The U.S. military has been warning the Iraqi government for some time that bomb detecting equipment manufactured by a U.K. company cannot “sniff” explosives. Well, U.K. authorities have arrested company officials over the weekend for violations of, among other things, the U.K.’s Export Control Act of 2002.
ATSC, Ltd. President John McCormick made some rather outlandish claims about the hand-held device, including such things as its ability to detect explosives over a kilometer away. According to an article in the Times Online, McCormick has said that the ADE-651 was supposed “to detect explosives in the same way as a dowsing rod finds water.” Say it isn’t so.
According to various news reports the Iraqi government has invested millions of dollars in this device. Efforts to open the ATSC website failed – down for repairs. Yet there is plenty of information on the web about this story, including various anonymous internet websites calling out the ATSC matter.
One hopes U.S. taxpayer monies have not been used to purchase these devices and that the State Department and DoD had no role in this project. How did this device ever get past the U.K. government? This is certainly not the type of story that the U.K. government wants or needs as it keeps seeking to move forward the U.S-U.K. Defence Trade Cooperation Treaty.
BBC television aired a special this weekend on ATSC (link below).