"The gun started moving when it was not intended to move," Fahey was
quoted as saying.
The Jamestown Foundation said the Al Qaida claim, despite a U.S. Army
decision to withdraw the combat robots, appears to have been groundless.
In a report, Jamestown, a consultant to the Defense Department, said Al Qaida
and its supporters have failed to seize the robots, entitled Special Weapons
Observation Remote Reconnaissance Direct Action System, manufactured by the
The unmanned ground vehicles, said to cost $250,000 per unit, were
deployed in Iraq in June 2007. SWORD, three of which were deployed in Iraq,
was said to be a variant of the Talon bomb-disposal robot of Foster-Miller.
"Robots have long been used for bomb disposal and reconnaissance, but
combat-capable robots are an innovation that is being strongly pursued in
Israel and the United States," Jamestown said. "The Iraqi mujahideen are
unlikely to have actually been able to decode and reprogram the SWORD
robots. Each system is equipped with deadly anti-tampering devices and there
are no reports of Iraqi fighters capturing or even encountering any of the
three active systems, each of which is now safely secured."