Bomb supply chain for Islamic State

ANKARA – Companies from 20 countries are involved in the supply chain of components that end up in Islamic State explosives, a study found, suggesting governments and firms need to do more to track the flow of cables, chemicals and other equipment.

The European Union-mandated study showed that 51 companies from countries including Turkey, Brazil, and the US produced, sold or received the more than 700 components used by Islamic State to build improvised explosive devices (IEDs).

IEDs are now being produced on a “quasi-industrial scale” by the militant group, which uses industrial components that are regulated and widely available equipment such as fertiliser chemicals and mobile phones, according to Conflict Armament Research (CAR), which undertook the 20-month study.

Islamic State controls large swathes of Iraq and Syria. NATO member Turkey shares borders with both countries and has stepped up security to prevent the flow of weapons and insurgents to the hardline Sunni group. A total of 13 Turkish firms were found to be involved in the supply chain, the most in any one country.

“These findings support growing international awareness that IS forces in Iraq and Syria are very much self-sustaining, acquiring weapons and strategic goods, such as IED components with ease,” said James Bevan, CAR’s executive director.

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