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Local Company Had Parts In IED’s That Killed Troops

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(credit: CBS) Esme Murphy
Esme Murphy, a reporter and Sunday morning anchor for WCCO-TV, h...
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A Minnesota company’s parts ended up in explosive devices that killed and maimed American and Coalition troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The indictment does not name the Minnesota company, referring to it only as “Company A.” CBS News has confirmed that the company is in fact Digi International, based in Minnetonka.

According to an indictment, the company was tricked into shipping their parts to individuals and companies who lied about what they would be used for. The indictment states that IEDs are responsible for more than 60 percent of all U.S. casualties in the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts.

In many cases, those IEDs were detonated by a component made by Digi International. The component is a radio frequency module which can be used to transmit data for up to 40 miles.

Between 2007 and 2008, 6,000 of Digi’s components were shipped as part of the deadly conspiracy. The indictment states the conspirators used “deceit, craft, trickery and dishonest means” to con the Minnesota company into believing the part would be used by commercial electronics companies.

The modules were shipped from Minnesota to a shell company in Singapore. The company then sent the modules to distributors in Thailand and Malaysia and then on to Iran, where they were assembled.

From Iran they were sent to Afghanistan and Iraq and were used against coalition troops. The fact that Digi is not named in the indictment suggests to Hamline Law Professor and former Assistant U.S. attorney Derik Fettig that Digi is off the hook.

“The fact that company A has not been named as an unindicted coconspirator suggests that the government does not have any evidence of their participation in the conspiracy,” Fettig said.

When contacted on Tuesday, officials with Digi International had no comment on the matter.

A Massachusetts company may not be off the hook either. Their antennas ended up in IEDs and one of their employees is referred to in the indictment as an unindicted co-conspirator. Five individuals from Asia and Iran have been indicted, and three companies, none of which are based in the U.S. are named in the indictment.

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