Taliban and Mobile Phones

#1
I watched a documentry the other night, shot in Afgahnistan, and following "insurgent" fighters ploting road side bombs.

They were making IED's out of various shells, landmines etc (mostly Russian) and using mobiles to not only plan attacks and let bombers/spotters know the movements of US forces, but also using them to detonate the IED's themselves.

Now, thats not new...I am sure most on here know all that....but..why the hell are the phone networks still operating?

Surely closing down the networks would prevent many deaths and hundreds, if not thousands of injuries???

Even knocking out networks in key strategic areas would help.

Am I just being far to obvious?

Signed,
Confused of Scotland....
 
#2
Depends on the area, only parts of Afghanstan have a mobile network, swithc off the network and telecomunications become harder for everyone, you also upset the locals.

Hand held radios are the main to be honest, punch in the code and a reciever detonates the bomb so switching off the network wouldn't help.
 
#3
Because if you close down the phones you close down civilian society. No such things as landlines over there. And that is a bit of an own goal.

The real question is why - after nearly 10 years in theatre - we don't have enough linguists to listen in on what's said.
 
#4
I'm sure we do, someones always listening
 
#5
waitout said:
Hand held radios are the main to be honest, punch in the code and a reciever detonates the bomb so switching off the network wouldn't help.
Can't the radio signal be jammed temporarily? I believe the Secret Service jam everything around the US president to protect him from radio controlled bombs, model aircraft towing banners saying 'Go Home to Kenya Barack' etc etc.
 
#6
Have I missed some appeal by an HT IEDD operator for an open-forum discussion of the merits of different bomb-planting techniques and the effectiveness of various countermeasures? This is the third thread touching on this subject in as many days.
 
L

Lechies

Guest
#7
Aren't the Taliban against all Western material items such as mobile phones etc, I'm sure they were an offence punishible by death if caught in possession of one, my, how times have changed.
 
#8
Lechies said:
Aren't the Taliban against all Western material items such as mobile phones etc, I'm sure they were an offence punishible by death if caught in possession of one, my, how times have changed.
Do you expect religious fanatics to be consistent?
 
L

Lechies

Guest
#9
I know, I was being facetious due to boredom. I watched that programme, it was pure farce until the last five minutes when the boys from Pakistan turned up... not a pleasant way for those chaps to end their existence.
 
#10
Ancient_Mariner said:
waitout said:
Hand held radios are the main to be honest, punch in the code and a reciever detonates the bomb so switching off the network wouldn't help.
Can't the radio signal be jammed temporarily? I believe the Secret Service jam everything around the US president to protect him from radio controlled bombs, model aircraft towing banners saying 'Go Home to Kenya Barack' etc etc.
Yes there is such equipment, and yes it is used, however as soon as the taliban realised how we were blocking their IED's they just switched to more mechanical devices

Thats coming from Australian armoured assets that have been to Iraq and Afghan. There was an awesome Brittish made one, once powered up, you REALLY couldn't stand in front of it.

I'm not 100% sure but I think NATO had to stop using it, as it was classed as a weapon, now they use one with much less power

but yes to answer your question, such gear exists
 
#11
Shutting down mobile networks is a hearts and minds own goal. Besides which, do you really think they're going to pack up and go home because their phones don't work any more? They have radios, and there's plenty of ways to trigger an IED.
 
#14
What right do we have to close down any infrastructure ? We went in through a revolving door, well leave as quick as we came and the place will remain no better no worse.

Lets start bugging Mosques and chairing municipal meetings if thats how you want it to go..

From a ground perspective, its the same as Iraq, if someone is on his roof mid mortars/rockets with his phone in his ear dancing a jihadi jig then drop the c*nt, for the majority of situations you have limited choice, namely tighten your gear, open your eyes and expect the worse
 
#15
Some interesting replies...some not so interesting ;)

I understand the "Hearts and Minds" bit..but I wonder just how many "normal" Afghans actually have mobile phones? Maybe I misread the programme???

It was amusing that they managed to just about screw up every attack...I do wonder if there was not some "higher power" at work in the background miss directing these attacks??

What I found disturbing though was that they initiated a failed attack when women and children would clearly be caught in the cross fire. As it was the back blast from an RPG nearly had a small group of them...
 
#17
2/51 said:
Some interesting replies...some not so interesting ;)

I understand the "Hearts and Minds" bit..but I wonder just how many "normal" Afghans actually have mobile phones? Maybe I misread the programme???

It was amusing that they managed to just about screw up every attack...I do wonder if there was not some "higher power" at work in the background miss directing these attacks??

What I found disturbing though was that they initiated a failed attack when women and children would clearly be caught in the cross fire. As it was the back blast from an RPG nearly had a small group of them...
Everyone who can afford one. Big spenders have sat phone for when they are out of area. As has already been pointed out mobile phones are the only option as landlines do not exist.
 
#18
Back in 2008. there was a phase where the Taliban were blowing up mobile phone masts, until the local CIVPOP told them to stop.

http://intellibriefs.blogspot.com/2008/03/talibans-war-on-mobile-phones.html

After a while, the Taliban realised it wasn't just the evil Westerners listening in to their mobile phones that was causing their attacks to fail. Then they too discovered the joys of mobiles, so the masts have been largely left alone since.

As someone said above, you can't expect fanatics to be consistent, but sometimes they can adapt where their own interests benefit.
 
#20
Can you remmber what channel it was on I am trying to track it down. What it was called would also be useful.
 
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