Is the Casio watch still the favourite terrorist tool?

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In the month of May 2015 when an alleged ISIS militant was investigated in the United States of America, it was found that he had punched in the search terms, Casio during an internet search.

The questioning of this person who goes by the name Saleh once again sparked off the debate regarding the love terrorists have for the watch, Casio.


In the year 2011, when Wikileaks released a 765 page document titled the Gitmo Files, there was a lot of material on how terrorists had taken a liking for the Casio watch

model F-91 W and A-159W. It was revealed that most of the terrorists from the al-Qaeda had taken a liking for this watch. In fact it was also stated by the United States that merely sporting this watch would be an identifying feature of a potential terrorist.

Sporting the watch made one a suspect

The documents revealed that several US investigators had considered sporting this watch as a sign that the person belonged to the al-Qaeda.

The fears emerged out of the fact that some of the al-Qaeda prisoners had said that the watch was being used in the building of bomb detonators.

In the Wilileaks documents it was stated that investigators in the US identify the watch as a sign of the al-Qaeda as it is being used to make bombs.

Around three years back if any US official came across a person sporting this watch he was viewed as a suspect.

This is also to do with the fact that during the investigations conducted in various terror cases, it was found that these two models of the Casio watch were being given to trainees in Afghanistan.

The trainees had a specific lesson on how to use this watch to make bombs.

The documents also went on to reveal that one-third of all Guantanamo prisoners who wore the watch "have known connections to explosives, either having attended explosives training, having association with a facility where IEDs were made or where explosives training was given, or having association with a person identified as an explosives expert."

Why was this watch favoured?

The relationship between the Casio watch and some terrorists can be first traced to the year 1996. Abdul Hakim Murad and Ramzi Ahmed Yusef were put on trial for attempting to bomb a US airliner.

They were said to be using a combination of 9 volt batteries, nitroglycerin and a Casio watch to detonate the explosive contained in a bottle.

The terrorists had managed to smuggle it easily into the plane. In fact they had conducted a trial run in the year 1994 and the explosive they had created had gone unnoticed.

Casio powered IEDs continue to be a favourite even till date and has been found in Afghanistan and Pakistan. In fact the recent arrest of Saleh an ISIS linked militant also goes on to indicate that the Casio is still a favourite.

The other side of the story

Not everyone questioned by the US authorities have admitted that the Casio watch is used as a detonator. Take for instance the questioning of a Kuwaiti engineer who was detained for alleged terrorist links.

He said it is laughable that all those with the Casio watch is on the suspect list.

He told his interrogators that the watch in question has a compass and shows him the direction of Mecca. I pray five times a day and the watch helps in showing me the direction to Mecca.

He also said that many in Kuwait possessed this watch for the very same reason.

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