IS-created network of buyers and the power of al-Qaeda

The new report from the investigative organization Conflict Armament Research tells how IS used the international network of buyers to gather materials for building weapons. The most important in the supply chain was the borderland of Turkey and Syria, where the members of IS under fake identities approached companies to order components necessary for building explosives and other arms. Experts claim that currently IS lost both the network and sources of financing. The terrorist group also worked on developing drones powered by pulse jet engines – similar to those used in aircraft or the German V-1 missile during WWII.

The losses in al-Qaeda leadership won’t necessarily mean that the organization will be significantly weaker, claims Colin P. Clarke, a Senior Research Fellow at The Soufan Center. As he writes for Newsweek: “But al-Qaeda has always been capable of adapting and evolving, but by shifting its organizational structure to afford its affiliates in the Sahel, the Arabian Peninsula and elsewhere with the operational autonomy to develop attack plans and map out strategic objectives, the group has sidestepped the dilemma of leadership decapitation.” Al-Qaeda remains with over 40 000 jihadists underarms. Its affiliates like al-Shabaab in Somalia, Jama’at Nasr al-Islam wal Muslimin (JNIM) in West Africa, Hurras al-Din in Syria, al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent in South Asia, and al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) in Yemen remain active in their regions.