Archive for the ‘IEDs’ Category

Iran Using Fronts to Get Bomb Parts From U.S.

January 11, 2009

The Iranian businessman was looking for high-quality American electronics, but he had to act stealthily: The special parts he coveted were denied to Iranians, especially those seeking to make roadside bombs to kill U.S. troops in Iraq.
By Joby Warrick
The Washington Post

With a few e-mails, the problem was solved. A friendly Malaysian importer would buy the parts from a company in Linden, N.J., and forward them to Iran. All that was left was coming up with a fake name for the invoice. Perhaps a Malaysian engineering school? “Of course, you can use any other company as end-user that you think is better than this,” the Iranian businessman, Ahmad Rahzad, wrote in an e-mail dated March 8, 2007.

The ruse succeeded in delivering nine sensors called inclinometers to Iran, the first of several such shipments that year and the latest example of what U.S. officials and weapons experts describe as Iran’s skillful flouting of export laws intended to stop lethal technology from reaching the Islamic republic.

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In Gaza Hamas Has Deadly Weapons Array; and Many Unknowns

January 6, 2009

Israeli soldiers are equipped with some of the most advanced personal weaponry available to a modern military, but they nonetheless face great danger on the ground in Gaza.

The Islamist militant group Hamas, masters of asymmetrical warfare, has several key weapons that can inflict heavy casualties on an invading force, despite being overmatched. These weapons were not of great concern to Israel when it was attacking from sea and air. But the danger has increased exponentially since Israel launched its ground assault over the weekend.

By Matt Sanchez
Fox News

One significant danger every Israeli soldier faces in Gaza is a foe who is yearning to give up his life. Hamas has built a force of willing homicide bombers whose explosive vests are typically packed with an assortment of shrapnel to raise the casualty rate among their targets.

While Israeli soldiers are prepared to die in the defense of their country, they are also trained to survive. The homicide bomber is, therefore, a weapon available only to one side of this conflict.

Hamas has been talking tough in the face of superior military power; its leaders have vowed to inflict massive casualties.
“Gaza will be your cemetery,” and “we will fight until the last breath,” Hamas spokesman Ismail Radwan said in a written statement.

As Israel pushes into Gaza on the ground, it does not know exactly what weapons — and how many of them — Hamas possesses.

“We don’t know what has been smuggled into Gaza,” said David Schenker, a senior fellow at the Washington Institute and a former Pentagon official specializing in Middle East issues.

“Syrians and Iranians have supplied Hamas with training and weaponry,” Shenker said, pointing to a variety of weapons used during Israel’s 2006 war in Lebanon as examples of what Israeli ground troops may face in Gaza.

“In Southern Lebanon, we saw the use of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) that disabled several Merkava tanks and killed the soldiers inside,” Shenker said in a phone interview with

“In Lebanon, we confirmed the use of the Kornet anti-tank system,” Shenker said, referring to a series of Russian manufactured wire-guided missile systems. When U.S. forces invaded Iraq in 2003, the relatively small and easy to use Kornet anti-tank system reportedly disabled several American tanks, though Russia denied having sold the armor-piercing weapons to Iraq.

In Lebanon, between 46 and 50 Merkava main battle tanks (of the 400 deployed) were hit by anti-tank weapons, according to Western sources. In this case, too, Russia denied selling arms to either Syria or Hezbollah.

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Military veterans’ mental traumas

December 28, 2008

More that ever before, the wounds of war are of and in the mind and the Veterans Administration has been learning how best to provide treatment…

“Wars are supposed to end when the last shots are fired, but some of our new veterans will unfortunately have to cope with internal demons that may last their lifetime,” said Joe Davis, spokesman for the Veterans of Foreign Wars.


President-elect Barack Obama (L) introduces retired General ... 
President-elect Barack Obama (L) introduces retired General Eric K. Shinseki as nominee for Veterans Affairs secretary during a news conference in Chicago, December 7, 2008.REUTERS/John Gress (UNITED STATES)

Service members returning from Afghanistan and Iraq increasingly are suffering from mental trauma that dampens their homecomings, hobbles their re-entry into civilian life and imperils their continued military service – a situation the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has sought to address with treatment, counseling and even drug experimentation.

But even as the VA has worked to provide quality health care for millions of veterans at its facilities across the country, it has endured a series of failures – from not notifying test subjects about new drug warnings to ignoring safeguards during experiments. Those failures have damaged the reputation of the agency charged with supporting vulnerable veterans.

But it also has compromised the speedy recovery of those vets.

By Audry Hudson
the Washington Times

President-elect Barack Obama, who has named retired Gen. Eric K. Shinseki as incoming VA secretary, will have to deal with those long-standing discrepancies in the agency, as well as seek out new solutions to remedy the mental health problems plaguing an ever-growing population of veterans.

“Wars are supposed to end when the last shots are fired, but some of our new veterans will unfortunately have to cope with internal demons that may last their lifetime,” said Joe Davis, spokesman for the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

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Obama: No person ‘more qualified’ than Shinseki to head VA

December 7, 2008

President-elect Barack Obama formally announced Sunday that retired Army Gen. Eric Shinseki is his pick to be secretary of Veterans Affairs.


Obama names Shinseki as choice for VA chief 

“There is no one more distinguished, more determined, or more qualified to build this VA than the leader I am announcing as our next secretary of Veterans Affairs — General Eric Shinseki,” Obama said at a press conference. “No one will ever doubt that this former Army chief of staff has the courage to stand up for our troops and our veterans. No one will ever question whether he will fight hard enough to make sure they have the support they need.”

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