Thursday, August 25, 2016

Watch your step! - IED's found in Harlan County, Kentucky

Much appreciated to Michael Tarvin for putting this one in my lap.

The ATF has issued this warning in response to several IED's that were placed in in trail camera's.

Are you loving that sexy new logo as much as I am?

At first I thought it was a Justified referenced hoax.  For the uninitiated, Justified was a long running TV series that is based primarily in Harlan County, and features a neo-Nazi bomb maker turned preacher turned drug kingpin as a recurring bad guy.  Pretty good show.

Local news had issued this story in response:

ATF warns of improvised explosive devices inside trail cameras in Harlan County

Three trail cameras have exploded and injured people. Agents found an additional nine IEDs and dismantled them. They warn more devices may still exist. 
Some of the trail cameras were found abandoned on paths in rural areas accessed via the Dave Smith Drainage Area, near the Woodland Hills subdivision, on the Little Black Mountain Spur.
The IEDs were designed to explode when a person inserted batteries into the camera. Other IEDs were designed to detonate by a trip wire. In some cases, containers like milk jugs or paint cans were placed near the IED.

The IED's were originally placed by Mark Sawaf.  Mark, tragically, was shot by police before he could identify the locations of the other IED's.  Police have had to comb through the brush of Harlan County looking for more of these devices.

The article of Mark's arrest adds this information as to what it was and how he set them
The device was made using a Winchester 9mm shell casing, an unknown explosive material and a detonator, according to court documents. The device was designed to explode when batteries were inserted into the camera. 
The ATF had previously been told that Sawaf was involved in the use of “exploding targets,” or targets that blow up when shot with a firearm, according to court records. An investigator previously determined that since Sawaf was not prohibited from using firearms, there was no criminal violation if he was shooting exploding targets.
As a veteran of OIF and OEF, the legal definition of IED would seem to fit but my definition of the real McCoy, so to speak, is much different.  What is curious about the traps that he set, they were not on his property and the cameras were inoperable.  There is certainly a lot of meth and marijuana manufactured in those hills, so it stand as conjecture that Mr. Sawaf could have been involved or it could have been he was just a "hobbyist" as the article infers.   Some of the local commenters seem to think it was a guy that was just tired of thieves, a stance which is more consistent from the evidence.  If that is the case, I can certainly condemn his actions as a III percenter, but I only wish that he could have turned his rage into something more constructive then evoking the Code of Hammurabi in the most passive aggressive way possible.

Read more here:


Chiu ChunLing said...

Passive aggressive refers to refusing to participate in a socially expected activity as a means of injuring someone. So if he were a trauma surgeon who refused to reattach a thief's fingers, that would be passive aggressive Hammurabism.

This bit of recklessness was just negligent and unauthorized, neither quality rising to the level usually accepted with a shrug when the government does it.

Still, it's true that the III% should aspire to be better in principle than tyranny, not just less bad in point of fact.

Anonymous said...

Many years ago, a friend and I toured his home stomping grounds in the area of Danville and Herrodsburg, KY. One day when we were about to set out exploring the area his aunt told him, "Now Cliff, don't you boys be going back into "The Knobs". Those boys back up there don't take to strangers and might mistake you for Revenue Agents."

These days many of "those boys" have switched their activities from shine production to marijuana. But they're just as protective of their activities as they were back then. And just as suspicious of outsiders.

So be careful going back into "The Knobs". They're not too particular about warning shots. And if you were not to take the hint, maybe worse. You wouldn't be the first stranger to disappear in that part of the country.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like you're watching a little too much TV to me Matt..Hollyweird got to vilify everything they hate in one TV show; depicting rural, Christian folk as Neo-Nazi/bomb making drug dealers. No subliminal messages hidden in that show people - move along folks...

Anonymous said...

Not sure exactly where the location in Harlan County where these IED's were but I used to have business in both the town of Harlan and also Evarts. Evarts is located near BLACK MOUNTAIN (the highest point in KY) and a few years ago became a center for "Adventure Tourism" where several thousand ATV riders would show up for a weekend (or longer) of trail riding on their ATV's. Evarts made the Guiness book for a world record ATV parade thru town of a few thousand ATV's. If one of these IED cameras were to hit one of the trail riders, they would have most likely bled out before they could be evacuated. The bomber is a rag-head by the way but of course that should not be held against him (when pigs fly). Stay safe out there and watch out for what might be lurking.

Anonymous said...

Or, rather than approach a potentially suspicious IED trail camera, just shoot it. Preferably, from a distance.

B Woodman

Anonymous said...

Could be PETA. They love to imbed nails into trees. So chain saws blow up in the operators face. They think its funny to hurt & maim. Behind enemy lines Ct.

Anonymous said...

A revenuer approached the front porch of a man he was looking to find that day. He asked the young boys if they knew where Billy Ray could be found. He's down in the holler one of the boys said. I can tell you how to get there but you gotta give me five bucks. The revenuer thought for a minute then said, How bout you tell me and I go down and get Billy Ray then give you $10 dollars when I come back, how would that be?

The boy shrugged and said, You can give me five bucks now and I'll tell you, but you gotta give it to me now 'cause you ain't coming back.

Anonymous said...

I know you're a millennial, and therefore generally unconcerned with spelling and grammar, (yay modern public schools...), but you should learn to edit your own work instead of depending on spell checker, because the quality of your work impacts its legitimacy.