Islamic State used UK-based companies to buy weapons parts, says new report

From The Telegraph

The Islamic State group used companies in the UK to acquire weapons technology including parts for a jet-powered drone similar to the V-1 “flying bombs” dropped on London during the Second World War, a new report reveals.

The Conflict Armament Research (CAR) group, which studies weapons trafficking, said that Isil attempted to build the high-speed drones along with other “improvised weapons” when it established its so-called caliphate in Iraq and Syria.

Isil used individuals and companies registered in Britain and Turkey to purchase a large stockpile of weapons and equipment as it occupied large swathes of territory from 2014, despite “red flags” that could have prevented the sales, the report said.  

The group’s members used one UK-registered front company to buy turbine engines for advanced drones and ship them to a mobile phone company in Turkey. Another was used to buy parts for automatic anti-aircraft weapons, while others still used to import materials for bombs.

There is no suggestion that any of the companies or individuals identified or referenced in the report were complicit in supplying IS or otherwise committed any wrongdoing. 

Despite the suspicious nature of some of the transactions, bulk purchases made in 2014 and 2015 reportedly continued to fuel Isil’s weapon production until the collapse of its caliphate and the killing of its leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, in October last year.  

“No other non-state armed group has matched the scale and ambition of IS weapons production,” said Mike Lewis, CAR’s head of enhanced investigations. “With stronger due diligence, much of this trade might have been disrupted.” 

The report suggested that if industry and law enforcement authorities had examined the unusual volume of transactions more thoroughly, “they may have been able to interrupt the conflict-sustaining quantities of materiel acquired by IS forces [in 2015].”

Siful Sujan, a high-ranking Isil official who was killed in a US drone strike in December 2015, was among those who used a network of technology companies based in Cardiff to buy and sell equipment that was shipped to a mobile phone shop and other companies in southern Turkey.

A network of family-owned Turkish companies, located close to border crossings into Isil-held territory, was also used to import goods


One Response

  1. Is this late-arriving information another example of what is beyond the ken (and Barbie) of our less than timely counterintelligence services? Can we not adapt ‘Big Data’ collections of import/export/inventory/personnel backgrounds/… and process them through AI algorithms at quantum computer speeds to detect anomalies and prioritize preferred counter actions to prevent enemy attacks and friendly stupidities? Are these questions too long-winded and winding and whining for the corpus colosseum too handle?
    Threat assessment is inadequate, counter measures are too slow too often, and too often ineffective. //. I am thinking of taking control, tomorrow morning after a sumptuous breakfast of hardtack and beaver toenails. Beware!

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