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Weapons: Iranian EFPs for Instant Ambushes
   Next Article → WARPLANES: HUD Begins to Fade Away
April 13, 2007: Iran keeps getting blamed for supplying explosively formed penetrators (EFPs) weapons to Iraqi terrorists,  mainly because Iran has long advocated the use of this specialized weapon. Iranian supported Hizbollah, in Lebanon, has long used EFP weapons against Israeli troops. So far, such weapons have accounted for about five percent of the Coalition combat deaths in Iraq, and about eleven percent of those killed by roadside bombs. The EFP is nasty because it can penetrate the armor on just about anything but an M-1 tank.

 

An EFP is a precision weapon, not an ad-hoc assemblage of explosives (like most roadside bombs). Your typical EFP is a cylindrical device, the optimal one often described as similar to a coffee can. But the cylinder metal must be thicker. You fill about 60 percent of the "coffee can" with explosives (C4, also known as plastique will do). Then you insert a detonator on the closed end of the "coffee can" and a concave copper plug that is pushed into the plastic explosive. The tricky part here is that the depth of the concave copper part, and the thickness of the copper, have to be just right. It requires someone expert at math and the chemistry of explosives to make those calculations. You can make a mould for casting the copper plug, but you must make sure you get the thickness just right.

 

You set the device off with the detonator, either via wire, or wireless, connection. When the C4 explodes, it forms the copper cap into a blob of molten copper, moving faster than a speeding bullet (about 1,500 meters a second). The blob stays intact, and lethal, for a few hundred meters, traveling pretty much in a straight line. However, the the EFP weapon is still difficult to aim. The user has to place it so that, when it goes off, it will hit a vehicle sitting in a position the user has already figured out. For this reason, EFPs are usually set up at places where vehicles have to stop.

 

When the EFP hits an armored vehicle, it burns and punches its way through the armor. Once inside the vehicle, it injures or kills whoever it hits, as well igniting combustible material and generally scaring the hell out of everyone.

 

EFPs weigh under ten pounds, are small and easily carried and concealed. They are quick to set up. With all that, only about 500 have been used. Some appear to have been made in Iraqi workshops, in Shia parts of the country. But most others appear to come from Iran. Naturally, these "Iranian EFPs" don't have any distinguishing marks on them (indicating a state arms factory, or a "Made in Iran" label). The Iranians are not stupid, they don't want to admit supplying these weapons. But all indications are that, most EFPs are made in Iran. And their main purpose is to kill American and British troops, and cause more chaos in Iraq.


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RockyMTNClimber    More Background   4/13/2007 11:18:06 AM

Ht****tp://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/17103722/site/newsweek

 

By Babak Dehghanpisheh

Newsweek

Updated: 2:18 p.m. MT Feb 12, 2007

Feb. 11, 2007 - The long-awaited Baghdad briefing had plenty of props. There were two tables stacked with mortars and rocket-propelled grenades, a PowerPoint slide show and, perhaps most importantly, a particularly nasty weapon known as an EFP, or explosively formed penetrator. …..

The centerpiece of the administration’s case was an EFP, a device resembling a large tin of powdered milk that is stuffed with explosive filler and capped with a copper liner. When the EFP detonates, a fist-sized piece of molten copper shoots out at high speed into the target. It’s a powerful weapon: a picture of an Iraqi squad car shredded by an EFP shown at today’s briefing illustrated how the copper piece had torn through the entire car and lodged in the trunk. These explosives become even deadlier when paired up with passive infrared triggers, a switch that's also used with lights and harder to detect than some more traditional triggering mechanisms. A senior official said that EFPs have killed 170 Coalition soldiers and wounded approximately 620. "We're acknowledging they have been effective," he said. Their usage, predominantly by Shiite militants, nearly doubled in 2006, according to the military briefers.

The EFP parts, the officials claimed, are shuttled across the border with Iran at night, along with money and other weapons, through centuries-old smuggling trails. Three problematic border points were listed: Mehran, which is due east of Baghdad, the marsh areas around the southern city of Amara and the border crossing near Basra. The Iranian fingerprint, these officials claimed, was in the pieces used to manufacture the EFPs, as well as the usage of the infrared triggers. "Some components are solely found in Iran," the senior defense official said.

According to the briefers, it was the use of EFPs by another Iranian-supported group, Lebanon’s Hizbullah, that led American military officials to suspect a possible Iranian link. Hizbullah has used EFPs against the Israeli Army in southern Lebanon repeatedly in the late '90s. In Iraq, they are used by splinter factions of the Shiite Mahdi Army, or "rogue JAM" in military shorthand, which have allegedly been assembling and planting the explosives. The officials also noted that they had been used by the "Shaybani network," a group run by a former commander of the Badr Brigade called Abu Mustafa Shaybani. The intelligence analyst said that Shaybani no longer had links to the Badr Brigade, a rival Shiite group to Moqtada al-Sadr’s Mahdi Army that has now renamed itself the Badr Organization and has members in the Iraqi Parliament. Shaybani, these officials claimed, is currently in Iran and lives with members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), specifically the Qods Force. ......... cont'd

 Hey, Nancy Pelos
 
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RockyMTNClimber    While Pelosi is sashaying around Iran in her Burkha..   4/18/2007 11:22:27 AM
Iranian Weapons Found in Afghanistan
Associated Press  |  April 18, 2007
WASHINGTON - U.S. forces in Afghanistan recently intercepted Iranian-made mortars and other weaponry in Afghanistan, although it is not clear they were shipped directly from Iran, the military's top general said Tuesday.

 

Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said that unlike in Iraq, where U.S. officials say they are certain that arms are being supplied to insurgents by Iran's secretive Quds Force, the Iranian link in Afghanistan is murky.

"It is not as clear in Afghanistan which Iranian entity is responsible, but we have intercepted weapons in Afghanistan headed for the Taliban that were made in Iran," Pace told a group of reporters over breakfast.

He said the weapons, including mortars and C-4 plastic explosives, were intercepted in Kandahar province in southern Afghanistan within the past month. He did not describe the quantity of intercepted materials or say whether it was the first time Americans forces had found Iranian-made arms in that country.

Asked about Pace's remarks, a Pentagon spokesman, Army Col. Gary Keck, said he had not heard of previous instances of Iranian weaponry being found in Afghanistan but he was not certain this was the first time.

With regard to Iranian activities in Iraq, Pace said it is clear that Quds Force members are involved in the network that supplies materials to make roadside bombs, which are a leading killer of U.S. troops in Iraq.

"We know that there are munitions that were made in Iran that are in Iraq and in Afghanistan," he said, adding that it also is clear that the Quds Force reports to the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, which reports directly to Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

"We surmise from that one of two things: Either the leadership of the country knows what their armed forces are doing, or they don't know. In either case that's a problem," Pace said.
 
With their success in killing US soldiers in Iraq it was only natural that they support the Taliban/Alqueda forces in Afghanistan too. Maybe Speaker Pelosi could negotiate those weapons out of Afghanistan too.
 
Check Six
 
Rocky
 
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