Conflict Armament Research has published a new report based on the findings of an 18-month investigation mapping the human and financial networks behind the global procurement of goods and technologies for Islamic State weapons production. It shows how Islamic State procurers concealed their efforts behind front companies, pseudonymous communications and proxy purchasers.  The investigation had set out to identify ‘choke points’ where similar networks might be vulnerable to disruption in the future, and to help manufacturers, distributors, and service providers to identify indicators (‘red flags’) of suspicious procurement and diversion by similar or affiliated groups.  The report therefore pays detailed attention to the ways in which procurers presented themselves to commercial manufacturers and distributors, the nature and content of communications with those manufacturers and distributors, the payment methods used, and how goods were physically moved.  It concentrates on 5 main product groups –

  1. nitrate-based fertilisers, used to produce homemade explosives (HME);
  2. aluminium paste, also used to produce HME;
  3. sorbitol, used to produce rocket propellant;
  4. commercial UAVs, which IS forces used in large numbers for surveillance, indirect fire guidance, and to deliver small IED; and
  5. a range of items procured for the development or manufacture of specialised UAVs and related weapon platforms, including engines, component designs, optical systems, and bespoke software.


On 8 December, Homeland Security Today said that weapons designers working for the Islamic State posing as fictitious front companies procured technology from suppliers in the US, Canada, Hong Kong, UK and beyond with many in the complex chain skirting authorities and some still operating, according to a new report from UK-based Conflict Armament Research.

I had omitted the following link (as it did not seem to generate much interest!), but it seemed time to add it again and say that, if you would like to make a (polite) gesture and help me with my removal and computer costs, I have a page at

Author: raytodd2017

Chartered Legal Executive and former senior manager with Isle of Man Customs and Excise, where I was (amongst other things) Sanctions Officer (for UN/EU sanctions), Export Licensing Officer and Manager of the Legal-Library & Collectorate Support Section

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