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9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 9/7/2005 12:37:40 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/7/2005 12:38:02 PM EDT by raven]
Gunman kills 'one of the best' explosives experts
By Rick Jervis, USA TODAY

BAGHDAD — Haqy Asaad made a living snipping wires off bombs around Baghdad.
He was once flung back from the force of a roadside bomb that detonated prematurely, killing a colleague but only slightly wounding him.

In July, he carefully defused an explosives vest worn on a would-be suicide bomber outside the Green Zone, the fortified area housing U.S. and some Iraqi government offices.

He earned the nickname "Robot" from U.S. advisers for his dogged disarming of insurgents' bombs and was profiled in USA TODAY in July.

Asaad, an explosives expert with the Interior Ministry, was killed last week, not by bomb shrapnel but from a gunshot wound to the gut.

Gunmen ambushed him down the road from his home in southern Baghdad on Aug. 30. Officials are investigating the incident but believe Asaad was targeted by insurgents because of his job, said Brig. Hussein Muhssin, his supervisor.

Asaad was the eighth person in his unit to be killed either by bombs or insurgents. "I lost one of the best members of our department," Muhssin said. "He was so devoted to his work, very daring, brave and smart. But he was always in a rush. I warned him so many times our work needs to be cautious, accurate."

U.S. troops operating in Iraq are working to hand over security responsibilities to Iraqi units such as Asaad's. An increasing number of Iraqi troops are manning checkpoints, policing streets, leading raids on suspected insurgent hide-outs and disarming roadside bombs.

Unlike U.S. troops, however, who live in heavily fortified camps, many Iraqi security personnel return home each night to regular neighborhoods, leaving them susceptible to attacks from guerrillas.


Asaad, 38, was part of the 13-member Criminal Investigations Directorate/Explosives Ordnance Detachment. He was paid the equivalent of $330 month, a large salary by Iraqi standards, to disarm roadside bombs and car bombs discovered before they detonated.

Asaad had worked as an explosives expert with the Interior Ministry under Saddam Hussein. He lost his job in 2003, when former members of the ruling Baath Party were expunged from government under the U.S.-led Coalition Provisional Authority, Muhssin said. But U.S. military officials rehired him last fall and dispatched him to Florida for explosives training, he said.

Armed with little more than a pocket tool, Asaad grew adept at defusing roadside bombs, the weapon of choice for insurgents, Muhssin said. He learned how the devices worked and would mouth the common Muslim refrain — "There is no god but Allah, and Mohammed is the messenger of Allah" — before each crucial snip, Asaad said in the USA TODAY article.

Each month, he would hand over to U.S. explosives experts about 120 munitions — including mortar and artillery shells — collected from defused roadside bombs, said Maj. Alayne Conway, a spokeswoman with the Army's 3rd Infantry Division, which worked with Asaad.

"I can't just leave these bombs in all these neighborhoods," Asaad said in July. "I want to live in a peaceful Iraq someday."

In July, Asaad neutralized a bomb worn by a would-be suicide bomber. The bomber had been hit with shrapnel from another suicide bomber, leaving him nearly unconscious. Asaad disarmed the bomb and slipped the vest off the assailant to the cheers of U.S. and Iraqi personnel watching from a distance near the main entrance to the Green Zone.

"He was setting a standard for other Iraqis to follow," Conway said. "He knew that if he didn't do it, no one else would."

Asaad's success at his job was also making him a target among insurgents. He had received several threats the past few months, Muhssin said.

The latest one, scribbled on a sheet of paper and dropped in the garden outside his home last month, called him a "traitor and spy" and warned he would be killed if he didn't quit his job, Muhssin said.

On Aug. 30, Asaad called in sick, complaining of stomach pains. As he took a walk from his home in Baghdad's Dora neighborhood, witnesses saw two cars full of men, their faces concealed behind scarves, approach Asaad, Muhssin said. One jumped out and shot Asaad in the abdomen.

Asaad's wife called the police and accompanied her husband to Baghdad's Yarmouk Hospital, Muhssin said. In the back seat of the police car, Asaad told her to take good care of herself and their three children, ages 8, 15 and 17.

He died upon arrival at the hospital

www.usatoday.com/news/world/iraq/2005-09-06-bomb-expert_x.htm
Link Posted: 9/7/2005 12:47:39 PM EDT
Link Posted: 9/7/2005 12:58:10 PM EDT
RIP.
Link Posted: 9/7/2005 1:00:12 PM EDT

Originally Posted By simple_in_seattle:
RIP.



+1

Here's hoping this guy gets the 72 virgins, the nectar, and the honeyed cakes.

He deserves them.
Link Posted: 9/7/2005 1:01:07 PM EDT
What a waste R.I.P.
Link Posted: 9/7/2005 1:05:03 PM EDT
&^#@ animals

Shouldn't all Iraqis who work with our forces wear hoods like swat teams to hide their identity from other Muslims (potential terrorists) ? Especially the late Asaad w/ a high public exposure among the civies.
Link Posted: 9/7/2005 1:29:24 PM EDT

Fucked up world.......
Link Posted: 9/7/2005 1:31:42 PM EDT

Originally Posted By raven:
"He was setting a standard for other Iraqis to follow," ......


And the animals killed him for it.
Link Posted: 9/7/2005 1:33:37 PM EDT
RIP dude. May you find happiness in Paradise.
Link Posted: 9/7/2005 1:42:22 PM EDT
If they find those guys they should turn them into one shot eod guys. Tell them to hit the ieds with a hammer or face being fed to dogs.
Link Posted: 9/7/2005 2:37:30 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/7/2005 2:38:59 PM EDT by KlubMarcus]

Originally Posted By Tango7:
+1 Here's hoping this guy gets the 72 virgins, the nectar, and the honeyed cakes. He deserves them.

Yep, he's a true Iraqi, he was a man. We should hunt his killers with extreme prejudice. He saved hundreds (possibly thousands) of civilian and military lives and the terrorists go after him! Time to kick more ass over there.
Link Posted: 9/7/2005 2:39:41 PM EDT
Link Posted: 9/7/2005 2:47:59 PM EDT
I hope they take care of his family. RIP
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