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Question on IED's in Iraq

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posted on Sep, 3 2005 @ 12:51 AM
I havent really looked too hard but it sounds like most of the IED's in Iraq are planted in the roads. That leads me to believe that most of the roads are dirt roads. I am wrong in this assumption? If they are dirt roads and the IEDs are dug into the roads. couldn't we kinda clear the road with some sort of mineweeping device towed from a helicopter? I would think at the least it would dislodge some of the explosives used in those devices. I sure there are reasons why this doesn't happen. As I said I don't know enough about it.


posted on Sep, 3 2005 @ 12:58 AM
You can see videos of covnoys been hit on paved roads to if that helps any, i think some are wire activated or some are burried under paving.

posted on Sep, 3 2005 @ 01:10 AM
Must be a lot of paving potholes there, I knew they must be pretty hard to distinguish.

posted on Sep, 4 2005 @ 08:15 AM
Most if not all roads in the region, have culverts. These are like small narrow drainage ditches to prevent subsidence. Where the culvert passes under a road, it is usually made with a steel reinforced concrete sewer pipe, or it may be just the concrete pipe itself.

Most major and secondary roads are well built. Even the 'C' class roads are well constructed. On these, the surface is usually constructed with compacted gravel, sand and earth and may, as is often the case, sprayed with a tar macadam finish.

It is so easy to place an IED inside a roadside drain or inside a culvert.

[This incidentally, was the problem we faced in Northern Ireland. In one incident, a Saracen (Pig) armoured personnel carrier was blown a couple of hundred metres down a road by a large milk churn sized IED]

Having placed your IED in the culvert, all you have to do is set it off.

You can do this by either line of sight - but this requires a personal presence in the area;

Or you can detonate by radio control or by a signal to a mobile telephone. Again this method requires an operative to be in the area.

A favoured method is 'command detonated' - i.e. the operator stays in 'line of sight' and sends a signal down a 'command wire' to the IED. Again, this is very dangerous for the operative because if the Sec Forces or police do their job, they may discover the 'command wire'.

By far the most effective firing system is the 'collapsing circuit'. This is used in many military explosive devices such as the infamous 'Off Route' mine, Full Width Attack Mine (BAR) with timed delay or even the Claymore AP mine.

A small electrical source powers the arming switch. If the circuit fails or is mechanically broken - i.e. by a trip wire, then the circuit collapses and the IED is detonated. LAWs and RPGs can be set to fire remotely, by using this method.

Only problem I can see, is the arming of this type of IED. Considering that most attacks in Iraq take place during daylight, which leads me to believe that the IEDs are put in place at night.

This is very dangerous for the operative concerned. It takes a great deal of skill and a thorough knowledge of the basics of electrical circuitry. One slip when completing the circuit then....................bang!

posted on Sep, 4 2005 @ 08:50 AM
IMHO your " mine clearing " helicopter just gives the insurgents a low / slow helicopter to shoot at , while it has almost zero manouverability

i will not go into the problems it would have with bridges / overhead cables

fritz has pretty much covered the tech of roadside bombs

bottom line is the current campaign of IED attacks is the easiest / safest strategy for the insurgents - given thier equipment and allied tactics

if you can sucessfully demine the roads - they will retreat to built up areas where they can simply drop impact fused devices on the roof of passing vehicles


posted on Sep, 4 2005 @ 09:07 AM
Fritz thanks for the info, I was just curious as to how these things are placed and why they don't get detected eaisly, I knew that there had to be some reasons why. I know the helicopter would be a target but didn't know why they weren't detected until it's too late.

posted on Sep, 4 2005 @ 09:28 AM
My best friend is in Iraq and he tells me that they will actually burn a tire in the road to soften up the asphalt so they can dig it up and plant the device then re-asphalt it. In one instance they left a device on the side of the road and his unti sent a robot type to investigate the device. They concluded that the device was dead and a soldier walked up to it and there was a live device hidden underneath and he was my buddies 1st of many gun salutes if you catch me.

posted on Sep, 6 2005 @ 05:23 AM
Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) have been around since the birth of 'modern' warfare. An IED is, after all, just an explosive device that is locally manufactured with whatever materials that lie at hand. For example, modern soap powder can be turned into a ‘napalm’ type incendiary device which, if it comes in to contact with skin, has the same effects; a simple household light bulb can be made to demolish an entire building. Look around your home or office. Almost everything you see can, in some way or other, be used as or with an IED.

