Ernest Hancock 
Website: www.ernesthancock.com
Date: 04-18-2007
Subject: Gun Rights

Improvised Explosive Devices , the technology and materials to construct the current generation of such devices our boys are getting hit by. You don't need to go to Iran when the Internet will do just fine. (Solution: stop occupying foreign lands...)
(Publisher: I just did a phone interview with a London reporter (4pm Az Time 07-17-2009) that was very interested in this article. I recorded it and will be playing it on my radio show Monday morning :)

I'll include the MP3 here in this article.... for you, 'cause I'm a nice guy :)
 The original article is at the end of this updated version written 07-22-2009

By Name Witheld By Request
For nearly a year now, the Bush administration has been screaming to anyone who still bothers to listen to them that these pesky Improvised Explosive Devices would not be nearly so deadly or as prevalent if it were not for evil Iran providing Iraqi resistance fighters the technology and materials to construct the current generation of such devices our boys are getting hit by. Oh sure, the Iraqis would still be hitting us with roadside bombs, these squawkers say, but they try to give the impression that the devices would be several levels less in sophistication and lethality today, but for them damned Iranians. To hear Bush's propoganda spin-meisters put it, if it weren't for Ahmadinejad, the Iraqis would be reduced to throwing nothing but mere Molotov Cocktails.
But is this true? Well, it is safe to say the Bush Administration has a credibility problem. And it has been expected for some time that Bush would like to find an excuse to engage Iran militarily. Perhaps even stooping low enough to fabricate such an excuse. They've done it before, after all. Key to determining if these allegations are true, as in any challenge of wrong-doing, is Habeus Corpus. No, not a court challenge, necessarily, but "produce the body";...show us the evidence. This is the Brave New World Order of the GWOT (global war on terror), however, and Bush's Ober-Leutnants aren't big on evidence, as we have seen time and time again.
Still, it is indeed true Iran is looking forward to the day when the rest of the world retreats from Iraq so they can absorb it into themselves. Iran DOES indeed have motivation to assist the Iraqi resistance. It certainly COULD be true. Then there is the question of "so what?" Even if it IS true,...does it even matter?
To guide us in answering these questions for ourselves, we need to know more detail about the specific advantages the Bush camp is claiming Iran has provided. Until recently, the allegation was that the IEDs planted by Iraqis in the last 2 years have increasingly in ratio consisted of devices using Explosively Formed Penetrators, or EFPs.
Go to fullsize image
EFPs are not a new technology. They have been around since at least WWII, and are derived from experimentation with the more commonly known Shaped Charge used in most anti-tank warheads.
To understand how the EFP works, let us first examine the Shaped Charge. An armor-penetrating shaped charge is a cylinder that at one end has an inverted metalic cone (usually copper) which said cylinder is filled with explosive.
A detonation is initiated from the end opposite of the inverted copper cone. As the detonation wave reaches the tip of the cone, the copper is thrust forward with the blast front. As the blast wave progresses forward, the rest of the cone follows suit. However, the angle of the cone also directs the progressing detonation wave towards the middle of the empty space of the cone's cavity, producing a liquified molten jet of copper that is travelling at incredible velocity.
The molten stream of high velocity metal bores a hole through several inches of armor, creating horrible destruction to anyone inside.
Explosive charges such as these are what make up the warhead of nearly any Rocket-Propelled Grenade (RPG) or similar projectile meant to defeat armor. Because the projectile is intended to detonate upon impact, the design of these devices is such that the gas jet of molten copper is focussed just a few inches in front of the charge itself. This is called the "stand-off", or the distance required from the explosive charge to the target to allow the jet to form together to a pinpoint so that it has the intesified energy to do what it does. The projectile's nosecone is usually the means by which the stand-off is maintained for uniform and effective performance. But it is the deep (or shallow) angle of the inverted copper cone (which becomes the molten stream) that determines how close or far away the stream comes together to form the deadly armor-perforating stuff that punches inside and creates an instantanious crematorium.
However, in experimentations at Frankford Arsenal between WWII and Vietnam, U.S. Army Ordnance Corp technicians played around with shaped charges that had varied and different degrees of angle to their inverted copper cones. In some of these experiements the copper liners were not even cones, but were just plain flat, while others had barely a perceptible depression to them at all, and all manner of cupped or dish-shapes.
It was discovered that while steeply (or deeply) inverted cone-shaped copper liners produced a streaming jet of molten copper immediately in front of the charge, cones that had a very shallow angle to them, resembling more of a platter than a cone, tended to throw the center of the copper platter forward just ahead of the main body. The rest of the platter's radius would then begin to fold back on itself, forming into a projectile that looked similar to a badminton shuttlecock or cone-like dart. This allowed for the creation of an aimable anti-tank mine that could be concealed off to the side of a roadway.
Go to fullsize image
This development was of interest to the military because armor on tanks is always thickest up front, but thinner on the sides, top and back.
The U.S. has encountered Directional Mines before. They were not uncommon in Vietnam. The VC used to scrounge unexploded U.S. artillery shells and use the reclaimed explosives as the filler for their own "platter charges". They were able to craft these crude devices in jungle workshops that sometimes consisted of nothing more than workers using hammers and anvils to pound out concave ends that would be fitted to pieces of 55 gallon oil drums that had been sectioned into pieces 6 inches deep. With their massive size, they made up for in sheer blast energy what they lacked in quality construction or skilled aiming. Among other uses, these would be emplaced and camoflaged on the banks of waterways for use in ambushing U.S. Navy patrol boats. The waterways were an important supply network for the VC, and the Navy boats were a real niusance to them. More than a few PBRs were sunk by these.
