Thinking Aloud: Turkey Fertilizing ISIS

May 5, 2015 by Darius 

One would think, in general, that it might be a good idea to stop the trafficking of explosive precursors to a terrorist group one is trying to destroy.  Turkey, though, apparently hasn’t caught on.

Despite government vows to seal it, the border between Turkey and ISIS-controlled territory remains open for smugglers, transporting everything from the mundane, like cigarettes, to foreign fighters seeking to join ISIS.  One of the major items crossing the border is fertilizer, specifically ammonium nitrate.  Unless ISIS has recently developed a major interest in farming, this fertilizer is being used to create explosives.

Turkey should know better.  After all, ammonium nitrate was used to create bombs that detonated not only in Oklahoma City in 1995 but also in Istanbul in 2003.  In choosing to look the other way as tens of thousands of pounds of ammonium nitrate cross into border towns flying the ISIS flag, Turkey is flirting with disaster.

Fixated as it is on bringing down the Assad government in Syria, Turkey seems to not care overly much about where or against whom ISIS will be using that ammonium nitrate.  Turkey also seems to think that ISIS will not bite the hand that feeds.  The jury is still out on that one.  But it is hard to see that it is ever a good idea to have well-armed apocalyptic lowlifes with the means to launch suicide missions living in your neighborhood.

For more, see “Fertilizer, Also Suited for Bombs, Flows to ISIS Territory from Turkey,” The New York Times, May 5, 2015, p.A8,

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One Response to Thinking Aloud: Turkey Fertilizing ISIS

  1. Pingback: Thinking Aloud: Ramadi, a Turning Point? | Not What You Might Think

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