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Karzai Bans Ingredient of Taliban's Roadside Bombs

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703822404575019042216778962.html?mod=WSJASIA_hpp_MIDDLETopNews#articleTabs%3Darticle

by habib zohori at 2010-01-24 05:34:58 UTC | Bookmark | | Report spam→

“…The North Atlantic Treaty Organization, which has been seizing the fertilizer on its own since summer, has identified the primitive, fertilizer-packed roadside bomb as the weapon of choice of Taliban insurgents. Commanders say it could be as crucial to the Taliban as the surface-to-air missile was to the Afghan mujahedeen warriors in their fight in the 1980s against the Soviets.NATO estimates that as little as 5% of the nitrate fertilizer entering Afghanistan goes to legitimate use. Pakistan, which operates two large fertilizer plants, is the biggest provider, although Iran and China are also “significant suppliers,” according to a briefing delivered last month by Maj. Gen. Michael Flynn, who is in charge of intelligence gathering in Afghanistan.

…Fertilizer’s use as a bomb material has grown in importance in Afghanistan, and today 80% to 90% of the roadside bombs contain ammonium nitrate, the report said. The simplicity of the fertilizer bomb, packed into everything from pipes to drums to pressure cookers, has helped it surpass conventional military mines that the Taliban used in the first years of the U.S.-led war."

by teru kuwayama | 24 Jan 2010 12:01 (ed. Jan 24 2010) | Palo Alto, California, United States | | Report spam→
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/24/world/asia/24trap.html

“…Homemade bombs, which the military calls improvised explosive devices, or I.E.D.’s, have become the insurgents’ killing tool of choice in the Afghan war, a complement to the Taliban’s assault rifles, machine guns, mortars and rocket-propelled grenades. They serve as a battlefield leveler for elusive fighters who are wary of meeting Western forces head-on.

As their use has multiplied several-fold in the past two years, bomb-disposal specialists and American officers say, the Taliban’s bomb-making cells have sharpened their skills, moving away from smaller bombs in cooking pots to larger bombs encased in multigallon plastic water jugs, cooking-oil containers or ice coolers.

The bombs typically contain a slurry of fertilizer mixed with aluminum-based paint, and are triggered either via switches tripped by their victims or by a militant who detonates the weapon remotely when a victim moves near. Sometimes the insurgents use military-grade explosives from unexploded ordnance or conventional land mines.

…An improvised bomb is a simple thing — a few batteries, a few wires, a blasting cap or two inserted into a stable explosive charge. A pressure plate serves as a switch. When depressed, the circuit is closed, the current from the batteries flows to the blasting cap, igniting the cap and setting off the full blast.

Ordnance specialists have a label for devices designed this way: victim-operated. "

by teru kuwayama | 24 Jan 2010 22:01 | Palo Alto, California, United States | | Report spam→
No fertilizer? Will this make their bombs organic?

by [former member] | 26 Jan 2010 16:01 | Seattle, United States | | Report spam→

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Participants

habib zohori, Fixer/stringer habib zohori
Fixer/stringer
Kabul , Afghanistan
teru kuwayama, I/O teru kuwayama
I/O
New York , United States


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