Why are some countries still using fake bomb detectors?

The bomb detection tool has no working electronics, no power source, and critics say, no real function whatsoever. But the device has been deployed in Pakistan, Iraq, Bangladesh, Georgia and India. (Getty Images)

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An attack on Jinnah International Airport in Karachi, Pakistan earlier this month left 28 people dead. One suspected cause of the security breach involves a questionable bomb detection tool used by the Pakistan Airport Security Forces.

The attackers carried in explosives, guns, ammunition, food, and water. The investigation into how they breached security is ongoing, but the ADE-651 -- the bomb detection tool used by airport security -- has faced criticism.

The tool is a sort of dowsing rod -- it has no working electronics, no power source, and critics say, no real function whatsoever. But it's also been deployed in Iraq, Bangladesh, Georgia and India.

To learn more about the tool, and why it remains in use, we were joined by three guests:

  • Fahad Desmukh is a freelance reporter living in Karachi, Pakistan.
  • Dale Murray is an engineer who has tested and researched the ADE 651, and other devices like it, for more than 20 years.
  • Massimo Pigliucci is a professor of philosophy at the City University of New York and the author of Nonsense on Stilts: How to Tell Science from Bunk.

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This segment was produced by The Current's Catherine Kalbfleisch and Naheed Mustafa.

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