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Raids on American-owned explosives could be behind sophisticated car bomb.
The troops used British-made molecular-seeking devices that can detect explosives. However, they had located no bomb-making material by Thursday.
American agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives were also in Juarez aiding Mexican officials with the investigation.
“This bomb shows how the conflict in Mexico is escalating,” said an American law enforcement official involved in the struggle against cartels. “The gangsters are fighting police and soldiers with body armor. So they have started using bombs to hit them. But bombs do not discriminate and they often harm civilians.”
The explosives were set off using a ruthless trap.
First, the gangsters kidnapped a civilian, dressed him in police uniform, shot him and then dumped his body. When the federal police came close they set off the car bomb.
“Such an attack has implications for anyone attending crime scenes, including police, paramedics and journalists,” the official said. “They have to think about the possibility they are being lured into an IED.”
Mexican police blamed the attack on La Linea, a gang of assassins who work for the Juarez drug-smuggling cartel.
They say it was in retaliation for the arrest of alleged La Linea commander Jesus Acosta, a.k.a. El 35.
Federal police had released an interrogation video in which Acosta confessed to working as a cartel hit man.
It was the latest of several videos of captured cartel members describing how they allegedly set up murders and carved limbs and heads off victims.
Critics accuse the police of obtaining the videos through torture and say they fail to provide clear evidence while provoking gangsters to retaliate.
Graffiti apparently sprayed by the La Linea accused the federal police of working with their arch rivals the Sinaloa Cartel, of Mexico’s most notorious mobster Joaquin “Chapo” Guzman.
One message addressed American officials, demanding they investigate the corruption.
“FBI and DEA. Go and investigate authorities that are giving support to the Sinaloa Cartel,” said the message on the wall of an elementary school. “If not, we will put more car bombs.”
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