By S. M. Hali
Dā’ish or the Islamic State pose a clear and present danger to the world. Many countries and organizations are engaged in research studies to unearth the weapons supply chain and plug the gap to check the growing menace. Recently a European Union based, research institution named Conflict Armament Research (CAR), undertook a 20-month exhaustive study on Dā’ish weapon supply chain and released its study report.
CAR has revealed that more than 50 companies from 20 different countries are legally supplying Dā’ish with bomb-making material, which suggests that countries are failing to monitor what they are selling. The shocking aspect is that the study revealed that seven Indian companies are involved in provision of over 700 components used in manufacturing of lEDs by Dā’ish. India is the second largest supplier of lethal material needed for fabrication of deadly IEDs for the murdering marauders who have created chaos and mayhem.
According to the study, seven Indian companies manufactured most of the detonators, detonating cord and safety fuses. These components are crucial to manufacturing of IEDs and are being legally exported under government issued licenses from India to entities in Lebanon and Turkey. The report said that CAR gained access to the components through partners including the US-backed Kurdish YPG in Syria, the Iraqi Federal Police, the Kurdistan Region Security Council and forces of the Kurdistan Regional Government. These components were seized during battles in the Iraqi towns of al Rabia, Kirkuk, Mosul, and Tikrit and the Syrian town of Kobani.
These findings support growing international awareness that IS forces in Iraq and Syria are very much self-sustaining, acquiring weapons and strategic goods without any difficulty. India’s role in supporting Dā’ish with lethal IEDs parts that too with the tacit approval of Government has raised eyebrows World over. This role of India is highly condemnable and a drag to international efforts on combating Dā’ish.
CAR investigated the supply chain of weapons used in Iraq and Syria and discovered that components used in improvised explosive devices (IEDs) are built using commercial goods that do not require a government export license and fall under the radar and regulation of weapon sales.
Company headquarters in Japan, Switzerland and the United States manufactured micro-controllers and transistors used in remote-controlled IEDs by Dā’ish militants in Iraq, the report also states. CAR approached representatives of the companies involved and said some were surprised and even shocked.
IEDs are now being produced on a “quasi-industrial scale” by the militant group, which uses both industrial components that are regulated and widely available equipment such as fertilizer chemicals and mobile phones, according to Conflict Armament Research (CAR), which undertook the 20-month study.
Dā’ish 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 hard line Sunni group. The study found that Dā’ish is able to acquire some components in as a little as a month after their lawful supply to firms in the region, suggestion a lack of oversight in the supply chain. Dā’ish used chemical weapons in Syria and Iraq, CIA Director John Brennan said. The sale of these cheap and readily available parts, some of which are not subject to government export licenses, is far less scrutinized and regulated than the transfer of weapons. “We have a number of instances where ISIL [another name for IS] has used chemical munitions on the battlefield,” Brennan told CBS News in an interview.
He added that the militant group had capabilities to produce small amounts of mustard gas or chlorine gas and possibly export it to the Western countries.
The CIA chief said that US intelligence was actively involved in searching for chemical weapons or labs producing those in Syria and Iraq.
US National Intelligence Director James Clapper said an investigation into an alleged Dā’ish attack in Syria in August revealed that at least two people were exposed to sulfur mustard.
India does not let on its links with the extremist terror outfit but has now been pressurized by international forces to take action against Dā’ish. Maharashtra Police under instructions from Anti-terrorism Squad (ATS) has blocked a total of 94 websites spreading Islamic State (ISIS) propaganda on the internet. The decision was taken after the police forces in collaboration with the National Investigation Agency (NIA) arrested at least six individuals for linkages with terror conduits.
It is also a matter of concern that Afghan officials and government have been in a state of denial regarding the harrowing presence of the Dā’ish in their country. The main reason is that they are afraid of admitting the weaknesses of their own law enforcement agencies. Recently, Hajji Zahir Qadir, a senior Afghan Member Parliament has criticized the Afghan Government for supporting the Dā’ish. First Deputy of Wolesi Jirga (Lower House of Afghan Parliament) revealed that Afghan government has adopted treacherous policies for tackling the terrorism in their country. He disclosed that Afghan Government only targeted the Taliban during clashes between Tehreek-e-Taliban Afghanistan (TTA) and Dā’ish in Nangarhar. Among other disclosures, it was brought out that Afghan Government has issued cards to Lashkar-e-Islam (LI) cadres out of which 90% are fighting in Achin and Nazian Districts of Nangarhar. LI has the responsibility of moving Dā’ish militants from Nazian and Achin Districts to Ghani Khel District and from Bhati Kot District to Jalalabad. It is equally distressing to learn that about a week ago, an ANSF helicopter landed in Hijrat village located in Surkh RudDistrict, Nangarhar during night and dropped
people dressed in black clothes.
Earlier, the senior Afghan Member Parliament had also claimed with evidence that Afghan Intelligence and other departments have been supporting Dā’ish. Hajji Zahir Qadir’s group has beheaded 4 Dā’ish militants in Achin District to avenge the beheading of his associates by Dā’ish.
It is unfortunate that both of Pakistan’s neighbours, India and Afghanistan have been harbouring, abetting and aiding the Dā’ish. This heinous collusion must be exposed and stopped.
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