Counter-Terrorism: Shoppers Seek Bomb Barriers in Baghdad


June 28, 2007: One of the worst side effects of the terror bombings in Baghdad, is that it makes people reluctant to go out and, more importantly, to shop. This hurts the economy, especially the retail trade. So the U.S. Army came up with a bold idea. They are setting up 1,800 concrete blast wall sections in one of the city's major market places. Some merchants objected, because the blast wall sections were tall enough to block a view of their shop. But they soon realized that they could put signs and posters on the blast wall blocks. It was also quickly noticed that customers were more abundant, and more relaxed. If the terrorists did bomb the market, the blast wall sections would greatly limit the damage. That was enough to bring out a lot of shoppers.

Of course, the key technique for dealing with the terrorist bombings is to shut down the bomb workshops, and capture the bomb builders. That is happening at a more rapid clip with the current surge offensive. American intelligence has long known a lot about the bomb makers, and the general location of the bomb workshops. But this involved a large area, and until recently, there was not a large enough troops to go in and cordon off, and search, the entire neighborhoods and suburban towns where the bomb builders were known to be. Bombings are down since the beginning of the year, as are arrests of bomb builders and the destruction of workshops. But the terrorists have responded by fleeing their usual haunts. The big question now is, will many of the bomb building teams currently "in transit," find a new place to set up shop before they are caught.


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