Fake bomb detectors in Lebanon

Daily Star

UK authorities have arrested the man who made millions off of selling these fake bomb detectors. They were said to detect everything from explosives to drugs yet there was absolutely no science behind them, it’s now being reported–my mom was always suspicious.

That’s because these devices were ubiquitous in Lebanon since the hysteria that followed the wave of bombings from 2005-2009. Though noticeably on the decline over recent years, there was a time when these silly antennas were deployed at seemingly every mall and parking garage in the country, particularly downtown Beirut.

And they weren’t cheap. Apparently the UN paid $14,000 a piece for scanners it used in Lebanon.

I had heard even higher figures which I never found plausible until now. After mocking their usefulness, a security guard in downtown Beirut soberly told me the devices cost up to $30,000 each. I guess the joke was on him after all–and all the other businesses that got duped.

As part of the bogus protocol, security guards were trained to stomp their feet while walking past the car. It was hard to avoid laughing when they did this.

Once the antennae ominously pointed toward my car during the procedure. The guard asked my passenger if she had any skin cream in her purse because that would set it off. Turned out she did, so we placed the tube outside and he repeated the procedure. Nothing happened and we were waived through. We both thought it was really strange. Maybe a screw was loose.