The Iraqi government bought about 6,000 such devices for $40 million between 2008 and 2010, according to the BBC, which aired an investigation of Mr. McCormick in 2010. During the trial, the Old Bailey heard that Mr. McCormick had copied the design from a $20 novelty golf ball finder he had seen in the United States.
While many checkpoints use sniffing dogs and mirrors to check the undersides of truck and car carriages for bombs, Mr. McCormick’s so-called “ADE 651” is still the most ubiquitous of all bomb-detecting devices.
When asked why security forces still use such obviously fake gizmos, a spokesman for Iraq’s Ministry of Interior, Brigadier General Sa’ad Ma’an, said the ADEs have a proven, if imperfect, track record.
“Our practical experience on the ground proved that this device is working and it helped us discover explosive materials and weapons,” he said. “So I’m not saying that the device is working 100%, but it helped us a lot.”
By way of an example, Brig. Gen. Ma’an said officers were able to identify and stop an explosives-laden car on Saturday. Security forces will continue to use the device until “we have a better and more efficient” alternative, he said.
What a bunch of boneheads. THE DEVICE DOES NOT DETECT EXPLOSIVES. It’s helping your people feel better but that’s all.
Addition: And Kenya! BBC News – Kenya police: Bomb detectors not fake.
Also, see this summary of Professor Bruce Hood’s involvement in the case against McCormick.