Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Al Qaqaa Explosives

What are the chances that common sense will be used by any of the newspapers covering the missing Al Qaqaa explosives? Wouldn't you think that the average terrorist would feel pretty much stocked up after he stole his, oh, I don't know, first 20 tons of RDX? One pound of this stuff will bring down an airplane. Think you'd need 30 tons, you know, in case of a rainy day? And if the bad guys have this stuff, why are their roadside bombs still made from salvaged explosives from warheads? Why haven't the car bombs been bigger? Load a car to the gills with high explosives and you could have some pretty impressive body counts. Anyway, so now the report comes out for those who really can imagine terrorists making dozens of trips to the depot to get just the last scrap of high explosives:

(CNN) -- The mystery surrounding the disappearance of 380 tons of powerful explosives from a storage depot in Iraq has taken a new twist, after a network embedded with the U.S. military during the invasion of Iraq reported that the material had already vanished by the time American troops arrived.

NBC News reported that on April 10, 2003, its crew was embedded with the U.S. Army's 101st Airborne Division when troops arrived at the Al Qaqaa storage facility south of Baghdad.

While the troops found large stockpiles of conventional explosives, they did not find HMX or RDX, the types of powerful explosives that reportedly went missing, according to NBC.

The International Atomic Energy revealed Monday that it had been told two weeks ago by the Iraqi government that 380 tons of HMX and RDX disappeared from Al Qaqaa after Saddam Hussein's government fell.

In a letter to the IAEA dated October 10, Iraq's director of planning, Mohammed Abbas, said the material disappeared sometime after Saddam's regime fell in April 2003, which he attributed to "the theft and looting of the governmental installations due to lack of security."

Baghdad fell on April 9, 2003. According to NBC, troops from the 101st Airborne arrived the next day to find that the material was already gone.