This fifth edition of CAR’s Diversion Digest presents cases from the field showing how field monitoring and trace investigations support a range of upstream efforts to address the threat of improvised explosive devices (IEDs).
Night vision equipment includes a range of imaging systems enabling humans to see at night, including thermal imaging devices. The Taliban's ability to access and deploy night vision equipment was a significant factor in the years before the group's takeover of Afghanistan in August 2021.
This Frontline Perspective, the third in a series from CAR's field operations in Afghanistan between 2019 and 2021, reports on two commercial supply lines through which the Taliban sought to procure thermal imaging weapon sights. These sights, manufactured in the past five years, were commercially available in the United States and United Arab Emirates.
An analysis of how using customs and shipping records can inform investigations into the diversion of precursor materials used in improvised explosive devices.
A guide to identifying weapons and ammunition produced by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) using examples of materiel documented by CAR in the field. This field guide provides diagrams showing distinguishing features of AK-pattern small arms, small-calibre ammunition (7.62 mm to 14.5 mm), and medium to large calibre ammunition (40 mm rockets and 130 mm artillery ammunition). Diagrams also show distinguishing features of packaging, including false descriptions of package contents.
This guide was updated in 2023 to include newly-observed rifle models as well as a rocket-propelled grenade launcher.
Between September 2021 and June 2022, CAR investigations have documented the physical remnants of 17 air-to-surface missile attacks in north-east Syria. The missile systems were manufactured in Türkiye and likely fired from uncrewed aerial vehicles (UAVs). This Frontline Perspective provides a technical overview of the missiles themselves, including CAR’s identification process and the internal components identified within the system. It then focuses on how electromagnetic brakes, which are used in accurate steering in missile technology, were manufactured by a company based in the European Union (EU) and were subsequently diverted from their stated end use in medical vehicles.
In 2019 CAR investigators travelled to the Diffa region of south-eastern Niger to document weapons and ammunition seized from terrorist groups operating in the areas around Lake Chad. In this Dispatch from the Field, CAR provides a first systematic assessment of the origins and supply sources of some of the illicit weaponry deployed by militants affiliated with Jama’atu Ahlis Sunnah Lidda’awati wal-Jihad (the Sunni Muslim Group for Preaching and Jihad, or JAS)—more commonly referred to as Boko Haram—and the emergent Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP).
Since the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan in mid-August 2021, concerns have grown over the changing terrorist landscape in the country and the threat posed by groups such as the Islamic State Khorasan Province (ISKP). This second Frontline Perspective focuses on weapons used in two high-profile attacks in Kabul: the May 2019 Taliban-claimed attack on Counterpart International, and the November 2020 ISKP-claimed attack on Kabul University. It helps shine a spotlight on tactics and weapon selection for such high-profile attacks, and highlights important similarities between the weapons used.
Since 2018, CAR field investigation teams have carried out forensic documentation of the military equipment that has been recovered from armed formations of the self-declared Donetsk and Luhansk 'People's Republics' (DPR and LPR) in eastern Ukraine.
This report is the result of a three-year study into the supply sources of weapons, ammunition, vehicles, armour, and artillery used in the conflict.
Explore dynamic case studies and interact with the data from these investigations in CAR's Ukraine iTrace Resource Centre
Recent Taliban seizures of equipment previously provided to Afghan National Defence and Security Forces (ANDSF) by the United States and NATO probably constitutes one of the most significant large-scale diversion of military equipment in recent history. This Frontline Perspective, the first in a series from CAR's investigations in Afghanistan, explores the long-standing capacity of the Taliban and other armed actors in Afghanistan to access weapons that had been issued to ANDSF, and considers the systemic challenges that have enabled weapon diversion from national custody.
For this Technical Report, a CAR field investigation team disassembled a recovered AM-50 anti-materiel rifle and comprehensively documented its component parts. This report provides a technical analysis of each of these components, highlighting key identifying features and yielding new insight into Iran’s weapon manufacturing practices.