I wrote last week on Patrick Mercer’s bizarre claims that the Taliban were using HIV infected needles as booby traps and shrapnel for their improvised explosive devices.
The Rumour Doctor dug a little deeper than I was able and discussed Marcer’s source with him.
“This is not a weapon as such,” Mercer said in a phone interview. “These are needles and razor blades which are put in position around probably dummy improvised explosive devices, so that anybody trying to lift one of these is likely to be scratched or cut.”
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.” [Emphasis mine]
So unfounded was Mercer’s claim that the International Security Forces-Afghanistan had no idea “no reports, no intel, nothing” on Mercer’s alleged HIV bombs.
I remain highly sceptical on the likelihood of these existing. However, I am utterly convinced of the malfeasance of Patrick Mercer.