Iraqi prime minister orders police to stop using fake bomb detectors

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Iraqi Prime Minister Orders Police to Stop Using Fake Bomb Detectors


After a pair of bombings that killed at least 200 people in Baghdad, Iraq's prime minister has ordered police to stop using bomb detectors that were found to be a scam years ago.

The BBC notes these fake detectors originally got their start in the U.S., when a used car salesman simply rebranded an already ineffective golf ball tracker as a detector of drugs and explosives.

The FBI reported the fraud in 1996, but the scam was brought to the U.K. under a different name. It was eventually dubbed the ADE-651 and sold to Iraq, Niger and Saudi Arabia, among others.

See images of the July 3 Baghdad bombings:

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Baghdad bombings - July 3 2016
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Baghdad bombings - July 3 2016
ATTENTION EDITORS - VISUAL COVERAGE OF SCENES OF INJURY OR DEATH Civilians carry the body of a victim killed in a suicide car bomb in the Karrada shopping area, in Baghdad, Iraq July 3, 2016. REUTERS/Khalid al MousilyTEMPLATE OUT
A fireman hoses down a burning building after a suicide car bomb occurred in the Karrada shopping area in Baghdad, Iraq July 3, 2016. REUTERS/Khalid al Mousily
Firemen hose down a burning building as civilians gather after a suicide car bomb occurred in the Karrada shopping area in Baghdad, Iraq July 3, 2016. REUTERS/Khalid al Mousily
Iraqi security forces and civilians gather at the site after a suicide car bomb occurred in the Karrada shopping area in Baghdad, Iraq July 3, 2016. REUTERS/Khalid al Mousily
Iraqi security forces and civilians gather at the site after a suicide car bomb occurred in the Karrada shopping area in Baghdad, Iraq July 3, 2016. REUTERS/Khalid al Mousily
Iraqi security forces and civilians gather at the site after a suicide car bomb occurred in the Karrada shopping area in Baghdad, Iraq July 3, 2016. REUTERS/Khalid al Mousily
Iraqi security forces and civilians gather at the site after a suicide car bomb occurred in the Karrada shopping area in Baghdad, Iraq July 3, 2016. REUTERS/Khalid al Mousily
People gather at the site of a suicide car bomb in the Karrada shopping area, in Baghdad, Iraq July 3, 2016. REUTERS/Khalid al Mousily
People gather at the site of a suicide car bomb in the Karrada shopping area, in Baghdad, Iraq July 3, 2016. REUTERS/Khalid al Mousily
People gather at the site of a suicide car bomb in the Karrada shopping area, in Baghdad, Iraq July 3, 2016. REUTERS/Khalid al Mousily
People gather at the site of a suicide car bomb in the Karrada shopping area, in Baghdad, Iraq July 3, 2016. REUTERS/Khalid al Mousily
People gather at the site of a suicide car bomb in the Karrada shopping area, in Baghdad, Iraq July 3, 2016. REUTERS/Khalid al Mousily
People gather at the site of a suicide car bomb in the Karrada shopping area, in Baghdad, Iraq July 3, 2016. REUTERS/Khalid al Mousily
Firemen inspect the site of a suicide car bomb in the Karrada shopping area, in Baghdad, Iraq July 3, 2016. REUTERS/Khalid al Mousily
People gather at the site of a suicide car bomb in the Karrada shopping area, in Baghdad, Iraq July 3, 2016. REUTERS/Khalid al Mousily
BAGHDAD, IRAQ - JULY 03: Iraqi people who lost their relatives mourn after a suicide car bombing, claimed by the terrorist organization DAESH, in the Karrada neighborhood of Baghdad, Iraq on July 03, 2016. It is reported that 60 people were killed and 100 wounded in the blast. (Photo by Amir Saadi/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
BAGHDAD, IRAQ - JULY 03: (EDITORS NOTE: Image contains graphic content.) Iraqi people carry a wounded citizen after a suicide car bombing, claimed by the terrorist organization DAESH, in the Karrada neighborhood of Baghdad, Iraq on July 03, 2016. It is reported that 60 people were killed and 100 wounded in the blast. (Photo by Amir Saadi/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
Iraqis evacuate a body from the site of a suicide car bombing claimed by the Islamic State group on July 3, 2016 in Baghdad's central Karrada district. The blast, which ripped through a street in the Karrada area where many people go to shop ahead of the holiday marking the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, killed at least 75 people and also wounded more than 130 people, security and medical officials said. The Islamic State group issued a statement claiming the suicide car bombing, saying it was carried out by an Iraqi as part of the group's 'ongoing security operations'. / AFP / SABAH ARAR (Photo credit should read SABAH ARAR/AFP/Getty Images)
Iraqi women wait for their family members who are missing after a car bomb at a commercial area in Karada neighborhood, Baghdad, Iraq, Sunday, July 3, 2016. Bombs went off early Sunday in two crowded commercial areas in Baghdad. (AP Photo/Khalid Mohammed)
Iraqi firefighters extinguish a fire as civilians gather after a car bomb at a commercial area in Karada neighborhood, Baghdad, Iraq, early Sunday, July 3, 2016. Bombs went off early Sunday in two crowded commercial areas in Baghdad. (AP Photo/Hadi Mizban)
Iraqi firefighters extinguish a fire as civilians gather after a car bomb at a commercial area in Karada neighborhood, Baghdad, Iraq, early Sunday, July 3, 2016. Bombs went off early Sunday in two crowded commercial areas in Baghdad. (AP Photo/Hadi Mizban)
Iraqi firefighters and civilians gather at the site after a car bomb at a commercial area in Karada neighborhood, Baghdad, Iraq, early Sunday, July 3, 2016. Bombs went off early Sunday in two crowded commercial areas in Baghdad. (AP Photo/Hadi Mizban)
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In 2013, British conman James McCormick was given a 10-year prison sentence over the ADE-651. He made tens of millions of dollars selling the device to Iraq's government, yet Iraqi checkpoints have continued to use that useless equipment.

A police officer in Baghdad told The Washington Post on Monday morning: "We know it doesn't work, everybody knows it doesn't work and the man who made it is in prison now. But I don't have any other choice."

When the prime minister visited the scenes of the bombings Sunday, people threw rocks at his convoy and called him a thief.

This video includes clips from CCTV, The Telegraph, Channel 4, CNN and Gopher and images from Getty Images and the U.S. Navy.


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