The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 27,000 investigative stories.

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Search results for "bombs" ...

  • Eternal Harvest: The Legacy of American Bombs in Laos

    Between 1964 and 1973, in an offshoot of the Vietnam War, the U.S. military dropped 4 billion pounds of explosives on Laos. Up to 30 percent of those bombs did not detonate, and they remain in the Laotian soil today as UXO—unexploded ordnance—contaminating more than one-third of surface area of the country. Tens of thousands of civilians have been killed and injured in UXO accidents since the war officially ended. 2014 marks the fiftieth anniversary of the start of that bombing campaign. Yet every week, more Laotians are hurt and killed. In a rural country largely composed of subsistence farmers, it is dangerous to dig. Coates and Redfern spent more than seven years traveling in Laos, talking to farmers, scrap-metal hunters, people who make and use tools from UXO, and the bomb-disposal teams working to render the land harmless. With their words and photographs, they reveal the beauty of Laos, the strength of Laotians, and the daunting scope of the problem - a problem largely unknown outside the country. Much of the American bombing campaign was carried out in secret, known only to pilots, policy makers and the people on the ground under the flight paths. Coates and Redfern aim to educate readers—especially Americans—about this little-known war and its lesser-known legacy, at a time when Americans are learning about their government's recent efforts to operate in secrecy. Eternal Harvest offers a critical look at the effects on civilians of secret military actions.
  • Al Qaeda in Kentucky

    This exclusive ABC News investigation found that American counterterrorism officials were investigating more than a dozen cases of possible terrorists who have slipped into the U.S. under the refugee program. With rare access inside current and ongoing major terrorism investigations, the in-depth investigative reports broadcast on "Nightline," "World News with Diane Sawyer" and "Good Morning America" told the story of how a little noticed arrest of two men in Kentucky led to a major national security investigation that commanded the attention of top officials, including President Obama. The Iraqis were not refugees fleeing persecution, as they had claimed to immigration authorities, but were al Qaeda-iraq terrorists who had targeted U.S. troops in northern Iraq with bombs and sniper attacks. A key piece of evidence was that the fingerprints of one defendant were located on an improvised explosive device stored in a box for six years in an FBI warehouse, which had been found buried in a Baiji, Iraq road by American soldiers in September 2005. Worse, the two Iraqi insurgents, who had lied their way into the U.S. as alleged refugees -- and escaped drawing scrutiny until they were serttled in Kentucky -- were plotting to ship- heavy arms back to Iraq in an FBI sting, and were also discussing U.S. Homeland revenge bombings, the FBI learned. ABC News was able not only to tell the story of this incredible counterterrorism investigation by the FBI with help from the U.S. military, but also connect a specific bombing in Baiji that killed four Pennsylvania National Guardsmen to the Iraqi defendants. The exclusive ABC News investigation, which was broadcast on the network's three major newscasts as well as online with stories and web extra videos, also broke the news of current FBI counterterrorism investigations of suspects inside the U.S. whose fingerprints are being checked with those lifted from devices in evidence at the FBI's secret "bomb library," where ABC News was shown 100,000 IEDs collected from warzones in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia and elsewhere.
  • Yellow Dirt

    The radioactive "yellow dirt" -- a world class deposit of uranium under the Navajo reservation in the American Southwest -- lay beneath an earthen shield until the U.S. government cam calling, desperate to make atomic bombs. The book reveals ow the government looked away as miners, and then the neighbors were exposed to uranium's dangers.
  • "Brain Wars: How the Military Is Failing Its Wounded"

    NPR and ProPublica teamed up to investigate the "medical system for America's troops and veterans." Brain damage caused by "shock waves" from roadside bombs have become the "signature wounds" of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The military promised to improve the health care for this type of injury, but reporters found a lack of diagnosis and treatment for the brain damage, as well as "bureaucratic indifference."
  • Backyard Bombs

    In 1983, two boys were killed in San Diego as a result of old munitions explosion in a nearby canyon. San Diego County has a long military history of training camps and defense sites which have been turned into residential neighborhoods, but traces of that past are still seen today as some explosives were never removed.
  • Secret Deadly Earmarks

    Congressman Duke Cunningham was bribed with a yacht, antiques, and campaign contributions from a company owner seeking a government contract to fight roadside bombs in Iraq. Major Eric Egland was assigned to discover why troop deaths were increasing from roadside bombs despite the millions being paid, and in his search he came across "classified" information revealing the truth behind the contract.
  • A Sudden Explosion

    Millions of red, consumer gas cans are sold each year and stored in homes across America. Most people know that gas can be dangerous, but they don't think of the cans as ticking time bombs. The report looks at several gas can explosion and the children who were severely burned.
  • The Jihadi Trainer

    Islamic militant Abu Omar was the trainer of the foreign fighters from the Arab World, Europe and North Africa to kill American troops in Iraq. The report explains his knowledge of building armor-piercing roadside bombs and use of the Internet to reach a larger audience.
  • Dirty Bombs

    "Radioactive devices are stolen from cars, disappear from construction sites, fall off trucks and generally go astray at a startling pace. A computer database compiled by The Canadian Press showed how dozens of these tools - from a darkroom truck in northern British Columbia to a device used for molecular separation in Montreal - have gone missing in the last five years. The items vanished despite federal disaster planning reports that warn terrorists could wreak multimillion-dollar havoc if a nuclear gauge was used to build a crude 'dirty bomb.'"
  • Ill Rocky Flats nuclear workers

    The reporters found that the federal government was limiting compensation for sick and dying nuclear weapons workers. The story focused on workers from Rocky Flats nuclear site near Denver, where hundreds of workers were denied medical and financial compensation. The reporters also revealed the full known human cost of the nation's nuclear weapons complex: radiation sickened 36,500 and killed at least 4,000 of those who built bombs, mined uranium, and breathed test fallout.