Islamic State now has weapons experts and scientists capable of modifying sophisticated military technology, according to footage purporting to show the inside of an ISIS weapons factory.
In one case, it appears ISIS scientists have developed a thermal battery for use in surface-to-air missiles, a feat normally thought to be impossible for terror groups because of the background infrastructure necessary for working on military tech, Sky News reports.
With the human capital and infrastructure in place, ISIS is set to refurbish heat-seeking missiles thought to be completely out of date. While other terror groups have managed to obtain these missiles in the past, like the IRA, the missiles haven’t seen much use because of how difficult it is to maintain the thermal battery.
ISIS has nabbed a lot of other U.S. military equipment from Iraqi soldiers fleeing the battlefield, and in one particularly bad example, when ISIS took over Mosul, the group seized “three divisions worth of equipment,” according to security analyst Anthony Cordesman.
ISIS also seems to have drones on hand as well, not only for surveillance but for detonation if recent reports turn out to be accurate.
The ISIS research and development team has also pioneered a way to deploy bombs while evading scanning machines. ISIS fits a remote-controlled car with a mannequin. That mannequin has a self-regulating thermostat to mimic human heat profiles which then works to avoid detection by many buildings equipped with scanners.
After carefully reviewing eight hours of footage sent over by the Free Syrian Army, Sky News now knows the location of the ISIS university. Western intelligence services have suspected that ISIS is working on military technology, but this footage constitutes the first confirmation. There in fact is a training operation in which trainers show ISIS members how to modify car parts to construct a remote-controlled car immune to traditional radio jamming techniques.
“I think this is one of the most significant intelligence finds in terms of Daesh,” Major Chris Hunter, an adviser to the British military, told Sky News.
“With this training footage it’s very clearly purely designed to pass on information – to pass on the progress in the research and development areas – and it gives us a very good insight into where they are now, what they’re aspiring to do and crucially the diversity of the types of threats we might face,” he added. “So I would say it’s an intel gold mine.”
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