During the First and Second World Wars, the IED was simply known as a ‘booby trap’ and, as such, the principles for triggering the device have remained the same. Booby traps are usually detonated by the ‘target [s]’ doing something ‘naturally’. By that I mean that an ‘object’ is usually picked up (Lift), moved (Pull), or by being moved erratically (Tilted).

During the ‘70s and ‘80s, the IRA upped the 'ante' in Northern Ireland with a rash of new IEDs, introducing two new methods of detonation – light coupled to movement. They introduced the Passive Infra Red Detector (PIR) and the Photo Electric Cell to detonate IEDs like car bombs.

An IED with a photo-electric cell as a detonating device is, by far, the most dangerous type of IED for the bomb disposal units. There are many inherent dangers when dealing with this type of IED, but to have to try and disarm one at night or in a darkened room or building, knowing, that there might be other triggers on the device, must simply be terrifying.

The EOD people in the British armed forces have my utmost respect and admiration and not for nothing do they call themselves the ‘Tick Tock’ men.

posted on Sep, 8 2005 @ 04:59 AM

Though it is occasionally difficult to get a 'square hit' (which is why light AFV and even some soft vehicles survive encounters with them) due to det-timing considerations on a speeding vehicle and some tactical innovations in terms of cell-net 'trapping', staggered speeds/interval spacing and assymetric use of lane widths; you can actually kill a vehicle from a fair lateral standoff distance using an off route mine.

These ORMs are generally what is implied by 'shaped charge' attacks on vehicles by the ever smarter merc-jihadists that are the core of the problem in Iraq but a daisy chain of conventional frag weapons in a high caliber (122-152mm SPH rounds etc.) can also do the job quite nicely.

While burying a munition is the 'classic' perception of mine use, you also need to consider just how many secondary objects are in fact naturally to be found to the side of a road.

If there is a sidewalk, there will be a storm drain. If there is a divider or safety barrier, there will be a vertical stanchion to support it. If there is /any/ human activity present, there may well be extraneous features and 'shapes' (seats at a bus stop, cans outside a storefront, a dead animal, a parked vehicle or cart) which can neither be accounted for nor rendered particularly 'suspicious looking' among the /thousands/ of other obstacle hazards to simple navigation.

Just drive down a road today and MAKE yourself look over to the side once for a safe interval of 1-2 seconds. Now look back forward and start counting all the things you saw in your mind's eye theater before once again looking to the side.

Use this second glance to determine how many _blocks_ linear distance you have travelled before you have catalogued everything and you will have some understanding of the difficulty inherent to a realtime threat search in even a partially modern environment like Iraq.

If you want to stop attacks on our soldiers, there are but few ways to do so. And most of those have little to do with military techniques.

1. Redouble the number of UAVs you have loitering over urban centers so that, as with Tom Clancy's _RSR_ 'video tape MTI traffic history', you have a significant ability to back trace those approaching key arteries the day before a major movement.

2. Force EVERYONE in the country to have a national ID of some kind. One which includes significant biometric data (face, hands, DNA as well as finger prints) as well as residency, workplace and next of kin. Failure to have this card ready for inspection or forgery of data therein being a field court lethal offense. No Questions Asked.

3. Execute every private individual who is caught with weapons of any kind or the components of their construction or implementation (car batteries for example). In this case, MAKE A BIG DEAL of it. Legally. With video and interviews with witnesses. As a function of setting a precedent.

4. Also institute an 'open house' policy by which any man may demand the right to tour his neighbors residence or work property.

5. Extend this privelege to military and police forces with the proviso that they must record all intrusions and arrests and hold no longer than 48hrs without charge. Also give the right to require a P300 lie detector 'guilt by memory association' test. And a chemical test. On a random spot-check basis.

6. Dehouse and disenfranchise every man, woman and child who lives or works with _or next to_ someone caught as a bomber. Giving their property and home to an opposed religious faction new owner if not actually burning it down.

7. Deny use of vehicles for one month after every attack by every citizen in the region of that attack. If it happens twice in a single year, destroy every vehicle there.

8. Ditto cell phones (though frankly I see no reason for a the Iraqi's to have them, period.).

9. Ditto curfews with a shoot on sight policy strictly enforced after nightfall. 'NQA'.

These are not nice people.

Despite all the left-of-center news propaganda about how Iraq 'used to be so educated' (Written in Iran, Printed in Egypt, read in Iraq etc. etc.) put out by the 10% intelligencia, the actual state of the nation is that of a people who have not known true peace and stability since before the Ottomans.

