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back to article Gadget-buying Taliban 5th column in Blighty - shock!

Widespread media reports suggest Taliban bomb-makers in Afghanistan use electronics sourced in the UK - perhaps bought by British or British-resident Muslim sympathisers. These stories are based on a report by the Telegraph, covering a briefing given to UK Foreign Secretary David Miliband by the commander and staff of 3 Commando …

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Heart

Killing our own

I am a Brit (but not by birth) and an ex soldier and totally agree with your point about those who conspire to kill our own forces...

Damn them.

Smiley heart face because I am wondering why we cannot all live together in peace.....

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Ahh, Maplin.

The chain of shops left that actually sells cool stuff.

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Pirate

Brits become terrorsits?

This is just scaremongering people to think. That anyone buying any product could be a terrorist.

If Mr Ahemd walks into poundland and buys a big blind man remote hes not a terrorist.

A activation switch can be anything that can generate a current when it is requested to. Anything that beeps. Flashes or even moves can be used.

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Anonymous Coward

Silly

That's a very UK centric view you have there. Do you imagine the UK is alone in the world in having electronics?

Here's a typical Pakistani version of Maplin:

http://www.quadrikits.com.pk/remote_control.html

IMHO the officer is just making a case for some domestic monitoring of Maplin rather than seriously trying to link timers to the UK.

Christ, you Brits with your elevated self worth. God only knows what would happen if you visited Akihabara or Pantip, some sort of head exploding perhaps!

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Boffin

That explains it.

So running down science education, closing chemistry and physics depts, etc was all a plan to make sure that nobody knows how to build a bomb (now if we can only as stamp out reading)

Of course, some might think that destroying the country's scientific and manufacturing base to prevent an imaginary threat was an over-reaction but you can't be too careful with terrorism, the ads on the tube say so.

(there isn't a no boffin icon)

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What's the betting that...

...that loony fishwife in the home office starts trying to outlaw stuff like this?

http://www.maplin.co.uk/Module.aspx?ModuleNo=226037

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Anonymous Coward

Silly part 2

Iran version of Maplins:

http://partshop.eca.ir/

Really, you fell for a silly Telegraph made up story and swallowed it hook line and sinker.

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Terrorist bomb bazaar of DEATH

Genius!

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Countrymen

"***Personal viewpoint: One who deliberately conspires to kill British troops, as opposed to being involved somehow but unaware of the intent, is no fellow-countryman of mine no matter what it says in his passport."

Aye there's the rub, because when and if it comes time that you finally have to get rid of these mental, Stalinist fucks in power in the UK, it'll be "our brave boys from the eastern front" that'll be shooting your fellow countrymen to protect them.

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Maplins?

It's Maplin, unless you have IASS - that's Involuntary Additional S Syndrome.

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Joke

Re Silly Part 2

Do the Iranian Maplins have a Jihadi discount scheme I wonder?

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bit careless.

'silly' and 'uk-centric' is a bit harsh. the general thrust of the article is well thought through and i like the sentiment, but yes you were too credulous as regards the original telegraph story.

gadgets like these really aren't so hard to get hold of that you would need them brought over from the uk. mayhap you should have spent a little more time in port and a little less time on the boat.

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Remote control of death

You know, I might just be making a stab in the dark here (metaphorically of course); but Pakistan is a country that has developed an intermediate range ballistic missile, uranium enrichment, plutonium separation and a miniaturised boosted fission bomb - it might therefore (conceivably) be sophisticated enough to have also mastered the television remote control.

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Alert

Accusations

Aboub 3 years ago 2 cops tried to arrest me in the TCR branch of maplins for buying bomb making equipment

What did I buy a fecking pair of wirecutters, who phoned them a bloody Iranian shop assistant who told the cops that an Irish terrorist was buying bomb making equipment

It was the same day as I was mugged in the TCR and the cops refused to attend cos I could not prove that I had been mugged in the 1st place (they turned negative when I mentioned that they eastern Europeans)

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excess baggage sir?

Damn everyone lol. 1000 damnations even or whatever amount of damnations is suitable.

Is this story even likely to be factual?

Everyone knows you cant check in a tank at the airport - the excess luggage charge would be enourmous.

Anyhow - were too blooming expensive for gadgets - they are far more likely to get the same quality gadgets for half the price in france - lets bomb france to prevent terrorism.

Is there a missing I in mi5? seems there "intelligence" is seriously lacking - terrorists would not bother buying weapons in an ISLAND its easier to buy them and smuggle them across a continent!

how gullible are we these days - paranoia or what?

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@rob crawford

Ohh thats gotta make your blood boil !!!!!!

Feel your pain !

