US offers $3m reward in Iraq explosives investigation

US offers $3m reward in Iraq explosives investigation
US federal authorities are offering a $3 million reward for information on a man illegally obtaining American made technology that was later used for IEDs in Iraq.
2 min read
21 November, 2018
Attacks occur regularly in Iraq [Getty]

United States federal authorities are offering a $3 million reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of a man wanted for illegally obtaining American technology that was later used in improvised explosive devices in Iraq.

Authorities say 55-year-old Hossein Ahmad Larijani is believed to be in Tehran, Iran.

He was indicted in 2010 on charges related to exporting radio transceiver modules made by a Minnesota company, which has not been publicly identified.

Authorities say Larijani orchestrated a scheme in which 6,000 modules were shipped to Singapore, under the guise that they'd be used in a telecommunications project. Instead, the devices were then shipped to Iran and used in IEDs that targeted US and coalition forces in Iraq from 2008 to 2010.

Three of Larijani's co-defendants from Singapore have pleaded guilty. A fourth remains at large in Singapore.

The US, along with allies led the invasion of Iraq in a 2003 military operation, which at the time sparked global outrage.

Whilst the US and allies claimed they were bringing stability to Iraq by ousting dictator Saddam Hussein and ridding Iraq of alleged weapons of mass destruction, the country spiralled into abyss as a result of war and corruption.

The power vacuum in the country paved way for the rise of militias, sectarian extremism and ungovernable spaces, along with a humanitarian crisis.

Most recently, Iraq faced the rise of the Islamic State militant group, which swept into the war-torn country in the summer of 2014.

The militants overran huge parts of Iraq and Syria in that year, threatening the capital Baghdad itself, until Iraqi militias and the army managed to fight back.

Since their defeat in Iraq this year and a series of major defeats to US-led forces in Syria, the group now controls just a small sliver of territory along the Euphrates River in eastern Syria's Deir az-Zour province.

Despite the set-backs, IS have managed to launch bomb attacks, assassinations and kidnappings in Iraq, particularly outside the Shia south and capital Baghdad which benefit from tighter security.

IS has concentrated on gaining ground by launching guerilla attacks on Iraqi military and civilians in north and western Iraq.

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