Islamic State's 'Mad Max' weapons of war

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Wars and Military Conflicts

Islamic State's 'Mad Max' weapons of war

Vehicles used for suicide car bombings, made by Islamic State militants, are seen at Federal Police headquarters after being confiscated in Mosul, Iraq.
Thaier Al-Sudani | Reuters

Iraqi police displayed an anti-aircraft gun and 23 vehicles that had been turned into car bombs, all captured from Islamic State militants during the battle for the city of Mosul.

The vehicles shown to the media were mostly civilian cars, covered in thick metal armor, with small glass ports for a driver to see through, and had been equipped with bombs.

They appear similar to vehicles used in apparent suicide attacks shown in Islamic State propaganda.

Many had been painted in camouflage or blue, the color of Iraqi Federal Police vehicles, in a bid to fool surveillance aircraft into mistaking them for Iraqi forces' vehicles.

"Heroes of the Emergency Rapid Division and the Federal Police seized these cars in successful night raids," Iraqi Federal Police captain Bassam Hillo Kadhim said.

Most eye-catching among the vehicles was a tank turret, complete with its gun, mounted on the back of a large truck, which police officials said had been designed to target military aircraft and ground troops from a distance.

Iraqi forces plan to destroy the vehicles.

_ Reporting and photos by Reuters.

  • A confiscated vehicle made by Islamic State militants modified with armor.

    Vehicles used for suicide car bombings, made by Islamic State militants, are seen at Federal Police headquarters after being confiscated in Mosul.
    Thaier Al-Sudani | Reuters
  • A tank gun hidden inside a truck, made by Islamic State militants, to avoid attack from planes.

    A tank gun hidden inside a truck, made by Islamic State militants, to avoid attack from planes are seen at Federal Police headquarters after being confiscated in Mosul.
    Thaier Al-Sudani | Reuters
  • Two modified armored cars are seen at Federal Police headquarters after being confiscated in Mosul.

    Vehicles used for suicide car bombings, made by Islamic State militants, are seen at Federal Police headquarters after being confiscated in Mosul.
    Thaier Al-Sudani | Reuters
  • A member of Federal Police walks near vehicles used for suicide car bombings, made by Islamic State militants.

    A member of Federal Police walks near vehicles used for suicide car bombings, made by Islamic State militants.
    Thaier Al-Sudani | Reuters
  • Interior of a modified vehicle.

    A vehicle used for suicide car bombings, made by Islamic State militants, is seen at Federal Police headquarters after being confiscated in Mosul.
    Thaier Al-Sudani | Reuters
  • Another confiscated vehicle similar to those used for suicide car bombings.

    Vehicles used for suicide car bombings, made by Islamic State militants, are seen at Federal Police headquarters after being confiscated in Mosul.
    Thaier Al-Sudani | Reuters
  • A fleet of 23 confiscated armored vehicles made by Islamic State militants are seen at Federal Police headquarters in Mosul.

    Vehicles used for suicide car bombings, made by Islamic State militants, are seen at Federal Police headquarters after being confiscated in Mosul.
    Thaier Al-Sudani | Reuters