"Until recently, most roadside explosives in [Iraq] were triggered remotely by an insurgent using a cellphone, doorbell or other wireless device," USA Today notes.But U.S. forces have picked up more and more radio frequency jammers to keep the bombs from going off. And so the insurgents are switching gears.
"The new weapon out there is the pressure-detonated IED," Col. Steven Salazar, commander of the Army's 3rd Brigade Combat Team, warned company commanders during a recent battle briefing. "It's a very dangerous tactic..."Pressure-switch bombs [do they mean landmines? -- ed.] aren't entirely new. They have been used, on and off, by insurgents as far back as fall 2003, says Maj. Dean Wollan, intelligence officer of the 3rd Brigade. They still are commonly found in Ramadi, Fallujah and Baghdad.In the Baqouba area north of Baghdad, insurgents had abandoned the use of pressure-triggered bombs this spring after U.S. and Iraqi forces discovered eight of the devices before they could be detonated. The bombs were poorly assembled, Wollan said.The re-emergence of pressure-activated bombs has come as insurgents have acquired more expertise in building and placing them. "These guys either received additional training, or new personnel has moved in to show them how to do it correctly," Wollan said.