No Surprise Military C4 Used in Bali Bombing

Published: Thu 17 Oct 2002 12:04 AM
Howard's End
No Surprise Military C4 Used in Bali Bombing
News that the widely available military explosive C4 was likely used in the Bali massacre should not come as any surprise particularly when global arms manufacturers along with delegations and high-ranking military officials from 46 countries lined-up this week in Jordan to buy their instruments of death. Maree Howard writes.
Arms manufacturers, government delegations and high-ranking military officials from Britain, Canada, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, China, Indonesia, Singapore Austria, South Korea. Malaysia, France, the United States, Russia, Spain, Chile, South Africa and Germany all lined up in Jordan this week at the arms exhibition called SOFEX (Special Operation Forces Exhibition)
In all, 46 countries attended the exhibition between 14-17 October. The King of Jordan opened the exhibition last Monday. The website is at
The organisers of SOFEX boasted that Saddam Hussein was sending a delegation.
A British Defence Procurement Ministry spokesman said: " SOFEX allows the UK Defence Industry to demonstrate its product range to a number of potential overseas customers very effectively."
Companies attending included Lockheed Martin makers of the longbow 'fire-and-forget' and the Hellfire 2 anti-tank missiles and Raytheon, the American company who makes the long-range Cruise missiles.
Both companies are expected to play a major role in any future attack on Iraq.
But the supreme irony is that Iraqi high-ranking military officials were also rubbing shoulders at SOFEX with delegations from countries who are likely to attack them.
Peace and arms control campaingers are outraged that western countries are lining-up at an "arms bazaar" to show Iraq what they can expect to be fired at them. Of course, Iraq is also buying so it's all not one-sided.
It's just sheer hypocrisy. Where there is a buck to be made its seems we all can't get there fast enough. While there are supposed to be controls on who buys or sells what, often this is more myth than reality. In the 80's and 90's UK and the US supplied billions of dollars worth of military equipment to countires arounf the world and they still do.
On the Bali massacre the explosive now said to have been used was plastic C4, a widely available military explosive, manufactured mostly in the United States.
It has stable qualities, is easily transported and looks something like uncooked pastry. It requires detonation and seems to have been placed in the roof of the van for maximum effect rather than in the body where the ground would absorb much of the impact.
Experts are now saying that the C4 was likely mixed with other explosives like AMX, ADR and nitrate. 4 tonnes of ammonium nitrate is unaccounted for in South-East Asia. C4 was also the explosive used in the attack on the USS Cole two years ago.
Asia and the Middle East has long been a good market for global weapons and explosives firms.

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