Iraqis furious with police use of fake bomb detectors

Iraqis furious with police use of fake bomb detectors
2 min read
05 Jul, 2016
Iraqis are furious about their police's continued use of fake bomb detectors after one of the deadliest ever bombings hit the country on Sunday.
Police have continued to use fake bomb detectors at checkpoints [Twitter]
Iraqis have taken to social media to express their outrage at their police's continued use of fake bomb detectors after one of the deadliest ever bombings hit the country on Sunday.

The attack hit the upmarket Karrada district early Sunday as it teemed with shoppers ahead of this week's Eid holiday, killing more than 200 people.

Police have continued to use fake bomb detectors at checkpoints years after the British man who sold them to the Iraqi government was jailed in the UK for ten years for the scam.

The Arabic-language hashtag #ZahiDetector, a reference to a popular brand of washing detergent in Iraq, has recently gained traction on Twitter following Sunday's bombing.

Translation: "The state imported the fake bomb detectors for millions and it is well-known that the deal was corrupt. Yet until now they insist on using them at checkpoints."

Translation: "The police have to find a replacement for the 'Zahi detector' it is outrageous that Iraqis are dying, while the people who invested in this live on."

Translation: "We need a device that detects the sins of this country's politicians."

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi ordered changes to Baghdad's security measures on Sunday, including withdrawing the fake bomb detectors from use.

Abadi also directed that the interior ministry to speed up the deployment of the "Rapiscan device for searching vehicles" at all entrances to Baghdad - an apparent reference to truck-based scanners from Rapiscan Systems.

He also ordered security personnel manning checkpoints not to use their mobile phones while on duty – a frequent occurrence that reduces the effectiveness of the many checkpoints scattered around Baghdad.