The Cable

Report: U.S. Faces a Well-Oiled Weapons-Making Machine in the Islamic State

The terror group uses modern manufacturing methods to pour out weapons.


The Islamic State is apparently good at making weapons, and is getting better and more efficient at the task.

That’s the conclusion of a Conflict Armament Research report released Tuesday. It found that the terror group’s organizational stature and a strict division of labor allowed the Islamic State “to manufacture improvised weapons on a quasi-industrial scale.”

Due to these efficiencies, single workshops have manufactured many thousands of weapons over a matter of months,” the report found. “This large-scale, and highly organized, production supplies [the Islamic State] with a range of improvised rockets and bombs to supplement its arsenal of military grade weapons.”

The findings come after the organization reviewed documents retrieved when Fallujah was taken back from the Islamic State by Iraqi forces. They confirm the Islamic State’s “Committee for Military Development and Production” oversees the terror group’s armaments.

This committee produces weapons just as a private company might produce new products. First, it tests weapons, including rocket-assisted munitions and improvised explosive devices, before putting them into broader production. Then, it oversees their creation by managing work flow across a number of workshops to produce the munitions. Finally, documents show these weapons are shipped around areas controlled by the Islamic State for use against anti-ISIS forces and in terror attacks.

“Recently abandoned machinery, component parts, and chemical precursors found in the Fallujah workshops indicate that IS forces engaged in large-scale, improvised weapon production until Iraqi forces launched liberation operations in late May 2016,” the report found.

Photo credit: SABAH ARAR/Getty Images


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