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IR
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Another non-story

So explosives are really easy to get hold of, but basic electronics are so rare that they have to be bought from far off lands when they go on holiday?

This article is just a stupid leap of conclusions. Terrorists MIGHT be getting friends and relatives to get them stuff. But why bother when it is so much easier to just get them for a fraction of the cost locally (and no risk of being held at an airport for being a middle eastern man with a suitcase full of dodgy-looking stuff).

What is this site coming to?

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Anonymous Coward

@Silly

Man akiba is the place to go if you want electronics, if it ain't there then it probably can't be got.

But yeah - stupid f---ing story, well it's stupid if it's just telegraph bs, it's really f---ing stupid if the government buy into it (woudln't suprise me) and it's just damning if the secret services belive it, I mean damn we may aswell just nuke ourselves for being so f---ing stupid if that's the case, put us out of the worlds misery.

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Boffin

Stupid FUD

So they get the parts and using the serial nos. traced them back to the UK? Did anyone seriously bother to do that?

Sure it wasn't just the usual clueless politician banter :

DM : "So commander, where do people get these parts from?"

Comm : "They have them sent here or someone brings them".

I mean, what other answer is there?

It's not like China or Mumbai or Iran are closer.

Any idea how many mobiles there are in India? They actually *fix* the there too instead of throwing them away. Electronics are not hard to come by.

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Joke

@Dark Ian

Surely Involuntary Additional S Syndrome would be IASSS would it not?

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Re: Silly

You missed the article's point: the Telegraph article is upping the "terrorist buying cheap electronics for terrorism in the UK!" when the "electronics" can be bought anywhere, and are the easiest part to acquire anyway.

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Wasn't maplins fictional?

Buying bomb making equipment from a fictional holiday camp? How's that possible?

Oh wait, you mean Maplin.

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Bad Service?

Sounds like you had a bad experience last time you were in a Maplin store...

To be fair, I guess they're one of the few that are still easy to just walk in, generally Farnell, RS and the like have a better and more interesting range of components but are mail-order, so you'd have to give an address.

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jon
Paris Hilton

Knowledge is power

Why bother singling out specialist retailers with an electronics bias?

I cannot speak from first hand experience of every country on the planet, but from what I have seen so far I can safely say all the required 'ingredients' and tools can be found in many a small town supermarket and hardware store.

Paris..because... she can blow my mind any day

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Black Helicopters

Please read again.

The article is able the Telegraph trying to scaremonger you, not about how the stuff is sourced in the first place. Some of you seem to be missing the point and the irony in the headline .

The question is why are such stories appearing in the media?

My option:

May I point you to the previous article of how new laws are created as detailed on this very site.

In this example on a completely different topic but neither the less has some similarities

The quote here from Tim Worstall which is most telling is:

(I've slightly edited):

"But that's how we make law nowadays. We throw in a few demons lie about either their frequency or their activity and hope we've fooled enough of the public so that we can get the new measures into the Statute Book before anyone notices.""

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/01/04/worstall_s3x_trafficking/

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If the troops weren't in someone elses country

They wouldn't have the people who live there trying to kill them.

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Coat

RS aren't just mail order

RS have over a dozen "trade counters" too. http://uk.rs-online.com/web/ and follow the not very well hidden link right at the top that says "trade counters". You used to need an account (and therefore perhaps an address) but it's not obvious from their website that you still need any real ID, especially as you appear to be able to pay cash.

Anyone know where I can get hold of a few Ferranti ZN1040E? Nice low power high precision long duration timer, as seen in Practical Electronics twenty odd years ago, back when Maplin meant Maplin Sands, which was going to be the third london airport, and a Maplin catalogue was a little 80-page green-covered thing, free of charge

Mine's the anti-static one with the wrist strap danging from the pocket.

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Anonymous Coward

Torygraph in Daily Hate Mail copying shock.

I like the idea that despite all these electronics being imported into the UK from China (and sold at premium prices) a hack at Torygraph HQ still quaintly imagines that all these third world countries don't have electricity or a major trade in consumer electronics. Are we expected to believe that you can't buy an IR remote or a mobile in Pakistan?

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Paranomioid

A silly, immature response to a painful situation by silly, immature politicos who aren't doing any of the hurting. & I wonder how they know the remote controls came from Blighty - all of Maplin's stock is far-east manufactured. We stopped making stuff during La Tatch's rein to concentrate on banking - that was a stroke of genius, wasn't it.

Pyro, because fire made it good.

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Anonymous Coward

re: Akihabara or Pantip

It certainly does put the wonderfulness of Maplins into perspective.

Unusually circumspect there, Lewis. A cynic might get the impression you were walking on NuLab eggshells.

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Paris Hilton

@Steen Hive

Stalinist?

