The Snapper

Bomb Tricks and Techniques in Afghanistan

165634-web-1000px

07 July 2011

CIVCAS (civilian casualties) are a huge problem for our side and for the enemy.  The enemy causes far more CIVCAS but as outsiders our mistakes have a more toxic psychological effect.  We won’t have to wait long for the next report of the Taliban accidentally, or purposefully, blowing up civilians.  It will probably happen today and tomorrow.

Our movements along the roads are predictable.  In many cases nothing that can be done about that.  The times may vary, but many of the routes are set by terrain or circumstance.  Our people are very well trained to spot the bombs, and they are supremely outfitted with an impressive array of countermeasures and armor.  There are few if any complaints from troops about their training or gear to avoid being blown up.  Nobody in history has been more prepared for IEDs than our current combat troops.  It’s hard to blow them up, but the enemy is smart and continues to land hard punches with low expense.  Everyone realizes there is only so much you can do, and then you are in war, and you take chances.

The enemy has difficulty hitting our vehicles with RCIEDs (radio-controlled IEDs) because our countermeasures are excellent.  Low-tech inexpensive methods, such as land mines, can work against us on roads, but the problem with land mines is that they are dumb and they blow up the first thing that ticks them off, which likely will be civilian traffic.  Enemy CIVCAS toxifies their operating environment and also misses their target.

And so the enemy has developed techniques to circumvent countermeasures and reduce CIVCAS.  One of those techniques is “the snapper.”

165527-3-web-1000px

The snapper uses a tire for a diaphragm in which nails are used for contacts.  When a vehicle rolls over a snapper, the circuit closes.  To avoid CIVCAS, the enemy waits in hiding with a battery.  One of the electrodes is connected.  Traffic is allowed to roll over the snapper but there is no explosion.  When the target approaches, the enemy attaches the other connection and now the snapper is ARMED.

165527-2-web-1000pxCircuit closed

When the circuit closes this time, juice flows to the bomb, which must be very substantial to defeat our armor, but if the target is lesser-equipped Coalition forces or perhaps unarmored Afghans, it can be small.

And that’s it.  The snapper.

Comments   

 
# Scott 2011-07-07 13:22
...they are smart. Gotta give em that. Hopefully our guys can get them in a nice clear sight picture before the convoy gets there.
Reply | Report to administrator
 
 
# Alex J. 2011-07-07 13:59
If they have to be there to arm the weapon, why not just use a clacker? Do they arm it and run, getting a few extra seconds of escape time?
Reply | Report to administrator
 
 
# peter 2011-07-07 14:52
What is a clacker? I could not find it on a Google search. Thanks for the info.
Reply | Report to administrator
 
 
# Rick Rios 2011-07-07 15:08
The term 'clacker' is used in conjunction with the wired, triggering device used for Claymore Mines. Once hard wired into the Claymores body, the wire is strung out to the triggering device we called it the 'clacker'
Reply | Report to administrator
 
 
+2 # Jeff 2011-07-07 15:38
This device eliminates the human error that comes with a hand activated "clacker" or any other manual detonation device. You simply arm the device and when the vehicle hits the snapper the explosive is perfectly timed and placed to detonate under the vehicle. Great work, Michael!
Reply | Report to administrator
 
 
# jw 2011-07-07 16:23
Search "m57 firing device." It's a little electric pulse generator.
Reply | Report to administrator
 
 
+1 # Shukri 2011-07-07 16:57
One thing I've seen in interviews with Afghan civilians re their reaction to Taliban-caused civilian casualties is that the coalition is to blame no matter who initiated the bomb. The view seems to stem from "if the coalition wasn't there, the Taliban wouldn't be planting bombs there".
Reply | Report to administrator
 
 
# LWGII 2011-07-07 17:01
I'll bet they could just put the snapper on the ground next to them. An almost imperceptible move to step on the snapper right before the target vehicle goes by. It would be very difficult to identify the "trigger man".
Reply | Report to administrator
 
 
# Jeff 2011-07-07 18:29
I wonder if it would be possible to "salt" the roads with a sand/dust that would be visible only thru special imaging googles ... any digging up of the roadway to plant a mine would be clearly visible from helo's scouting ahead of any convoy ...
Just a thought ... given that there is little that can be done to deal with/jam/locate the arming wires I would think the next best thing would be to look for "roadwork" ...
Reply | Report to administrator
 
 
# Jim 2011-07-07 18:40
I read about the insurgent (terrorist) who was captured in the field and shipped to the US so Holder can do a simonized prosecution. Our guys have just got to stop taking prisoners....pe riod.
Reply | Report to administrator
 
 
# Matt 2011-07-07 21:10
Thanks for posting this Mike. Excellent information.
Reply | Report to administrator
 
 
# fairlyunbalanced 2011-07-08 02:37
I am certain if Canada or especially Mexico invaded us to help us, we'd be cleverly striking back. For example, we could use Trump's hair to cover a tiger trap.
Reply | Report to administrator
 
 
# Scott 2011-07-08 02:57
Hey! I have an idea! Let's not even be there! Then the snapper will not matter.
Reply | Report to administrator
 
 
# ryan 2011-07-08 05:20
Quoting Jim:
I read about the insurgent (terrorist) who was captured in the field and shipped to the US so Holder can do a simonized prosecution. Our guys have just got to stop taking prisoners....period.



