UK bans export of bomb detection device


The ADE651 device made by the British company ATSC is used at security checkpoints across Baghdad, and its makers claim it can detect explosives at a distance. But Britain's Department for Business Innovation and Skills halted the export of the ADE651 after a BBC-TV "Newsnight" investigation challenged its effectiveness.

The broadcaster took the key aspects of the device to a laboratory, which concluded that a component intended to detect explosives contained technology used to prevent thefts in stores.

"Tests have shown that the technology used in the ADE651 and similar devices is not suitable for bomb detection,'' the department said in a statement. A British news agency reported that police have arrested the company's director on suspicion of fraud. The findings on the ADE651 back up the US military, which has had concerns about the device for months. The military does not use it, and in June 2009 it distributed a study using laboratory testing and X-ray analysis that found the ADE651 ineffective.

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