Al Qaeda Wages Electronic War against US Forces in Iraq
From DEBKA-Net Weekly Updated by DEBKAfile
April 10, 2007, 9:00 PM (GMT+02:00)
In 2006, the Pentagon spent $1.4 bn
to develop sophisticated counter measures for roadside bombs, which account for more US deaths in Iraq than any other weapon. They were designed to locate and detonate the improvised explosive devices IEDs from afar, before American convoys drove past the spot where they are planted.One such system has a sense of smell which sniffs out the presence of explosives; another uses radio beams to jam the IED's electronic signals.
Soon after they were fitted on US military vehicles and went into successful use, al Qaeda came up with a device capable of jamming and disarming both US electronic measures by radio signals. The Islamist terrorists thus escalated their challenge to the US military by introducing electronic warfare.
Their success has boosted the US and British death toll in Iraq. Of the 50 US and UK soldiers who died in Iraq in the first 9 days of April, 30 were killed by IEDs. Al Qaeda's mystery device is believed by military experts to account for the soaring rate of effective roadside bomb hits on American vehicles, even those fitted with the new counter-measures.
The Pentagon department entrusted with finding a new solution, the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization, is working day and night to produce a new counter-measure which is not susceptible to the al Qaeda blocker.
The Israeli high command is anxiously watching this turn in the Iraq war for two reasons:
Firstly, operational innovations appearing on one terror warfront tend to spread with the speed of a contagion to the other fronts.
Secondly, al Qaeda is suspected of acquiring its advanced electronic warfare technology from Iran,
which also supplies the IEDs to Iraq's Shiite militias and Sunni insurgents. Tehran owns an interest in the successful performance of its weaponry on Iraq's battlefields and, most of all, in proving its technology is superior to American systems. If Iran is indeed the source of al Qaeda's blocking device, then it is only a matter of time before this advanced electronic technology reaches Hizballah in Lebanon and is smuggled to the Palestinian Hamas and Jihad Islam in the Gaza Strip.
According to some military experts, the system is already in the hands of one or more of these terrorist groups, but is being held in reserve to catch the Israeli military unawares at the right moment. The device could expose an advancing tank column in Lebanon or the Gaza Strip to mass casualties.
But there are other possible sources:1. Al Qaeda developed the technology on its own. The problem with this hypothesis is that the Pentagon, to produce the US anti-IED jammers, activated America's most advanced and best-equipped scientific and technological infrastructure, a network of test laboratories and hundreds of the finest scientific and electronic engineering brains. Where would al Qaeda find these resources?
2. Some private military-scientific element outside Iran, unknown to the US, contracted to develop al Qaeda's counter-jammers for a price running into hundreds of millions of dollars.
This is not entirely far-fetched. An enterprise of this kind, headed by the father of Pakistan's nuclear bomb, A.Q. Khan, once ran a black market which illegally flogged nuclear wares to North Korea, Libya, Iran and China.
http://tinyurl.com/38z7x8OK NOW BALANCE THAT STORY AGAINST THIS ONE:
Pentagon Bomb Squad Under Fire (Updated)After six billion dollars
and over three years, the Pentagon is finally going to examine the office that is supposed to help solve the improvised bomb problem. More telling, one of the people tapped to head the review was a vocal war critic early on. Congress was already casting a suspicious eye towards the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization (JIEDDO).
Now, it seems, some in the Defense Department have grown frustrated, too. As the Boston Globe reports: Ied Alarmed by a spike in deadly roadside bombings in Iraq
, the Pentagon has enlisted an early critic of the US war strategy to reevaluate the controversial office that has spent billions of dollars but failed to curb the biggest killer of American troops, according to Defense Department officials and documents.
Late last month, Undersecretary of Defense Kenneth Krieg ordered the creation of a special task force to analyze the effectiveness of the struggling Joint Improvised Explosive Devices Defeat Organization, hailed as a "mini-Manhattan Project"
when it was established more than three years ago.
The review is designed to serve as an "independent sounding board," according to a Defense Department memo, and will be co chaired by Eric Evans, an electrical engineer and director of Lincoln Laboratory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Paul E. Funk, a retired three-star Army general who publicly doubted that Iraq could be easily stabilized by military force.
Before US troops toppled Saddam Hussein in March 2003, Funk derided top Bush administration officials in several media interviews as thinking "all wars are small and will be over quickly." He also warned that US forces could be in Iraq "for years," believing that the United States did not have sufficient forces to pacify the country and would probably face years of resistance from home-grown forces.
It's about time. Nobody outside the Pentagon seemed to know much about JIEDDO, due to secrecy. And a lot of folks inside the military's explosives-fighting community had a pretty low opinion of the group. (The aimless wandering about bomb sites and critiques of the very units that were defusing the deadly weapons didn't help.) Looks like its time for a reevaluation.
UPDATE: One positive effect from all this scrutiny is that JIEDDO is finally starting to open up about what the group has been doing. Here's retired General Montgommery Meigs, the organization's chief, in a Marine Corps Times opinion piece:
But to say JIEDDO and the troops in the field to whom we provide new capabilities and techniques have not made progress does a disservice to soldiers and Marines in harm's way and to hardworking service members and civilians in our organization, many of them veterans of combat.
Ask the troops about the training they now receive in the maneuver exercises at the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center at Twentynine Palms, Calif., and the Army's Combat Training Centers, where the IED threat is now portrayed violently and realistically. JIEDDO provided the funds and a good deal of the concepts.
Ask troops downrange who have had former Special Forces personnel from our Training Advisory Teams go on patrol to help them improve their combat skills under fire whether JIEDDO's trainers made a difference. In the past year, JIEDDO has funded almost 14,000 jammers for Marine and Army units; the total buy will reach more than 30,000 by year's end. [16,000 jammers in a year?!?!?
-- ed.] This gear saves lives every day. We funded 8,100 Frag Kit V armor sets for Army and Marine M1114s and M1151s.
We fielded robots for explosive ordnance disposal teams, Cougar vehicles for route clearance teams, and Guardian, a man-portable jammer for dismounted operations. JIEDDO worked with the Army to accelerate from delivery in fiscal 2008 and 2009 the Warrior-A unmanned aerial vehicles and Constant Hawk and Highlighter aircraft now operating in support of II Marine Expeditionary Force, 1st Cavalry Division, and the 25th Infantry Division in Iraq, an unprecedented intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capability.
Additionally, by focusing the efforts of elements of the national intelligence community, JIEDDO organizes products that go to units daily to support their efforts to destroy the networks that do the senseless bloody work of attacking civilians and coalition troops. We've seen hits on the pages of our intelligence Web site rocket to more than 200,000 in just a couple of weeks.
HYPOTHESIS: Iran has an spy in JIEDDO, which allowed them to defeat USA's eletronic bomb jammers.
It would stand to reason either someone got their hands on one of the jamers or the blue prints. This counter-jamer wasn't made in Afghan.
Houston we have a problem.
Update Question:Jeddo's Paradigm
Aut viam inveniam aut faciamInjury paradigm.
Labels: ied, IRAN, jamer, jieddo, spies