Having grown up /for generations/ in an environment of mafia-like tribal and familial nepotistic corruption, they are nearly feral in their cunning, manipulative and viciously self-centered based on a perception that "In a hundred years, you too shall be gone..."

And so what worked against the strongman can also work against the liberator.

This is an attitude we don't have the time (especially in the wake of the farce that was Katrina, the 2008 elections will see us gone) to carrot and stick eradicate with both cheeks.

Yet for all this, 'the comman man' is potentially also THE MOST powerful networking intelligence tool to deny continued insurgent attacks.

But you MUST make him a part of the solution by LEGALLY (known beforehand) policy institution of known consequences which will result if they fail to pick a side. The winning side. The only side.

Our Side.

'Hearts and Minds' be hanged, there are no neutral parties in a 4GW civil war. And that is what is going on in Iraq right now. Don't be fooled into thinking otherwise.

The flip-variable tipping point is that the cadre 'professionals' are too few in numbers and too interested in living to murder and assassinate in the next war to be willing to expose themselves directly.

And as such, they are potentially as vulnerable to "My brother, my cousin, my tribe, my Islam" betrayal as we are when they hurt or maim the locals.

Given only that the stronger hand is seen to be the one that is offering them a choice between being punished for their inaction or left alone for their courage in speaking up.

We can win. At least for as long as we stay.


posted on Sep, 8 2005 @ 07:29 PM
It is unfortunate that the relative few IED's we can find, are generally a bugger to disarm, as either they are guarded, the device is deteriorating so disarming-reliability is iffy, and the explosions can range from 'small' house-hold explosives, to the recent double-stacked mines, to Saddam-era bombs.

With so many variables, the U.S. is working with, and working on the most effective counter to these things.

-I've disarmed a varied supply of explosives before as part of my SJNMA days, when I considered the military, and the things are disgustingly hard. More modern explosives, based with electronics can have a 20% - 90% success rate, while the smaller items tend to require exotic tools or extreme patience.

It is unfortunate the mechanical anti-explosive machines we have created thus far are so expensive.

posted on Sep, 8 2005 @ 07:33 PM
I have heard of IED tactics of them using dead animals on the side of the road to hide IEDS in. Really any debris on the side of the road could be used to hide IED rubble, junk cars,wood etc...

There is really endless ways you can hide them

posted on Sep, 10 2005 @ 07:15 PM

I have heard of IED tactics of them using dead animals on the side of the road to hide IEDS in. Really any debris on the side of the road could be used to hide IED rubble, junk cars,wood etc...

There is really endless ways you can hide them

Just to give people an idea of some of the many variables we are working with-

What bugs me is that even high leverage LOCs like the Baghdad terminal access road ('IED Alley') are apparently unsecurable.

I would think we could do better than that with whatever unattended system has followed on to REMBASS and a simple cluster of 105-155mm 'fire on footfall in denied area' tubes.

And again, I don't care if the enemy plants a FAB-250 by the side of the road or leaves it in a soda can outside a chow hall or police ready room.

Because I want to get him as he walks in the door back at his workshop.

Where this is not possible due to the use of cutout couriers and other cellular isolation strategies, you basically MUST make the delivery boy's demise so spectacularly ugly (strangulation, fire, etc. etc.) that there is nothing, not even loss of family, which can convince someone to replace them.

'Back In The Day' a U.S. Cavalry Indian Scout was the equivalent to modern day CSI. Except that they didn't care who died or who killed them. They only wanted a time index on 'number of days since event' basis of declaring a freefire zone. You would then go out and smoke every native camp that was within that number of day's ride and 'by secondary coincidence' solve the Native American vs. Settler problem by removing the home-and-hearth logistics /en masse/ (from the plains especially).

Obviously, we cannot do that in a MOUT/COIN scenario where the population densities are so high and we have no intention of making the land our own once it has been depopulated by the residents.

But we MUST be able to do _technically better_ than we are now. Especially in a no-triple-canopy-here wasteland like Iraq.


It is unfortunate that the relative few IED's we can find, are generally a bugger to disarm, as either they are guarded, the device is deteriorating so disarming-reliability is iffy, and the explosions can range from 'small' house-hold explosives, to the recent double-stacked mines, to Saddam-era bombs.

