Saturday, November 28, 2015

Slovakia Gun Shop Was Source of Weapons in #ParisAttacks

Following-up from yesterday, "Planning for #ParisAttacks Hatched in Plain Sight."

And here's the latest on that, at WSJ, "Slovakian Shop Is Eyed as Source of Guns in Prior Terror Attacks":
PARTIZANSKE, Slovakia—For more than two decades, a store in the basement of a Soviet-style building here has sold deactivated weapons and replica Nazi uniforms to private collectors or for use as movie props.

This year, it has also been a source for weapons that European security officials say were later reactivated and used by jihadists in at least two terror attacks on the continent, a chilling exploitation of Europe’s fragmented gun laws.

European security officials said decommissioned guns purchased legally from the AFG store, owned by AFG Security Corp., have been transferred to safe houses in Western Europe, primarily Belgium, a known weapons-trading hub. Jihadists used weapons sold by AFG and reactivated in Belgium in a three-day spate of terror attacks in Paris in January, the officials said, as well as in an attack on a French high-speed train in August, foiled when the culprit was tackled by passengers after his gun misfired.

“The AK-47 type automatic gun used in the thwarted Thalys [train] attack came from the same provider as the guns used in January,” a French police officer close to the matter said. “The gunmen didn’t get the guns themselves directly in Slovakia, but from intermediaries in Belgium.”

In a recent interview from behind the counter at AFG, Frantisek Gajdos, the 24-year-old son of the store’s owner, said the business hadn’t broken any laws. “We sell these guns to many people, and some of them are foreigners,” he said. “But that’s legal.”

Slovakia’s laws governing decommissioned weapons have long been less restrictive than elsewhere in Europe. Until recently, these weapons were sold legally to anyone over 18 years old, no license required. Although it is illegal to restore them in Slovakia, doing so isn’t as difficult as it is with weapons bought in other European countries, according to gun experts and Slovak officials.

Denmark decommissions weapons by sawing them in half; Italy fills the barrels with lead. Guns sold in Slovakia had their barrels perforated with a pin, a step gun experts said could be defeated by changing the barrel.

In July, six months after the first Paris attacks, Slovakia’s government tightened the laws on selling and reactivating decommissioned weapons, which experts say will make it more difficult, but not impossible, to restore such arms. Last week, the European Commission said it would tighten legislation to ensure deactivated guns couldn’t be easily restored...
Well, more gun laws won't stop terrorism. There's a freakin' weapons pipeline from Eastern Europe into the EU nations. Expect more jihad terrorism.

But keep reading.