When Baghdad bought tens of millions of dollars’ worth of British-made A.D.E. 651s, advertised as a foolproof bomb detector, the Iraqi government thought it would be saving countless lives. But the devices were laughable—based on a toy—and, in the end, have led to many deaths. Iraq is not the only country that has been fooled. On a Sunday morning in the fall of 2009, a 26-seat bus carrying one ton of explosives made its way toward the Ministry of Justice in Baghdad. Security in Iraq had been improving for more than a year. A U.S. troop surge seemed to have worked, and in a demonstration of the country’s stability, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki had ordered security measures reduced. Blast walls were taken down. Traffic was allowed closer to government buildings. The bus was not searched at any of the checkpoints near the administrative center. The driver pulled right up to the ministry building, and then the payload detonated with such tremendous force that, to those nearby, it felt as if a meteor had struck. Cars spun through the air and landed on top of one another; debris rocketed through windows a dozen stories above the street. As an opaque plume of smoke and dust rose hundreds of feet into the air, a van carrying another bomb exploded just up the street, in front of the Provincial Administration building.