ISIS terrorists are learning how to assemble, repair and recondition missiles and other weaponry at a new “Jihadi University” in Raqqa.
A new ISIS (Da’esh) training video on the subject, obtained by Britain’s Sky News, has deeply impressed — and worried — former United Kingdom Special Forces bomb technician Maj. Chris Hunter.
The video shows footage of a weapons lab in the Da’esh terror group’s de facto capital of Raqqa in northern Syria. The lab appears to have become a “jihadi technical college,” as it is being referred to by the terrorist organization.
The footage shows that the group can now produce key components for advanced weapons, including surface-to-air missiles (SAMs), and refurbish those previously believed to be obsolete or unusable.
Da’esh operatives have produced a homemade thermal battery for use in SAM systems – something that was also believed to be impossible for terrorist groups without any military infrastructure.
But it is now abundantly clear that Da’esh, at least, has managed to create for itself just such an infrastructure. The group has the capability of re-commissioning thousands of missiles previously thought to be unusable.
With these, Da’esh can target passenger and military aircraft anywhere within its range — and since it is creating an air force as well, it may become a menace in the sky sooner rather than later.
“What this video shows is that ISIS is “leagues ahead of its terrorist predecessors,” Hunter told Sky News on Wednesday (Jan. 6). “At first, the images didn’t look very different from the raft of other ISIS propaganda on the internet, but within minutes it occurred to me that this was definitely no ISIS propaganda video.”
Instead, Hunter said he saw “technically adept and highly trained weapons specialists giving expert tuition in how to turn obsolete munitions and ammunition into state-of-the-art weapon systems.
“Without doubt, the most chilling aspect of watching this training video was the unprecedented levels of technical expertise and ingenuity of those weapons engineers,” he said.
“Their advanced knowledge of weapons engineering, coupled with their seemingly limitless ability to reverse engineer and recondition weapons (previously considered by intelligence agencies to be obsolete or beyond repair), kept me awake all night.”
The components whose assembly, repair and refurbishing were painstakingly demonstrated included a missile seeker unit, infra-red homing radar, and MANPADS (shoulder-launched surface-to-air weapons systems). Also included with the assembly of a remote control car bomb – complete with a mannequin capable of tricking the advanced early warning sensors at critical/high security facilities.
Hunter called it “the stuff of nightmares.”
The real fear, at least for him, is “they’re certain to find their way into the hands of jihadi organizations and networks outside Iraq and Syria.”
For residents of Israel, of course, that nightmare began a long time ago.Hana Levi Julian