Wounded Vet Reacts To Federal IED Investigation

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Service members and their families are reacting to the stunning news released Tuesday that parts made by a Minnesota company were key components in explosive devices that killed and injured U.S. troops in Afghanistan and Iraq.

The company Digi International was duped into selling the parts to a distributor who lied about what they would beused for. The part is a radio frequency module which can beused to transmit data from as far away as 40 miles.

Digi shipped 6,000 of its radio modulators to a Singapore firm that lied about what they would beused for. Minnesota State Rep. John Kriesel’s legs were blown off in 2006 by an IED attack that killed two of his friends near Fallujah.

Kriesel said his sympathies lie with Digi International, who through no fault of their own had a role in the deaths of so many.

“I hope they don’t get a bad wrap out of this,” Kriesel said. “They were being duped. I am sure they look at it and feel bad that service members were being injured and killedusing that.”

In  2007, Sgt. Joshua Shmit of Wilmar was killed by an IED in Iraq.

On WCCO-TV’s Facebook page his mom, Kimberly, wrote “So the I.E.D. that ripped through and killed my boy had parts from his very own home state?? Wow, this world is seriously sick. This really breaks my heart further.”

Five individuals from Asia and Iran have been indicted in the elaborate scheme. The parts were shipped from the Minnesota Company to Singapore, then to Malaysia and Thailand, then to Iran where the bombs were assembled and then on to the front lines.

“If the nature of the wars we face now is a faceless enemy they just come up with whatever they can to attack us,” Kriesel said.

Digi International did release a statement on Wednesday about the matter, saying the company “Finds theuse of products for these purposes reprehensible.”

Digi International has not been accused of any wrongdoing, but an employee of a Massachusetts company whose parts also ended in IEDs has been cited as unindicted co-conspirator.

More from Esme Murphy
Comments

One Comment

  1. jimmy says:

    Lets not expect any corporate responsibilty, they were just to stupid tp exist.

    1. Larry F. says:

      jimmy = twit. Jeepers creepers, if a LEGO Technics part is “beused” to make a bomb should LEGO corporate be held responsible!? jimmy, your daddy’s best shot ran down your mommy’s leg. OOOHHHH.

  2. Rags says:

    “beused” is not a word. Is “Esme” a word?

  3. c ditty says:

    Responsibility lies with those who created the bombs, not with the people who’s peaceful products were misused for evil means.

  4. fkafka says:

    My guess is after all this self-blame is IRAN. We need to be diligent, And we need to be sympathetic to our troops who served. We need to be clear on the point that IRAN will soon have nukes – this will make IED’s seem llke firecrackers. Do em – do em now!

  5. Richard Head says:

    Dont yu guz uz spellcheck? beused??

  6. HDMC says:

    my opinion, s-happens. and the mother needs to think of her son as a hero, not a victim. her statement rubs me as selfish and pittifull.
    you dont blame the car manufacturer for road side bombs. they, just the same as the mn company, did not intend, design or market their product in respect to killing americans.
    again, my respet to her son and all the others who’ve served

  7. Steve D says:

    Sgt. Joshau Schmit was my nephew (and is my hero). He was a true credit to our country, the kind of kid anyone would be proud to call their son. I can confidently state, knowing Josh as I did, that he would not have harbored any ill feelings towards Digi International. He was a class act!.

  8. robincmiller1 says:

    And we believe this company had no idea? This kind of thing has happened before. And of course the company will deny knowledge! A thorough investigation should be ordered, not `ok, we believe you!` If they have nothing to hide they should have no problem with an independet investigation.

  9. robincmiller1 says:

    And we believe this company had no idea? This kind of thing has happened before. And of course the company will deny knowledge! A thorough investigation should be ordered, not `ok, we believe you!` If they have nothing to hide they should have no problem with an independent investigation.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More From WCCO | CBS Minnesota

The Leaderboard
Good Question

Listen Live