struck at three Baghdad hotels.” On Tuesday, suicide bombers detonated a car bomb near to the Palestine Hotel in the Abu Nawass district and Babylon Hotel in Kerrada and Hamra Hotel in Jadariya in south Baghdad. The attacks left 36 dead and over 70 wounded.
In other developments, the head of Baghdad operations announced that an Iranian woman was killed and five others were injured during armed attacks targeting a bus carrying pilgrims in western Baghdad. The statement said, “An Iranian woman has been killed and five others have been injured, all of whom are Iranian pilgrims, during an armed attack on their two buses on a main road near Al Adel district,” in western Baghdad. AFP reported that the attack also left an Iraq driver dead.