Triumph & Symbolism – What Happens To Captured Car Bombs

Ever since the conflicts in Syria and Iraq progressed toward semi-conventional fighting in 2013-2014, up-armoured suicide car bombs, or Suicide Vehicle-Borne IEDs (SVBIEDs) have been a recurring feature of the battlefields. Lacking air superiority, non-state actors in both countries have resorted to using these weapons as a form of "poor…


Factories of Destruction – How Up-Armored SVBIEDs are Manufactured

INTRODUCTION  Suicide car bombs, or Suicide Vehicle-Borne Improvised Explosive Devices (SVBIEDs), are used by a variety of different non-state actors across the world. At times against civilian targets in order to terrorise, and other times as a force-multiplying weapon on the battlefield. Given the importance of this improvised weapon, some…


From Hajin to Baghouz – Islamic State SVBIED Design & Use

In April 2019 I wrote the most comprehensive report of the Islamic State's (hereafter IS) design and use of Suicide Vehicle-Borne Improvised Explosive Devices, or SVBIEDs, since the proclamation of the caliphate in 2014. The report, titled "Car Bombs as Weapons of War" and published by the Middle East Institute,…


The Mysterious Case of the “Eastern Ghouta” Car Bomb

On February 27, 2018, a small youtube channel posted a video titled "Terrorists' bomb-car in Damascus". The video showed an up-armoured SVBIED, but the description of the video went on to claim that the Syrian Arab Army had captured a Faylaq al-Rahman car bomb in Damascus, more specifically in the…

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Car Bombs as Weapons of War (Case study/Middle East Institute)

I just published an in-depth case study with the Middle East Institute, where I examine how IS design/tactics and use of SVBIEDs has evolved and adapted since 2014. The full case study can be read here:

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