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  • Enemy Adapts To Counter-IED Tactics

    Apr 27, 2010
    By Paul McLeary
    Washington

    One of the signatures of an IED attack orchestrated by Haqqani fighters is the use of ammonium nitrate. As a result, Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the International Security Assistance Force commander in Afghanistan, banned the import of ammonium nitrate fertilizer to Afghanistan. “When General McChrystal identified the threat to troops from ammonium nitrate-based fertilizers, none of which is produced in Afghanistan,” Oates said, “he went to [Afghan] President [Hamid] Karzai and in quick order had a presidential ban issued on ammonium nitrate fertilizers, both in the country and for importation.”
    more at AviationWeek (may require registration) http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/gener...p34-212149.xml
    Any metaphor will tear if stretched over too much reality.

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  • #2
    And we will counter that,and so on and so forth..........
    ALL LIVES SPLATTER!

    BLACK JEEPS MATTER!

    BLACK MOTORCYCLES MATTER!

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    • #3
      Yeah, the army about went bananas in Iraq when they found out nitrogen fertilizers were all over the place until I told them it was urea which could not be detonated like ammonium nitrate.
      "If you are right, then you are right even if everyone says you are wrong. If you are wrong then you are wrong even if everyone says you are right." William Penn.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by trailboss49 View Post
        Yeah, the army about went bananas in Iraq when they found out nitrogen fertilizers were all over the place until I told them it was urea which could not be detonated like ammonium nitrate.

        Urea-nitrate explosive can easily made out of urea fertilizer and nitric acid (practical expertise required), I believe that it was used for the 1993 bombing of the World Trade center.

        Urea-nitrate is more sensitive than Anfo and doesn't require as big a booster charge to initiate, in other words it's easier to use for IED altough it has a shorter "shelf life" and is trickier to fabricate.

        kelt

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        • #5
          Originally posted by kelt06 View Post
          Urea-nitrate explosive can easily made out of urea fertilizer and nitric acid (practical expertise required), I believe that it was used for the 1993 bombing of the World Trade center.

          Urea-nitrate is more sensitive than Anfo and doesn't require as big a booster charge to initiate, in other words it's easier to use for IED altough it has a shorter "shelf life" and is trickier to fabricate.

          kelt
          You are very misinformed.

          Where are you going to get the nitric acid?

          Where are you going to get the nitrate?

          It is a whole lot more difficult to find the materials and not kill yourself putting it together than plastic explosives presently used in IEDs.

          How do I know? Because the fact is that no bomb in Iraq has ever had anything containing urea in it. If it was easier to use they'd be using it. Duh!
          "If you are right, then you are right even if everyone says you are wrong. If you are wrong then you are wrong even if everyone says you are right." William Penn.

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          • #6
            Are most of the IED's encountered by US forces electrically operated, Radio frequency-cellularly or IR operated?

            Have the American troops adopted some of the devices to jam them?

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            • #7
              Originally posted by trailboss49 View Post
              You are very misinformed.

              Where are you going to get the nitric acid?

              Where are you going to get the nitrate?

              It is a whole lot more difficult to find the materials and not kill yourself putting it together than plastic explosives presently used in IEDs.

              How do I know? Because the fact is that no bomb in Iraq has ever had anything containing urea in it. If it was easier to use they'd be using it. Duh!


              Misinformed? i don't think so, being both military and civilian explosive operator qualified.

              - Is there a ban on nitric acid?, Irak has industrial capacity.

              - Urea-Nitrate is made by soaking urea in nitric acid, I won't go in details hereabout how it can be done safely but telling anybody that Urea cannot be transformed into bomb material is a bad idea.

              As long as there are military grade explosives around nobody needs to fool with low grade stuff like Anfo or Urea-Nitrate, but spreading the word that urea cannot be made bomb material is misleading, in such matter it's better to err on the side of caution.

              kelt

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Golani View Post
                Are most of the IED's encountered by US forces electrically operated, Radio frequency-cellularly or IR operated?

                Have the American troops adopted some of the devices to jam them?
                RF detonators (basically remote garage door openers) were common in Iraq for a while as were cell phone detonators. The US deployed jammers against them and the militants changed tactics.

                As far as I know, IEDs in Afghanistan have been largely hard wired or used pressure triggers. I've also seen reports that far more IEDs in Afghanistan were made with field expedients like ANFO. Iraq was somewhat unique as Saddam had stashed munitions everywhere in preparation for the US invasion. Eventually it will all get used up or seized by the INA.
                Any metaphor will tear if stretched over too much reality.

                Questions about our site? See the FAQ.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by GCoyote View Post
                  Eventually it will all get used up or seized by the INA.
                  I wouldn't bet on it...

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Golani View Post
                    Are most of the IED's encountered by US forces electrically operated, Radio frequency-cellularly or IR operated?

                    Have the American troops adopted some of the devices to jam them?
                    The majority of IEDs are now electronically ignited with the use of a battery.

                    Radio frequency and/or cellular phones were the favorite at one time. The Coalition forces for a number of years now have been using "Rhino" on their MRAPs and Humvees. These are devices which work very well, within a couple of hundred feet, they jam all electronic signals such as cell phones and other devices, so the movement to hand held operated devices keyed by a switch. These also create a lot of problems if you are trying to use a cell phone and the Army is playing games with their machines.

                    IEDs are still the weapon of choice by Al Queda & other like minded groups.
                    "If you are right, then you are right even if everyone says you are wrong. If you are wrong then you are wrong even if everyone says you are right." William Penn.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by kelt06 View Post
                      Misinformed? i don't think so, being both military and civilian explosive operator qualified.

