Friday, June 2, 2017

This Canadian Team Wants To Know Where The Islamic State Got Their Weapons

In west Mosul, Iraq, on May 21, 2017 (Campbell MacDiarmid)

Macleans: On the hunt for ISIS weapons in Mosul

As the final fight intensifies, a Canadian researcher is just behind the frontlines, looking for clues about how ISIS is armed.

A helicopter gunship is droning like an insect over west Mosul as Canadian Devin Morrow and her colleague Mike Lewis are shown into a house that days earlier was used as an Islamic State courthouse and prison.

In the front yard of the once stately home, a soldier from the Iraqi federal police Emergency Response Division is writing “Liberated by the heroes of the ERD” on a wall in Sharpie. Charred documents lie among ashes on the lawn, next to a pile of facial hair likely left by a jihadist shaving his beard before attempting to escape with fleeing civilians.

The ERD fighters show Morrow and Lewis inside, where rooms have been converted into barred cells, empty now but for piles of bedding and a nauseating smell of unwashed bodies. In a downstairs room they find bottles of chemicals, loose detonators and crude improvised explosive devices strewn across the floor. It’s interesting but not exactly what the two researchers are looking for.

“It’s almost like everybody’s a bomb-maker these days,” Lewis says. “This doesn’t look particularly ambitious.”

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WNU Editor: I wish them lick.