If you follow my rules above, the only 'logical' conclusion you can reach is something like the cartoon where Bugs Bunny so screws up his WWII induction and boot processing that the "Only job we can find suitable for your particular skills..." is that of testing artillery shells for duds as they roll out of the factory.

With a hammer on the nose fuse.

Again, we CAN isolate about 90% of the problem. Just by locking down the country's illicit after-hours internal and border traffic. With GSR and UGS and Drone-Air as a function of going in and snatching high leverage threats as much as blowing their house down with wolf GBU.

The question that then remains is whether or not we have the testicular fortitude to make the bombers pay, publically, in court. As bloodily and often as possible. As the 'conquering force' Hague laws in fact _require_ of us as regents ensuring the safety of the majority Iraqi populace.

As soon as you put a dirty foreign face to the name of a Robin Hood ideal that is shadow jihadist mystique. As soon as you -force- the 'popular mythos' to include pictures of /other innocents/ ripped to shreds by that known-person's cowardly actions.

You start the process of distasteful-dissociation by which the 'hearts and minds' segment of 4GW can be won.

Because you are robbing not only the perp of a clean death for Allah. But also the vicarious populace of an equivalent cheerleader spectator belief in his dedication. Forcing BOTH parties to sit through the humiliation and ultimate _rejection by law_ that is 'high leverage' worthwhile in terms of risking SOF for capture missions.

My fear is that as soon as we make a French Vietnam scenario of things (curled up behind locked doors in a few 'non apparent' remote installations, only owning the country during the daylight, and then only thru indig forces supported with remote fires), this basic level of terror-dies-by-juris-prudence will be among the first things to vanish in a wave of corruption that leads to an 'official' Tet.

Once that happens, the opportunity for a lasting victory will vanish, probably forever.

If you head on over to MSNBC and read this LINK-

Some 30 miles south of Baghdad, meanwhile, police found the bodies of 18 men who had been handcuffed and shot to death in Iskandariya, a town where dozens of killings have been reported in escalating vengeance killings by Shiite Muslim and Sunni Aram "death squads."

"Two days ago gunmen in police uniforms broke into their houses in a Shiite neighborhood of Iskandariya," police Capt. Adel Kitab said of the latest victims.

I think you will see the seeds of both victory and defeat. Victory because if we can slow or stop the flow of rats from without, we can start to make real headway on reducing the fleas-within. Failure because, as I have long feared, '18 done in by police uniforms' means that the enemy is so deeply imbedded in the too-fast-too-soon (no De-Nazification process) Iraqi police and paramilitary force structures that there is little or no reason to believe in them, solely by the nature of their officiousness.

Private killings by private parties controlling official forces adds up to total breakdown of authority, real quick.

THIS is also where real terror gets to you because if your 'mission' is to stabilize a nation, once you no longer trust your 'new fwiends' to have the same ideals, you have to start watching them as much as those in front of your sights and you rapidly lose belief in the process as much as the purpose of getting towards a stable, independent, governing entity.

It's like dealing with a bunch of rebellious kindergartners. They know if they keep things up long enough, you'll call a time out and they'll likely get what they want. But whereas a kid has to eat and is thus dependent on you for that support, Iraq is likely -our- 20 billion barrel oil insurance policy. And so, roles-reversed, we have damn little to hold over them by comparison.

Certainly not TIME which the U.S. Congress and People will not provide beyond 2008. The next POTUS having to be a fool of incredible proportions to inherent the broken wind on Bush Jr's flatulence.


posted on Sep, 11 2005 @ 03:48 AM
CH1466, I can understand your frustration about what is happening in Iraq and I do support some of your views.

The link you posted was interesting - well almost. It made me laugh quite a bit. Here's most of the article but without the pics.

[Quote] The enemy in Iraq has used IEDs consisting of mortar and artillery projectiles as the explosive device. The most common explosives used are military munitions, usually 122 mm or greater mortar/tank/artillery.

The use and characteristics of these have included the following:

Thrown from overpasses.
Thrown in front of approaching vehicles from roadside.
Usually thrown by males—who are not always adults.
Emplaced in potholes (covered with dirt).
Emplaced along MSRs and alternate supply routes (targeting vehicles).
Employed along unimproved roads (targeting patrols).
Employed with 120-mm and larger artillery or mortar projectiles.
Found alone or in groups.
IEDs behind which are placed cinder blocks or piles of sand to direct blast into the kill zone.
Command detonated—either by wire or remote device.
Time-delay triggered IEDs. IEDs that can be detonated by cordless phone from a car (allows for mobile firing platform and prevents tracing or triangulation) [unquote]

I laugh because 122 mm shells are not easily concealed on the person. Neither are they easily carried, even in a rucksak or bag. And, they are heavy, very heavy!

