As the Islamic State attempted to hold onto the territory in its so-called caliphate, it deployed a fleet of small drones to harass its foes. The modified drones were deployed during the battle for Mosul, where they were used to perform surveillance and drop small explosives on approaching forces, as well as elsewhere throughout Iraq and Syria.
The US Treasury Department has now revealed new details about the jihadists’ procurement network for its tiny unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). Yesterday, Treasury designated three Islamic State facilitators as terrorists and sanctioned three associated entities as well.
The move further exposed the jihadists’ support networks in the Philippines, Somalia, and Turkey.
And one of the newly-designated terrorists, Yunus Emre Sakarya, has allegedly played a “key” role in acquiring UAV “components” since “at least 2015.” Sakarya established a “Turkey-based company, Profesyoneller Elektronik,” that year and has operated it ever since. Profesyoneller Elektronik, which is located in the Kecioren district of Ankara, “serves as an ISIS front company involved in the procurement of UAV-related materials” and, during the first half of 2016, “was involved in transactions for UAV-related equipment that totaled over $500,000 for ISIS.”