The Islamic State's supply chain for IEDs is fast, reliable

The Islamic State's supply chain for IEDs is fast, reliable

Fertilizer from Turkey.

Detonator cord made in India.

Microprocessors made in the USA.

Islamic State militants have built a fast and effective supply chain for making improvised explosive devices, one that is flowing underneath the radar of international rules designed to halt weapons sales, according to a new report.

The main components of the Islamic State’s signature weapon — chemicals, fuses and cell phones — are not subject to many traditional export controls because they have viable commercial and industrial uses.

And it can take just a few weeks for many of those items to move from legal over-the-counter sales in neighboring countries to fully assembled weapons on the battlefield in Iraq and Syria, according to Conflict Armament Research, a London-based group that investigates the supply of weapons into armed conflicts.

“Perhaps the most significant finding of this report concerns the speed with which IS forces have been able to acquire IED components,” the group concluded in a report released Thursday.

"The appearance of these components in possession of [Islamic State] forces, as little as one month following their lawful supply to commercial entities in the region, speaks to a lack of monitoring by national governments and companies alike.”

The first-of-its-kind study examined dozens of IEDs and bomb-making facilities seized by anti-ISIS forces in Iraq and Syria.

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