You may recall that the White House's various mouthpieces have linked EFP's found in Afghanistan with meddling by the Iranian leadership, just as they have in Iraq. Not so fast, says the US Army's own resident bomb expert.
Five EFPs, which can penetrate armed vehicles and have caused numerous civilian and military casualties in Iraq, were found in Afghanistan this year, Col. Tom Kelly, deputy chief of ISAF [the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force - C] counter-bombs operations, told a press conference.Ascribing EFP manufacture to "criminal elements" is in perfect accord with the opinions of NATO allies in the region, the senior US General in Afghanistan and the opinions of independent experts.
The first EFP exploded south of the Afghan capital Kabul in January, but caused no casualties, Kelly said, adding the other four were captured either in the western Herat province bordering Iran or in Kabul before they went off.
This is the first time that EFPs were found in Afghanistan. This new trend has caused lots of attention and concerns among international troops deployed here, as Iraq-style bombs would greatly strengthen militants and terrorists here if transferred into Afghanistan.
However, Kelly said "We don't see Afghanistan and Iraq are associated on the improvised explosive devices (IEDs). We think Afghanistan and IEDs seen in Afghanistan really have their own unique signature."
...Kelly said "Some EFP components may be made in Iran, but it doesn't necessarily mean the Iranian government is behind it," as some explosive materials maybe are trafficked into Afghanistan by "criminal elements."
Yet the White house are insisting on creating an "assessed" tie between Afghanistan and Iraq, in order to say Iran is meddling in both US-led occupations. The evidence doesn't fit the bill for those claims in Afghanistan, but it's enough out of the publics' eye that officers there can get away with saying so. The evidence in Iraq fits a "criminal elements" explanation better than it does the "Quods Force/Iranian leadership" narrative too, but the message on Iraqi EFP's is so politicized and under such a tight leash after the last time Pace and Gates wandered off the preferred White House line that there's no chance of any military officer saying so out loud. And the mainstream media continue to facillitate the deception by not asking questions hard enough.
(H/T David Hambling at Danger Room, an expert who all along has asked the right questions.)