Tuesday, September 3, 2019
Terrorists and Personal Weapons :: Terrorism
Terrorists and Personal Weapons Personal weapons fired at short ranges are the primary weapons of terrorists as well as the police officer or soldier fighting against them. One of the most important facets of personal weapons is that they have changed little since the 1940s. They have not been affected by the technological revolutions of nuclear, electronic and aerodynamic guidance and control systems. The weapons may be smaller and lighter with more advanced sights, but the ranges and rates of fire have changed little. The most significant change in personal weapons is most likely the controlled burst. The controlled burst is a system of sustained fire where bullets are fired in short, fast groupings of three. These three round bursts conserve ammunition and also give more effective fire for normal use. Another important development with the ammunition is the creation and use of caseless ammunition, which eliminates the need to eject a cartridge. Plastic ammunition has been designed primarily for training but could be effective for terrorists. If a gun made up completely of non-metallic parts, then plastic bullets would be desirable in evading detection at airports. While some terrorists employ the use of assault rifles, light-machine guns, sub-machine guns and even shotguns, the pistol is still the most popular. Revolvers and self-loading pistols are used because of their size and ease of concealment. Pistols can be carried in a pocket or a hip or shoulder holster, leaving both hands free until it becomes necessary to draw the gun. Armor-piercing missiles are used increasingly on attacks of both armored vehicles and the walls of buildings. They have had little success against vehicles, however, because they do not usually achieve a clean hit at the right angle in the right place, which is essential for effectiveness. Arab terrorists use the hand-held surface-to-surface Russian RPG 7 missile most commonly, and oftentimes these weapons have been largely provided to Arab governments who then can pass them on to terrorists. Terrorists can also use mortars in their attacks. Improvised mortars are extremely easy to make but can be inaccurate and unreliable, and so accidents are unavoidable. Most suitable for terrorist use are light mortars. A popular light mortar is the British 51mm Mortar, which weighs 6.25 kilograms and (its bomb weighs only 0.9kg). It has a range of 800 meters and a projected error of 2%. The use of anti-aircraft missiles by guerrillas to shoot down helicopters and other aircraft has increased.