ISIS militants are salvaging World War II explosives from Nazi landmines and British ammunition buried deep in the Sahara to wage war in Egypt and across northern Africa, according to a Newsweek report.
Some 17 million land mines are still reportedly stuck in the sands of northwest Egypt, dating back to the 1940s battles between the German and British armies. For years, Bedouin suffered the most from the minefields.
Various jihadist groups, however, have lately employed these explosives to make bombs.
“We’ve had at least 10 reports from the military of terrorists using old mines,” Fathy el-Shazly, a former ambassador to Saudi Arabia, and onetime Egyptian land mine clearance czar, is quoted as saying.
“Even now, these things trouble us in different ways,” Shazly says, pointing to how the militants have been making use of the old ordnance since 2004, when 34 people were killed in an explosion in the Sinai resort of Taba with bombs made of old ammunition.
While these militants have more sophisticated weapons at their disposal, occasional supply problems make it tempting to use the relics of Hitler’s war instead.