Powering Islamic State — an open-source analysis of Turkish-made generators used by Daesh

A typical Daesh weapon cache consists of four things — weapons, explosives, drones and a specific type of wind-powered generator made in Turkey.

The use of power generators is important for Islamic-State fighters. It powers their homemade weaponised and reconnaissance drones (seen below), communications devices and phones and cameras for battlefield updates and propaganda footage.

Why wind generators? They have the tactical advantage over solar panels as they are less visible to coalition drones overhead.

The Islamic State’s choice of generator is The iSTA Breeze i-500. It is the specific generator that has appeared frequently in Islamic-State-owned weapons caches that have been seized in Syria.

For instance, in this cache in a tunnel system in Al-Taybah:

And this one below, discovered from a small cache in Deir Ezzor:

While only a few generators appear in each cache seizure, a significant number of packaged iSTA-Breeze generators were found in a Daesh terrorist weapons stockpile seized in Al Mayadin, Deir Ezzor.

This cache was seized in October, 2017.

The footage below shows an overview of the cache:

At 1:35 into the footage of the cache, a large stockpile of these generators can be identified, still in their original packaging with tracking numbers and factory logos.

Further photos were found of the cache through a screenshot reverse image search from the video. These closeups on Twitter of the iSTA-Breeze generators and their packaging gave more details as to where the generators were from.

A close up of the iSTA Breeze from the Deir Ezzor ISIS-owned weapon cache.

The branding on the generators is quite identifiable, with an easy trace leading to the iSTA-Breeze website. According to their website, the generators are “100% made in Turkey, manufactured by Altinel Enerji LTD. in Istanbul”.

The packaging on the boxes that were seized in the cache also have a logo of Altinel Enerji.

The website, as well as its linked Facebook Page, does not use the logo included on the boxes, and instead uses an “iSTA BREEZE” logo, seen below.

Logo from iSTA-Breeze Facebook

The company changed its logo on November 16, 2017. This was one month after the Daesh supply revealed the shipment boxes with the iSTA Breeze logo.

The company displayed on the packaging ‘Altinel Enerji’, also has a website which uses the same new iSTA BREEZE rebranding logo.

The logo on the packaging was the Turkish company’s former Altinel Enerji logo. This was used on its banners for tradeshows and exhibitions, as seen below.

The logo is a match with the one on the shipment that was discovered in the Daesh weapon cache in Al Mayadin, two months before the company rebranded.

Left: Image from IS-cache in Al-Mayadin. Right: iSTA Breeze former company logo at a trade show.

It is interesting to note that the Daesh stockpile seized in Al-Mayadin had weapons, ammunition and vehicles that traced back to various UN member countries. How Daesh fighter acquired these is still unanswered.

What we do know is that Daesh fighters are innovative in weaponising commercial products such as drones, model planes, and using remote control systems to pilot SVBIEDs (suicide vehicle-borne improvised explosive device).

These wind generators are an integral part to the electronic-based terrorist systems ISIS fighters use.

While it has been identified that a Turkish company is responsible for items used in warfare by ISIS fighters, this article does not point fault at iSTA Breeze. Instead, the company may indicate, through its financial records and shipment tracking, the who, what and where of Islamic State financing.