                      - Is there a ban on nitric acid?, Irak has industrial capacity.

                      - Urea-Nitrate is made by soaking urea in nitric acid, I won't go in details hereabout how it can be done safely but telling anybody that Urea cannot be transformed into bomb material is a bad idea.

                      As long as there are military grade explosives around nobody needs to fool with low grade stuff like Anfo or Urea-Nitrate, but spreading the word that urea cannot be made bomb material is misleading, in such matter it's better to err on the side of caution.

                      kelt
                      Okay, tell me in Iraq where are you going to get nitric acid? I've been here almost 2 years & I have no idea.

                      The transformation process you describe is not stable and the terrorists here are not scientists. I wish they would start doing this, it would only destroy themselves & save a lot of innocents.

                      As long as Iran is a neighbor to Iraq there will never be a lack of plastic explosives for the bad guys.
                      "If you are right, then you are right even if everyone says you are wrong. If you are wrong then you are wrong even if everyone says you are right." William Penn.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by trailboss49 View Post
                        Okay, tell me in Iraq where are you going to get nitric acid? I've been here almost 2 years & I have no idea.

                        The transformation process you describe is not stable and the terrorists here are not scientists. I wish they would start doing this, it would only destroy themselves & save a lot of innocents.

                        As long as Iran is a neighbor to Iraq there will never be a lack of plastic explosives for the bad guys.
                        I'm not going to post here a detailed description of the actual process to make Urea-Nitrate, let's say that in a middle east Country there are plenty of freezers, cold storage rooms.... it doesn't take much to rig a setup to control the exothermic reaction.

                        My point is that Urea is like Ammo Nitrate a base for home made explosives, and the soldiers looking for terrorist workshops should not be told to disregard Urea as a possible component, remember, if it is trickier to fabricate and tends to decay faste, it is easier to initiate than Anfo.

                        kelt

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by kelt06 View Post
                          I'm not going to post here a detailed description of the actual process to make Urea-Nitrate, let's say that in a middle east Country there are plenty of freezers, cold storage rooms.... it doesn't take much to rig a setup to control the exothermic reaction.

                          My point is that Urea is like Ammo Nitrate a base for home made explosives, and the soldiers looking for terrorist workshops should not be told to disregard Urea as a possible component, remember, if it is trickier to fabricate and tends to decay faste, it is easier to initiate than Anfo.

                          kelt
                          Obviously you have not been to Iraq in the last 7 years. No, there are NOT plenty of freezer, cold storage rooms..ad infinitum.

                          There are few trained personnel who know how to work with chemicals safely in Iraq, fewer still that actually want to make bombs.

                          The resources are not here howevermuch your imagination makes them to be.

                          Plastic explosives from Iran are far more abundant, cheaper & reliable.

                          Why do you continue to bash your head against the wall or reality?
                          "If you are right, then you are right even if everyone says you are wrong. If you are wrong then you are wrong even if everyone says you are right." William Penn.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by trailboss49 View Post
                            Obviously you have not been to Iraq in the last 7 years. No, there are NOT plenty of freezer, cold storage rooms..ad infinitum.

                            There are few trained personnel who know how to work with chemicals safely in Iraq, fewer still that actually want to make bombs.

                            The resources are not here howevermuch your imagination makes them to be.

                            Plastic explosives from Iran are far more abundant, cheaper & reliable.

                            Why do you continue to bash your head against the wall or reality?
                            Trailboss,
                            You mentionned advising US Military personnel in irak that Urea was not a plausible bomb material:

                            Originally posted by trailboss49 View Post
                            Yeah, the army about went bananas in Iraq when they found out nitrogen fertilizers were all over the place until I told them it was urea which could not be detonated like ammonium nitrate.

                            I indicated that your advice was unsound, Urea Nitrate fertilizer like Ammonium Nitrate is a plausible base for home made explosives!

                            A sound advice to Military personnel looking for terrorist workshops would have been to tell them to take in account all basic bomb fabrication materials.

                            Now, to extricate yourself, you claim that home made bomb material is not a weapon of choice for the bad guys to make IED with in Irak since military grade explosives are freely available for it, I note that the military according to your own words disagree with you there!


                            kelt

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by kelt06 View Post
                              Trailboss,
                              You mentionned advising US Military personnel in irak that Urea was not a plausible bomb material:




                              I indicated that your advice was unsound, Urea Nitrate fertilizer like Ammonium Nitrate is a plausible base for home made explosives!

                              A sound advice to Military personnel looking for terrorist workshops would have been to tell them to take in account all basic bomb fabrication materials.

                              Now, to extricate yourself, you claim that home made bomb material is not a weapon of choice for the bad guys to make IED with in Irak since military grade explosives are freely available for it, I note that the military according to your own words disagree with you there!


                              kelt
                              No, my advice was and is still sound in spite of your imaginary workshops and supplies that do not exist over here.

                              Why am I confident that my advice is sound? Because in the 7 years of Coalition forces being in Iraq never once has a 'nitrogen fertilizier' bomb been found much less used. Look at the real world, not the one you make up in your mind.

                              No, the military does not disagree with me. After I explained the difference in nitrogren fertilizers they thanked me and forgot that this was a problem since it is not now nor has it ever been a problem in Iraq.

                              Take your chemistry lab and go help the dude in NY City. How much do you want to bet that nitrogen ferilizer in the SUV was also urea? Only goes to show just how dumb some people are.
                              "If you are right, then you are right even if everyone says you are wrong. If you are wrong then you are wrong even if everyone says you are right." William Penn.

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