Sure, lets just kill... EVERYBODY.
Reply | Report to administrator
 
 
# don 2011-07-08 07:21
stop fighting for oil lets find another solution beleive what u want the rest of the world knows whats really going on get informed i love reading such low level propaganda. good luck, give passifism a go??? u ever think if u never [censored] with them they might not wanna fuck with ur shit??? pretty simple but hey im the crazy one
Reply | Report to administrator
 
 
# don 2011-07-08 07:25
just so tired of hearing of the people dying it sucks for everyone who has to live with the aftermath just not fair cuz what has come of it? progress?? very little, again the opinion of this observer****
Reply | Report to administrator
 
 
# Tom Kinton 2011-07-08 07:29
Michael, great work, yes. But as I am here in AF right now and know the level of connectivity enjoyed by Haqqani et. al I would request that TTPs like this not be published in open forum.......I fully respect you and your work and only wish to avoid dissemination of this type of information to those who would harm us.

V/R,

tom
Reply | Report to administrator
 
 
# ryan 2011-07-08 07:53
Quoting Tom Kinton:
Michael, great work, yes. But as I am here in AF right now and know the level of connectivity enjoyed by Haqqani et. al I would request that TTPs like this not be published in open forum.......I fully respect you and your work and only wish to avoid dissemination of this type of information to those who would harm us.

V/R,

tom


Tom, so you want to spend your time in Afghanistan protecting the freedoms of the United States, by asking someone in the United States not to exercise their first amendment rights? So why did YOU sign up for the military. Because the bullsh*t that you signed up to protect America is, well, clearly bullsh*t.. How dare you ask someone to censor themselves. You of all should know better the sacrifices given in support of the bill of rights, our constitution, and our way of life. Yet, here you are asking someone to throw all of that way by censoring themselves.
Reply | Report to administrator
 
 
# Tom Kinton 2011-07-08 08:07
Ryan, two things:

One, I am a Libertarian and

Two: switch to decaf.
Reply | Report to administrator
 
 
# BR 2011-07-08 10:15
A request for voluntary action doesn't conflict with any of the Constitution. In any case, what's described here is a simple switch, hardly some unknown high tech.
Reply | Report to administrator
 
 
# The Swimmer 2011-07-08 23:26
Let the Poli's decide policy.
Give any man/woman in the field the chance at surviving.
Read the text/history... ..
Reply | Report to administrator
 
 
# Mike 2011-07-10 22:41
Michael, With 4th BCT 101st redeploying now (open source) are you going to get a chance to embed with them?
Reply | Report to administrator
 
 
# shah 2011-07-12 12:54
Wow what a bright idea!,what a genus you are!.
woww what an Intelligent answer.
Reply | Report to administrator
 
 
# eodinert 2011-07-14 23:17
The folks who might learn how to make IED from these pictures are wanna-be's. The bombers already know how to make this stuff.
Reply | Report to administrator
 
 
-1 # Mike Alcott 2011-07-16 16:30
You're off base,dude. Take it down 8 notches and chill out. 'Major' (NOT 'Major Nazi', you prick) is there with his life on the line, NOT you .. I'm guessing you're a pussy assed liberal Democrat ... and IF I am wrong then I will apologize.
Reply | Report to administrator
 
 
# Robert I. Eachus 2011-07-23 19:12
Quoting Jeff:
I wonder if it would be possible to "salt" the roads with a sand/dust that would be visible only thru special imaging googles ... any digging up of the roadway to plant a mine would be clearly visible from helo's scouting ahead of any convoy ...
Just a thought ... given that there is little that can be done to deal with/jam/locate the arming wires I would think the next best thing would be to look for "roadwork" ...


Hmm. We have the technology, but why not go state of the art--to the extent that it makes the troop's job easier. Have someone in the lead track/truck with a laptop that can take real-time images of the road, compare them with yesterday and highlight the differences.

The obvious countermeasure is to put the snapper under a pile of dung. The counter to that is not to drive/walk through fresh dung. ;-)
Reply | Report to administrator
 
 
-1 # Dus Dusgalan 2011-08-14 08:08
Why would you want to blab this information to anyone? You must be a total fool and some kind of spy.
Reply | Report to administrator
 
 
-1 # Valerie Conley 2011-08-14 20:47
Mr. Yon:

If other military at Kandahar were told that these sort of pictures and information was strictly FOUO (for official use only), how do you get away with publishing this and then say you aren't doing anything to violate opsec rules?
Reply | Report to administrator
 
 
-1 # Valerie Conley 2011-08-14 20:54
Ryan:

Since I don't want to be as rude as you were to Major, could you please tell me where the First Amendment gives you the right to information that could possibly put any of the Coalition Forces in some sort of danger? I'm just asking.

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

We are not abridging his or your right to free speech, just asking him the rules that he signed to agree when he went over. If MY can't follow simple rules, then how do you expect the rest of us to believe anything he says?

And BTW -- you may think Major signed up for BS, but he's over there protecting your right to be an idiot.
Reply | Report to administrator
 

Add comment

Due to the large amount of spam, all comments will be moderated before publication. Please be patient if you do not see your comment right away. Registered users who login first will have their comments posted immediately.


Security code
Refresh

Reader support is crucial to this mission. Weekly or monthly recurring ‘subscription’ based support is the best, though all are greatly appreciated.  Recurring and one-time gifts are available through PayPal or Authorize.net.

supp

supp

subscribe

My BitCoin QR Code

This is for use with BitCoin apps:

189

You can now help support the next dispatch with bitcoins:

Donate Bitcoins