AK-47 assault rifles used by terrorists Charlie Hebdo attack most popular illegal weapon in Europe

Defence & Security News - Europe
 
 
AK-47 assault rifles used by terrorists of Charlie Hebdo attack most popular illegal weapon in Europe
Despite stringent firearms controls and ramped-up efforts to combat illegal gun trafficking, thousands of “war weapons” remain strewn across the European Union’s 28 member states. Many, like the AK-47 assault rifles used by the gunmen who attacked the Charlie Hebdo offices in Paris on Wednesday, are bought by gun collectors, organized crime affiliates and, as was the case this week, terrorists.
(Source International Business Time)
     
Despite stringent firearms controls and ramped-up efforts to combat illegal gun trafficking, thousands of “war weapons” remain strewn across the European Union’s 28 member states. Many, like the AK-47 assault rifles used by the gunmen who attacked the Charlie Hebdo offices in Paris on Wednesday, are bought by gun collectors, organized crime affiliates and, as was the case this week, terrorists. AK-47 Soviet-made assault rifle with folding stock used by the terrorists during the attack of Newspaper Charlie Hebdo offices.
     

There is no definitive count, but the bloc estimates that around half a million lost or stolen firearms remained unaccounted for within the EU. And that only accounts for weapons that were once registered and later went missing. Many of the automatic “war weapons” are illegally trafficked from the Balkan Peninsula and former Soviet Bloc states, where millions of leftover arms from the Croatian, Bosnian and Kosovo wars are regularly stolen, bought and transferred in small numbers, mostly to organized crime clients in Southern Europe, according to Gunpolicy.org. In France, there are an estimated 10 million to 20 million illegal weapons alone, according to a Christian Science Monitor report.

Guns can be acquired in the EU through a number of means. A .44-caliber Desert Eagle is advertised for 1,250 euros, or $1,481, by an anonymous European arms dealer on the Deep Web. The dealer ships that weapon through the mail. With the proper connections, which the Charlie Hebdo gunmen appeared to have, an AK-47 costs around $400 to $900 in certain European markets, and about $1,100 to 1,800 in France, according to a Bloomberg report.

In Kosovo, less than 20 years out of the Balkan’s most recent all-out war, gunrunning is rampant. A 2007 report quoted a young Kosovar gunrunner who said an AK-47 made in China can be picked up in his town for just 250 euros, and for only 50 euros in neighboring Albania, which along with two neighboring Balkan states, is on its way to becoming an EU member country. The gunrunner said many of the guns that run through Kosovo come from Serbia and Macedonia. Many, like the gas pistols converted to lethal handguns, are brought to Albania and smuggled into Western Europe, he said.

     
Despite stringent firearms controls and ramped-up efforts to combat illegal gun trafficking, thousands of “war weapons” remain strewn across the European Union’s 28 member states. Many, like the AK-47 assault rifles used by the gunmen who attacked the Charlie Hebdo offices in Paris on Wednesday, are bought by gun collectors, organized crime affiliates and, as was the case this week, terrorists. On this screen capture from an amateur video we can easy see one of the terrorist armed with an AK-47 assault rifle.
     
The terrorists who attacked Charlie Hebdo offices have used AK-47 assault rifles killing two armed security guards and several Charlie Hebdo employees before escaping in a firefight with a police officer.

The AK-47 is a selective-fire, gas-operated 7.62×39mm assault rifle, first developed in the Soviet Union by Mikhail Kalashnikov. Even after six decades the model and its variants remain the most popular and widely used assault rifles in the world because of their substantial reliability even under harsh conditions, low production costs compared to contemporary Western weapons, availability in virtually every geographic region and ease of use.

The AK-47 was designed to be a simple, reliable automatic rifle that could be manufactured quickly and cheaply, using mass production methods that were state of the art in the Soviet Union during the late 1940s. In some countries you can buy an AK-47 for less than 100 $.
     

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