The Cable

The Islamic State Is Using Humvees as Suicide Bombs. The U.S. Is Sending More.

The Islamic State is using stolen American-made Humvees as suicide bombs. DoD is sending the Iraqi army 265 more.


The Islamic State has stolen thousands of American-made armored Humvees from Iraqi security forces to use as rolling bombs in the extremists’ quest to carve out a caliphate. So a new Pentagon request for even more Humvees to send to Iraq seems, well, mind-blowing.

In a federal business opportunity posted Thursday, the Pentagon asks for an additional “2,052 each High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles (HMMWVs),” 265 of which will end up in Iraq. The Islamic State is using the armored monster of a truck to blow its way through Iraq security forces, most recently when it took Ramadi in May. Some 2,300 of the 3,000 American-made armored Humvees sent to the Iraqi military by the Pentagon have ended up in Islamic State hands.

And it’s not just Humvees that have been converted into weapons. According to FP’s Seán D. Naylor, a bulldozer and at least one U.S.-made M113 armored personnel carrier have been used by the terrorist group.

As long as the United States refuses to put combat troops on the ground, arming the beleaguered Iraqi army is a necessity in the fight against the Islamic State. But the Islamist group’s use of American-made vehicles — and the willingness of the Pentagon to send more — could mean these trucks end with a bang.

Photo credit: Al-Rubaye Ahmad/Getty Images

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