Who/what would you consider to be RIGHT-wing?

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Black Helicopters

@ AC 22:12

All a precision timer really is, is a Schmitt-triggered NAND or NOR gate (for making a gated oscillator) and a bunch of flip-flops (to divide the frequency down). The division can't introduce errors, so the whole thing is as accurate as the period of the the oscillator; obviously a resistor and capacitor are subject to tolerances but if you use a crystal or a ceramic resonator, it'll be pretty much spot-on. I think I used a HEF4060 last time I wanted a nice longish timeout, but I had plenty of them kicking around. Depending what crystal you use and how long a timeout you require, you might end up needing two 4060s.

Am I now guilty of "disseminating information which may be of use to terrorists"?

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Jamming

They would not have to jam the entire spectrum. The frequency ranges available to domestic devices are relatively limited. It might not be that difficult to jam the necessary bands within a limited range of the jammer.

@Rich

"They wouldn't have the people who live there trying to kill them"

The people tring to kill them typically live next door in Pakistan and many of them hail from the middle east.

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Black Helicopters

now, now, you anonymous cowards (dare I say, "traitors"?)

You're surely not suggesting that the British military would knowingly pump out facile rubbish to credulous media to prop up the failing military/political strategy in Afghanistan, are you?

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/feb/21/heroin-seizures-bad-science

http://www.badscience.net/2009/02/a-rock-of-crack-as-big-as-the-ritz/

Oh...

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Pie in the sky.

Just when my Paranoiameter had settled down into the green sector I open up El Reg and find myself having to deal with this shovelful of shit.

C'mon guys, don't you realise that there are thousands of us on Maplin mailing lists who will now be tagged as potential terrorists when the government's uberdatabase starts spinning its algorithmic wheels out there in cyberspace.

What's more, it will be a double whammy when the heuristic engine picks up on the fact that Maplin is an anagram of M Palin, a notorious right-wing political extremist. (The 'M' stands for Megalomaniac.)

We are all doomed, I tell you, doomed.

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Maplin

I always wondered how Maplin could get away with selling mercury switches after learning from Lethal weapon that this is real professional bomb making stuff.

<<Boom

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Anonymous Coward

I wholeheartedly support

terrorists getting their bomb timing and detonating equipment from Maplin.

Almost everything I've bought there in the last few years, if more advanced than a box or a length of wire, has turned out to be cheap shoit that completely failed to function and had to be returned for a refund. If that's the kit the Taliban are relying on we can all sleep easier.

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Joke

@Damian Thorn

"1000 damnations even or whatever amount of damnations is suitable."

I'd settle for 101 damnations. Then I can make myself a nice damnation skin coat.......

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Joke

Maplin "Bazaar"?

I've bought all my Devolo networking kit from Maplin so that I can stream movies from my PC via my son's XBOX 360 to the TV. Will Wacky now label me a Taliban sympahiser if I watch Rambo III (was that the Afghan one ?) ?

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@AC

"Who/what would you consider to be RIGHT-wing?"

Nothing to so with "wings" dear, but with authoritarianism. Hmm let's see..

Population subject to the most comprehensive and untrammelled surveillance in history.....check

Suppression of physical manifestations of dissent, limitations of right of assembly .... check

"Thought crime" (see internet censorship) ... check

Complicity, and likely participation, in denial of due process, kidnapping, detention without trial, torture .... check.

A "police" force that is little more than an armed militia that can provably kill with impunity and operates in secrecy ... check

Anything else?

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Re TeeCee

Poor very poor, please stand at the back of the class now

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Thumb Up

A little poem for Steen Hive :)

Remember, remember, the fifth of November,

The gunpowder treason and plot;

For I see no reason why gunpowder treason

Should ever be forgot.

-

But when king's hand is heavy with burdensome levy,

Then is the time to stand tall;

For I see no treason when there is a reason

For tyranny's forces to fall.

-

(The second verse is my own invention, in response to the first :) )

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Dead Vulture

I thought IT people were...

...supposed to be brainboxes. I find it quite troubling so many of the commentators have failed to grasp that this piece is about rubbishing the notion that terrorists are importing significant quantities of domestic electronics fro the UK to make bomb triggers.

The piece argues that even if you were to accept that this is happening it wouldn't prove a conspiracy. He doesn't make the case that this IS happening. What does do is employ the rhetorical device of granting ones opponent part of his claim and then proceeding to disprove it anyway.

This is the best bit of writing I've seen on here for days, sadly this guy isn't a staff writer :-(

I have to say I'm worried for the health of the dear old Reg what with 3rd rate bozos like Orlowski and Dziuba on-board and the preponderance of bone headed opinion in the comments section.

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