Where did the VC learn to make these things? From the U.S. Special Forces themselves, actually. Remember the Frankford Arsenal guys? Well, in the early 60's, as JFK expanded the size and role of U.S. SF units, the Army got more supportive of them as well. As originally conceived, the role of Special Forces in the event the Cold War went hot, was to be active behind enemy lines with bands of partizans and resistance fighters. Toward that end, SF troopers were to not only be soldiers, but teachers of skills to those they would be supporting and interacting with. The guys at Frankford Arsenal put together a sort of fieldguide text book of all the assorted nasties they had been fooling around with, which was meant to be not only studied by SF soldiers, but taken with them into theatres of operations to share with their allied partizans, making use of illustrations to help defeat language barriers.
When our Special Forces guys first started going deep into the Vietnamese countryside and training rural country boys to be partners in defeating the communists, they used these texts, and copies eventually got into the hands of the enemy. Thanks, G.I.!!!! Since 1975, these Frankford Arsenal texts have been available via mail order in the U.S. in magazines such as Soldier Of Fortune and others. And of course, today, nearly all manner of weaponry ever devised is available on the internet, if you know where to look. (Where do you think I found these pictures?)
In fact, this information and technology was so commonly available by the 90's, it was used by Germany's Red Army Faction (also known as the Baader-Meinhoff Gang) to assasinate the chief of Deutsche Bank, Alfred Herrhausen, in 1989.  He was being chauffeured to work in his armoured Mercedes-Benz, with bodyguards in both a lead vehicle and another following behind. The bomb had been hidden in a school bag on a bicycle next to the road that the terrorists knew Herrhausen would be traveling in his three-car convoy. In the bag was a 20-kg bomb that was detonated when Herrhausen's car interrupted a beam of light as it passed the bicycle. The bomb and its triggering mechanism were quite sophisticated. The bomb targeted the most vulnerable area of Herrhausen's car"the door where he was sitting"and required split-second timing to overcome the car's special armour plating. It is unlikely that this IED had the precise engineering required to form the liner into a more effective slug or "carrot" shape, but in any case, the detonation resulted in a mass of copper being projected toward the car at a speed of nearly two kilometers per second, effectively penetrating the armoured Mercedes. (To be fair, however, it must be said that some believe it was the fact that Herrhausen sat on the World Bank and wanted to make significant changes, and that these people believe the assasination was a "false flag" op, performed by the CIA. Who knows?)
So the basic science and know-how to make directional (aimable) IEDs that can destroy vehicles from concealed positions completely off the roadway has been generally available to the entire world for some time. Is it really any surprise then that this old technology has reared it's head in Iraq? Quite expected, actually, I would say. Pictured below is one of the captured directional mines using EFPs that the coalition commanders are claiming comes from Iran.
A disarmed captured specimen was taken to Britain's explosive ordnance tech guys and disected and anylized. It was declared that the device exhibited a such a level of craftsmanship and sophistication that it had to have been fabricated by use of a lathe and trained ordnance engineers with experience in munitions manufacture. But while that is perhaps true, higher level commanders then made the LEAP OF LOGIC that this was evidence of Iranian assistance. Really?
I have a metal lathe in my garage. I imagine there are a few hundred machine shops throughout Iraq, and many privately owned metal lathes sprinkled throughout the country as well. A good friend of mine is a former Army Captain who commanded for a time at a U.S. Army Ordnance Depot. After leaving the army, he went to school on the G.I. bill to become an aerospace machinist. Knowing what he does about these 2 careers in his life, I am confident that if Arizona were ever invaded by an occupying force, my friend and I could turn out some effective nasties in my garage "VC gun factory". It isn't too hard to imagine that there are former Iraqi army personel with skills like my friend. It isn't a stretch at all to imagine how these refined devices could be made entirely "in house". After all, after 4 years of war, all the stupid fighters are dead, and only the smart one remain. 4 years is long enough to conduct live fire R&D to see what works and what doesn't. Just because the Iraqi resistance is exhibiting an ability to evolve and enhance themselves is not, by itself, evidence of assistance by Iran. At least in this regard, assitance by Iran is nearly impossible to prove. Rather importantly, the Bush administration KNOWS this.
And what if a raid conducted on a weapons factory in Bagdad did in fact result in capturing an Iranian ordnance engineer? Whould THAT prove anything. Hardly! The war has inspired Al-Quaida types from all over the muslim world to go to Iraq and assist their bretheren, out of their own personal motivation. Such a prisoner would have to be wearing his Iranian military uniform and have signed orders in his pocket before you could convincingly allege he was sent by the government of Iran. That is why I, and others like myself who understand how unsophisticated the manufacture of explosive ordnance devices really are, are extremely skeptical of any Bush camp claims of Iranian involvement. It certainly COULD be true. But it simply cannot be proved.
I hope this has educated you a little as to what these devices are all about and how they work. For further study and review I have included a few links that provide interesting places to start.