Bogus bomb detectors are still being used in Iraq five months after a British businessman who supplied the devices was found guilty of fraud.
More than 4,500 people are estimated to have been killed in Iraq – 979 of them in September alone – since James McCormick, a former policeman, was convicted at the Old Bailey in April. His trial heard that the devices he was selling, called ADE-651, were based on novelty golf-ball finders and had no scientific means of detecting explosives.
The Iraqi government promised after the trial that the fake detectors would be phased out. But they were still in use at checkpoints two days ago when 55 people were killed by bombs packed into cars in Baghdad. The responsibility for the attacks was claimed by an al-Qa’ida-linked group, which began its current campaign of violence around five months ago.