Monday, 18 June 2007

The Geek War

Time magazine has printed an interview with an iraqi bomb-maker, one of those responsible for the construction of the sophisticated devices that are the cause of most American casualties (and which the US government still blames Iran for). It makes for very interesting reading. Here's an excerpt:
Saif Abdallah says his inventions have helped kill or maim scores, possibly hundreds, of Americans. For more than four years, he has been developing remote-control devices that Sunni insurgents use to detonate improvised explosive devices (IEDs), the roadside bombs that are the No. 1 killer of U.S. soldiers in Iraq. The only time he ever felt a pang of regret was in the spring of 2006, when he heard that the Pentagon, in a bid to fight the growing IED menace, had roped in a team of scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Abdallah, an electronics engineer by training, once dreamed of studying for a Ph.D. there. "I thought to myself, If my life had gone differently, who knows? I might have been on that team," he says, his eyes widening as he imagines that now impossible scenario. Then he shrugs. "God decided I should be on the other side."


Edit 1: Thaks to foodi for pointing out that I had forgotten to link to the article in question. I have now done so.

Edit 2: In an op-ed article in the NYT, John Robb called the war in Iraq the first "Open-Source War". After watching the Islamic State of Iraq's video instruction manual/propaganda documentary "Hunting the Minesweepers" and its slick presentation on how to take out the latest armoured vehicles the U.S. army has deployed in Iraq, the term seems a particularly apt one.

1 comment:

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