Patrick Mercer “Exposes” Taliban HIV-Needle Tactic: “Got the Impression These are Being Employed”

Patrick Mercer MP in The Sun:

TALIBAN fighters are burying dirty needles with their bombs in a bid to infect British troops with HIV, The Sun can reveal.

Hypodermic syringes are hidden below the surface pointing upwards to prick bomb squad experts as they hunt for devices.

…The tactic, used in the Afghan badlands of Helmand, was exposed by Tory MP and ex-Army officer Patrick Mercer.

Senior backbencher Mr Mercer said yesterday: “Are there no depths to which these people will stoop? This is the definition of a dirty war.”

Patrick Mercer MP talking to Stars and Stripes’ “Rumor Doctor” Jeff Schogol, in the wake of the above (emphasis added):

Mercer said he learned about these devices from British bomb disposal technicians training ahead of their deployment to Afghanistan. The technicians have been issued Kevlar gloves to counter the threat.

He could not say for certain whether the Taliban have used these devices.

That wasn’t a question I asked directly, but I got the impression that these are certainly being employed by the Taliban, al-Qaida, etc.,” he said. “I’m not aware of any injuries that have been caused by it so far.”

Schogol adds that neither the International Security Forces-Afghanistan nor the Joint IED Defeat Organization have heard anything about it, and he concludes that it

Sounds more like an enemy propaganda campaign than a widespread new tactic.

I doubt it’s even that. More likely, Kevlar gloves are being issued as a general precaution, someone at Mercer’s office noticed that such gloves are advertised as giving “the wearer the added protection from infected hypodermic needles, knife and razorblade wounds”, and this was seen as a chance to publicise a Mercer soundbite.

The Daily Mail has also reported Mercer’s “exposure”, adding a quote from someone on the front-line:

Lieutenant Colonel David Southall, Commanding Officer of the Counter-IED Task Force said: ‘Improvised explosive devices remain a tactic of desperation and last resort.

‘The Taliban know they can’t take us on and win in a conventional toe-to-toe fight – whilst they resort to some pretty despicable IED emplacement tactics, my IED operators, now drawn from all across the three services, are well equipped and up for the fight.’

Presumably Southall was unable to confirm any instances of needles being planted – otherwise he would surely have given the details.

Back in February, Mercer endorsed a “bombs in breast implants” story, which again was not supported by an actual evidence and which appeared to have begun life as a columnist’s conjecture. And before that, of course, he regularly passed material provided by self-styled “terror-expert” Glen Jenvey to tabloids, even after a Jenvey-sourced story was found to have been bogus. Mercer also promoted the  now-defunct “VIGIL Network”, which was run by Dominic Wightman, and with which the cyber-bully Charlie Flowers was also involved.

There’s no argument about how awful the Taliban are, and the needle story may indeed be true (although unlikely to be effective in spreading HIV) - but given the many instances of unsourced scare-stories turning out to have been untrue, we really need more than just one person’s word for it. Especially when that person is Patrick Mercer, who, although I am sure is a honest person, appears to be completely lacking in discernment – and unwilling to take full responsbility for the consequences of his poor judgement.

(H/T: The Sun – Tabloid Lies)

12 Responses

  1. This story confirms the one fact that is now emerging: The western civilization is going to suffer greatly for all their inventions. Aids was introduced by the CIA and now it is being used against Americans and British along with NATO forces.

    Things will one day come full circle for all the countries that contributed to the enslavement of the human race at one time or another in the past.

    Britain is one country that stands out as having supervised the enslavement of Africans along with their colonial leadership that set Africa back for so long a time. Anything is fair in this struggle and they should expect more reaction from Nations whom they enslaved and continues to destroy like Nigeria.

  2. this sounds a lot like a variation on an old hoax, covered by snopes here: http://www.snopes.com/horrors/madmen/pinprick.asp

  3. You said you are sure Mercer is a honest person but according to the dictionary definition of “honest” one must not be deceptive or fraudulent able to be trusted and not likely to lie or fabricate.

    Patrick Mercer is the politician that used legal duress to silence and deprive his own constituent and was said by Dr Campbell in the 2010 General Election to have used intimidation and browbeaten people into keeping their mouth shut.

    It is my considered opinion that for Mercer the end justifies the means disavowing loyalty and trust and forsaking one’s given word are sacrificed in the name of his objective. To my mind Mercer is liken to a sly buccaneer and not to be entirely trusted spouting alarming tall tales about terrorists to the point that he is now seemingly regarded by some men of intellect to be somewhat untrustworthy and I think continually and unhelpfully in an alarmist mode.

  4. I would agree that this story is fake. But I’m not sure that the tactic would work, as I don’t think the HIV virus can live for very long outside the human body. The hot dry afghan soil is not exactly conducive to any form of life!

  5. [...] about terrorist threats to tabloid newspapers: these often crumble under closer scrutiny, such as his claim that the Taliban are using HIV-bombs. Some material was previously passed to Mercer from Glen [...]

  6. [...] has a history of “revealing” terrorist plots that wither under scrutiny: in June 2010 he claimed that the Taliban had developed [...]

  7. [...] The article leaves the distasteful impression that Mercer is playing the media – and it should be recalled that other stories that Mercer has put into the media have turned out to be [...]

  8. [...] pattern with Mercer, who regularly appears in British media warning about terrorism (e.g. here, here, and [...]

  9. [...] of briefing the media with stories about terrorism that sometimes crumble under scrutiny (“HIV bombs“, for example), this raises further serious concerns about his [...]

  10. [...] so many duff media reports about terrorism (for example, “breast implant bombs“, “HIV bombs“, and “Terror Target Sugar“), this simply will not do. Share this:Like [...]

  11. [...] Over the past couple of years, British newspaper readers have pondered the spectre of “HIV-needle bombs” (that was another one from Mercer); “breast-implant bombs“; and, just recently, [...]

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