NEWS OF THE WEIRD

Wand-wielding Fraud

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Briton James McCormick caused the deaths of hundreds of Iraqis after convincing a Baghdad police official his "electronic" wands could detect bombs at 400 security checkpoints (in spite of U.S. officials' many warnings that they were useless). In October 2009, for example, suicide bombers walked past two wand-equipped checkpoints into a neighborhood and killed 155. McCormick, who sold 6,000 of the devices to Iraq and the country of Georgia at a cost of up to $40,000 each, was convicted of fraud in April. According to London prosecutors, he also claimed his wands were programmable to ferret out drugs and paper money, from high above or up to a kilometer underground.

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