Thrown from overpasses: The mental picture of a male (obviously got to be young and fit!) struggling to lift a 122mm shell above his head to throw it at an approaching American armoured vehicle - well I think
just about sums that idea up! What about the US Army crew? Are they fast asleep? Even the crew (heavily armed) in a Humvee would be able to see what's happening and do something about it!

Thrown in front of approaching vehicles from roadside.
Oh look, here comes an American vehicle - let's throw a heavy 122mm shell at it. Quick! It's going so fast!

Usually thrown by males—who are not always adults.
What? Children can pick up a very heavy shell and then 'throw' it at an American vehicle? Now that does make me

Time-delay triggered IEDs. IEDs that can be detonated by cordless phone from a car (allows for mobile firing platform and prevents tracing or triangulation): Factually incorrect. If you have to sit in a car, with a mobile phone, in direct 'line of sight', the IED becomes a command detonated weapon, not time delay 'mine' set to explode at a specific time.

Incidentially most, but not all, mobile phones operate on a single frequency,
hence the ability to track, triangulate their signal, record and even listen in on conversation between two people.

This technology has prevented serious terrorist attacks around the western world and so, it would be hoped, the technology is in place in Iraq.

Indeed, the British Army has a device which activly scans and jams the frequencies that are 'most likely' to be used by a terrorist to electronicly detonate such devices [IEDs]. I do not known if it has been deployed to Iraq.

posted on Sep, 11 2005 @ 10:14 AM

I have been criticized in other threads for 'not posting pictures' to alleviate the eyestrain of all my text so that was the principle reason I included that GSO page link. I agree that the image of some thobe clad Iraqi 'quarterback' hefting let alone lobbing a 152mm artillery round like an NFL pigskin is rather comical. As is the notion of a U.S. force willingly driving under an uncontrolled (inspected, top and bottom) highway overpass.

Cell networks ('mobiles' in my book are satphones where the cost of account useage is typically the paper trail method of isolating illicit user tracing.) use TDMA and spreading codes to keep the 2-4GHz instantaneous total bandwidth useage low. They are not exactly 'easy' to intercept, even if you have access to the networking header stacks (channel step equivalent carrier interrupt) per regional of use.

OTOH, if you head on over to Military.Com and do a search, sometime in the last couple weeks they had an interesting article on how one Ami system in use is less a 'jammer' than a /trapper/; isolating individual cell stations within a network (implying a 'digital battlefield' architecture in which independent U.S. force LINK thru 4th ID type networked vehicle EPLRS or similar to send GPS positions or timed-progress rates of travel back to to some centralized comms controler office) as a function of taking them out of service during passage through the zone.

This while maintaining a 'dial tone' apparency of live connect to users attempting to call up a potential bomb receiver in-zone being the method by which you allow for uncontested maneuver.

I don't recall whether they said that the individual start-end points could be triangulated as finite coordinates (certainly the receiver should be invulnerable so long as it is not 'logged in' as a passive-on scanner for an interrogation signal which never comes through to activate it)

But it should serve as a valid COMINT type means to generate data mining on caller IDs.

By which method you can generate target lists of "Who owns this phone, officially?" and if they no longer have it (or are using it illicitly) either bag them based on a 'three times and you're out' association with a known IED hazard detected/deactivated. Or a det event.

Or remove whatever equates to a transponder code on that particular unit's EEPROM card, permanently, from valid network use.

A countermeasure one would /assume/ is too expensive for local mutts in an economy 'still teetering on collapse in the wake of Saddams brutal dictatorship' to simply replace by-the-boxful (Tell me again, WHY does anyone not an emergency responder _need_ cell access in a largely subsistence economy?).

I don't know whether this is like unto your system or not. It certainly is not not the 'perfect defense' if it doesn't get you the 'shooter' so much as pour water down his barrel as it were.

But it probably remains a better option than running around with a broadband jammer as you drive by every suspicious pothole or roadside vehicle (something which basically took the 'garage door opener' threat off the table but which is harder to do against spread spectrum signals).

Or even when trying to laze'n'blaze (literally) that which you don't dare approach as a function of mechanical EOD.


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