Mad Maqsud: Jihad Road


The Syrian conflict began a new chapter in military history. The opposing sides use both the last century's arsenal and the most advanced technology simultaneously. This is a real war of great ingenuity and creative minds as well. The creation of self-made weapons from everyday and household objects is to be found everywhere, and became a hallmark of this war.

At the beginning of the war, before the army lost control of the border, the flow of weapons to militants was small. Therefore, the militants began to create self-made rifles. Their range wasn’t far, they were inaccurate and slow, but looked really threatening. The militants have used them to attack Syrian roadblocks and groups of vehicles. But self-made rifles were a threat not only to the enemy, but also to the shooters. In addition to these bulky rifles, the rebels welded pipes to make grenade launchers and shotguns. Such weapons were well suited for a strike and raids in accordance with ​​traditional tactics for this area: “hit-and-run”. After a few shots the self-made weapon begins to fall apart.

The rebels used classic weapons in urban combat: trebuchets and catapults. This pinnacle of ancient military ingenuity threatens the Arab city, as its was two thousand years ago.

The advantages these devices are the fact that they are quiet and easy to be manufactured. It’s a good bargain. The militants launch grenades, pipe bombs, Molotov cocktails and even bowling balls. After catapults, they moved to larger projects: the 'hellguns', the self-made artillery of the terrorists. The lack of targeting and adjustments is compensated by caliber. The militants usually attack peaceful districts with it for more damage. Gas cylinders are used as charge. They are stuffed with explosives to destroy whatever they hit, explosives and chopped nails for a more lethal effect, or, for example, toxic gases. The militants use these guns for various provocations, as these weapons don’t leave evidence: it is impossible to trace who made them and who used them. The Syrian militants use tablets and smartphones to guide the self-made bombs. The Apple Store has a special mobile application: The Mobile Ballistic Calculator. There are also unique examples of old school self-made weapons without modern gadgets. The jihadist brigade teachers in Aleppo use self-made guns, created from everything that can be found in the teacher's common room and work room.

The most popular vehicle in the Syrian war was a truck equipped with weapons and protection. The well-known classics are the Japanese pick-ups, proven as the most reliable machines, on which anything can be installed, even armored troop-carrier top.

In fact, now any vehicle, from car to truck, is equipped with steel plates or is equipped with arms and is used to storm fortifications, or is filled with explosives and is sent on a suicide mission. However, these vehicles are clumsy and break down more often than the enemies destroy them, but it is still popular to own such an armored monster. The terrorists use their wild imagination to create these death machines. For example, some models have machine guns, which can be controlled via a joystick. Recently, the Free Syrian Army forces, operating in the north of Aleppo, presented a self-made tank with anti-mine equipment.

It looks like the screenshots of the recent  Hollywood post-apocalyptic movie: Mad Max: Fury Road. But instead, this is Mad Maqsud: Jihad Road. Some Syrians make jokes about it, and shoot funny videos documenting this phenomenon,  referencing this film. The real masters create both the video for YouTube and the shotguns for pick-ups - although nothing can stop the onslaught of the Syrian army.