Saturday, February 21, 2009
"British" Muslims are providing the Taliban with electronic devices to make roadside bombs for use against British forces serving in Afghanistan
The devices, which enable Taliban fighters to detonate roadside bombs by remote control, are either sent to sympathizers in the region, or carried by volunteers who fly to Pakistan and then make their way across the border. Details of how British electronic components have been found in roadside bombs were given to David Miliband, the Foreign Secretary, when he visited British troops at their military compound at Lashkagar in Helmand province. In a briefing on British operations in southern Afghanistan by Brigadier Gordon Messenger, the Royal Marine commander of the British battlegroup, Mr Miliband was shown examples of the crude, home-made devices that are being used in attacks against British patrols. They included mobile phones filled with explosives, which could kill or seriously injure British soldiers patrolling on foot, and more sophisticated devices that can be used against military vehicles. Explosives experts who have examined the devices say they have found British-made electronic components that enable Taliban insurgents to detonate their home-made, road-side bombs by remote control. The electronic devices smuggled into Afghanistan from Britain range from basic remote control units that are normally used to fly model airplanes to more advanced components that enable insurgents to conduct attacks from up to a mile away from British patrols. "We have found electronic components in devices used to target British troops that originally come from Britain," a British explosives officer told Mr Miliband during a detailed briefing on the type of improvised explosive device (IED) used against British forces. When asked how the components had reached Afghanistan, the officer explained that they had either been sent from Britain, or physically brought to Afghanistan by British Muslims who had flown over. The disclosure is the latest in a string of suggestions from British commanders about the connections between British Muslims and violence in Afghanistan.