India is the Second Largest Source of Components Used by the Islamic State to Make Explosives, Report Says

3 Mar

By Santanu Chudhury

 

India was the second largest source of components used by Islamic State to make explosives, according to a recent report.

The London-based Conflict Armament Research, which tracks the supply and use of illegal arms in active conflicts, said it studied the remnants of explosives found in Syria and Iraq and found “most of the detonators, detonating cord, and safety fuses,” used by Islamic State were from Indian companies.

The organization said it found evidence of parts from 51 companies from 20 countries including the U.S., Russia, China, Brazil, Iran, Belgium, Netherlands and Japan.

Turkey led the list as the largest source of parts. From the more than 700 components recovered from the battlefields, there was evidence of supplies from 13 Turkish companies and seven Indian companies.

All the components from India “were legally exported under government-issued licenses from India to entities in Lebanon and Turkey,” the organization said in the report Thursday.

A spokesman for India’s defense ministry declined to comment.

Islamic State fighters have been able to make improvised explosive devices on a quasi-industrial scale, resulting in heavy civilian and military casualties. Explosives are often made from components that are cheap and readily available such as fertilizers and ammonium nitrate.

Conflict Armament Research said it did not find any evidence the countries or companies named in its report sold directly to Islamic State. The companies sold their components with other companies who in turn sold them to smaller commercial entities.

The report noted that Iraq and Turkey have large agricultural and mining sectors where chemicals which can be used to make explosives and components such as detonating cords are used extensively.

 

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