first published on February 6, 2018 by Josh
Vehicle-borne suicide devices are not a new innovation. We have seen them used successfully a number of times throughout the past decade and a half. During the Global War on Terror, suicide bombers had a mission of hiding among civilians, and detonating themselves at the exact right time to cause maximum carnage. The Islamic State however, is using them in a much different capacity. They are also proving that as long as they have individuals willing to die for their cause, they will continue to use these extremely effective weapon systems to the peak of the system’s capability.
The Islamic State has improved upon the original design of a suicide vehicle. We have seen them at first using them in a traditional sense. They would hide the vehicles in plain sight, and use them to make direct attacks against targets of opportunity. These attacks prove more difficult, and far less effective than their current strategy, which is to use every suicidal zealot they have and every spare vehicle they can find to make vehicular missile strikes against their enemy. These attacks are for more overt, conventional, and effective when combined with the new designs and improvisations they have added to the weapon systems.
In the past, suicide vehicles would be loaded with as many explosives as possible. While maximizing the load of the vehicle, the attackers had to consider the ability of keeping the vehicle itself disguised. Small things would tip off the location of a suicide bomber. The weight distribution in the vehicle being off would off-set the shocks and give the car an off-balanced look. Removing panels to store explosives was also another dead-giveaway that there was something indeed off about a car on the road. These tells would ruin the entire operation, and cost the zealots putting the attack together not only a vehicle and suicide bomber, but also a large amount of hand made explosives.
Today, the Islamic State has re-invented the wheel. They have decided that is no longer effective to covertly hide suicide vehicles in order to inflict carnage. Instead, they improvise up-armor on stolen military vehicles, and load them with as much explosives as the vehicle can handle. There is also no shortage of individuals in the group willing to sacrifice themselves to the cause, so they often double in their suicide vehicles in order to allow the vehicle to have the maximum chance of reaching their intended target.
In the video below, members of the Islamic State charge an Iraqi militia group. A tank, a technical, and a squad sized element of dismounted troops all open fire as soon as the vehicle starts to vector in on their position. RPGs are fire. Machine guns are unleashed from both the tank and the technical. A number of riflemen join into the chorus as well. They are all working together to stop the suicide bomber from reaching their position. The armored suicide vehicle is stopped just meters in front of the tank, which has maneuvered itself into an intercept position to stop the vehicle before it can reach the mushy troops behind it. The resulting sympathetic explosion from the destruction of the SVBIED is so massive, that it manages to engulf the tank completely while throwing the troops behind it to the ground like rag dolls.