An Islamic State jihadi used a British company as a front to buy parts for Nazi-style ‘doodlebug’ flying bombs, it can be revealed.
An 18-month investigation has uncovered an international Islamic State procurement network which exploited lax rules in the UK to set up fake companies and buy weapons from abroad.
Cardiff-based businessman Siful Haque Sujan was among those who set up fake companies, a report by Conflict Armament Research (CAR) revealed.
Same engine: A V-1 flying bomb used by Adolf Hitler to attack Great Britain, known as a Doodlebug
The UK resident registered Advance Technology Global Ltd in Britain and posed as a fictitious man named David Soren, the report said.
He then bought weapon parts and shipped them to Turkey before getting them smuggled into IS territory in Syria and in some cases on to Iraq.
One online purchase was a large ‘pulse-jet’ engine from a US company which was later found at a hospital complex in Mosul, northern Iraq.
Sujan asked the company’s owner whether the engine could be used to power a 40kg (88lb) model plane. Pulse-jet engines were originally developed for Hitler’s V-1 flying bombs, known as ‘doodlebugs’.
Experts feared Sujan planned to use the engine to power an armed drone but the weapon was still in experimental stage when IS began to lose ground.
A German V1 or ‘Doodlebug’ pilotless flying bomb in flight, circa 1944, which inspired the new bombs
An internal IS document referred to the purchase, saying militants were ‘working on applying the V-1 engine used by Hitler to attack Great Britain’.
Sujan was killed in a US-led coalition air strike in Raqqa, Syria, in December 2015.
The report states: ‘IS weapon designers posed as legitimate civilian technology developers to do business with suppliers of high-tech goods and software in North America, Europe and East Asia.
‘The designers hid behind pseudonyms … and the fictitious personnel of front companies. In doing so, they exploited the lack of checks on directors and shareholders of UK-registered companies.’
A CAR spokesman said rules around setting up companies in the UK were far less stringent than in other countries and easier than ‘joining a gym’.
Manchester attacker’s brother confesses
Hashem Abedi has admitted his involvement in the Manchester Arena attack
The brother of the Manchester Arena suicide bomber has admitted his involvement in the attack for the first time, it was revealed yesterday.
Hashem Abedi was given a life sentence in August after being found guilty of murdering 22 people, attempted murder and conspiracy to cause explosions.
Abedi, now 23, previously strongly denied any part in the 2017 attack by his brother Salman.
But he came clean when a barrister and solicitor to a public inquiry into the bombing visited him in jail this October.
Paul Greaney QC told the inquiry: ‘Hashem Abedi admitted that he had played a full part and a knowing part in the planning and preparation for the arena attack.’
The inquiry continues.