In April 2009, an Iraqi refugee arrived in America ready to make a new life.  No one suspected he was an Al-Qaed operative. This is the story of a little-know FBI forensics lab and how it changed the war on terror.

psc1015_mt_087The use of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) rose by 70 percent between 2011 and 2013; 66 countries suffered attacks, some on a near-daily basis. Photo by Brian Klutch

The insurgent began with a cordless phone—one of the knockoffs of a Chinese-built Senao so popular in northern Iraq. Hunched over a worktable somewhere near the refinery town of Baiji, about 150 miles north of Baghdad, he methodically worked through a series of steps by now both familiar and frighteningly simple.

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