Category Archives: Unconventional Weapons

Thanks Ever So Much… Jody

Consider the important part played in national defense by one often forgotten individual — Jody.

If you served, Jody needs no introduction. He’s the civilian guy who’s got your girl and gone while you were away at the drill faces (pun intended) of the salt mines. If you didn’t know, “Jody” is the much-reviled star of dozens of cadence calls, used to get trainees’ brain stems into sync so that they march in step, and their minds lose any grip on the fact that D&C is training for any of the wars of the eighteenth century.

But that’s the Army for you: centuries of tradition, untainted by progress.

Jody serves a valuable purpose, as hard as that is to bear in mind when you’re trying to talk PV2 Joe Tentpeg into putting down the .45 because Mary Sue Rottencrotch back on the block is not really worth particle-blasting the inside of one’s cranium with gunpowder over.

First, Jody polices up all the untended Mary Sues, keeping the dating market in balance back in Hometown, USA, when the boys run off and join up. He prevents them from suffering the girlish feelings that proceed from separation and loss, and gets them started on the womanly emotions that attend duplicity and backstabbing.

He also provides a great motivator than training NCOs can exploit to keep young soldiers and junior officers in a razor’s-edge state of fighting keenness.

These are some of the reasons that some unknown philanthropist has chosen to honor Jody with his first-ever motivational bumper sticker:

Consider one of Jody’s other accomplishments: he also peels off many unsatisfactory and unworthy former girlfriends and ex-wives, letting soldiers seek superior women, more suited to their higher status.

For all these reasons, considering what-all he’s done for the boys, why, Jody’s practically a veteran himself, by now.

He could even have PTSD from a decade of listening to Mary Sue complain.

And deep down inside, every soldier knows it: Jody? Sucks to be him.

Indian Intel on Pakistani Nukes

While we’re talking about Pakistan lately, there’s an interesting article at The Diplomat about the history of Indian analysis of the Pakistani nuke program. As we seldom get insights into Indian intelligence, it’s worth reading in depth. A taste:

India, for instance, has taken a keen interest in Pakistan’s pursuit of a nuclear device going back to the 1970s and even earlier. Based on newly declassified Indian documentation I was able to access, what follows is an account of what Indian external intelligence knew about Pakistan’s intentions between the 1970s leading up to the 1990s – the decade that would end with both countries coming out as the world’s sixth and seventh declared nuclear powers.

For Indian intelligence in the 1970s, the focus in Pakistan was about its reprocessing capacity and centrifuges. This shifted in the 1980s to focus on the capability to produce an explosive device, and, finally, in the 1990s, focused on the nascent Pakistani missile program routed through China, which was eventually outsourced by China to North Korea.

Soon after the 1998 tests by both countries, Indian intelligence was looking at supply chains for Pakistan’s Shaheen-II ballistic missile, almost four years ahead of its first test in 2004.There was already specific knowledge available with India on Shaheen-I, including on the hardware that was involved in steering the missile. Additionally, New Delhi was not entirely convinced that Pakistan would not use choose to use non-nuclear chemical warheads for its missiles

The author of the post, Vivek Prahladan, has a book-length exploration of these declassified Indian documents coming out. In his post, he also reveals discussions he had with Indian government officials that hinted at the degree to which India had eyes on the Pakistani weapons program. Further, it’s interesting to see how US officialdom at the highest levels (President Reagan and advisor Thomas Eagleburger) dismissed Indian concerns.

And then there’s the whole “Abdul Qadeer Khan ran a rogue operation” cover story, which most of the world pretends to believe.

Cyber: the DNC Hack

The DNC maintains a creepily-lighted shrine with their locked Watergate file cabinet and their unsecured, formerly internet-connected server. Not the same thing, genius.

There’s been a lot of noise about the Russians and the DNC hack — mostly, it’s Democrats and the press (but we repeat ourselves) trying to delegitimize the incoming administration, and mostly, it’s been conducted through the F-6 sources of press reports with anonymous sole sources, like the Washington Post report that the Post and its political fellow travelers call “the CIA report,” while actually it’s a sole anonymous source telling the Post what the CIA supposedly said. (The Post, you may remember, used a [probably nonexistent] sole anonymous source, without plausible access to tell the story of “Jessica Lynch, Amazon woman.” The author of that piece, Dana Priest, has never admitted fabricating the story but never produced a source, either, leading to the inescapable conclusion that Priest fabricated the story. She has never been held accountable).

An interesting dynamic happened in 2015. The FBI warned both parties that they were under attack. According to then-RNC head Reince Priebus on Meet The Democratic Press, the RNC then invited the FBI to work with its own geeks to secure the RNC servers, and the Republicans were not hacked.

According to the Times, the Democrats dumped the FBI call to a low-ranking, unskilled contractor — then they left him on his own to handle it. They left their server unsecure. Result, compromise.

When Special Agent Adrian Hawkins of the Federal Bureau of Investigation called the Democratic National Committee in September 2015 to pass along some troubling news about its computer network, he was transferred, naturally, to the help desk.

His message was brief, if alarming. At least one computer system belonging to the D.N.C. had been compromised by hackers federal investigators had named “the Dukes,” a cyberespionage team linked to the Russian government.

Yared Tamene, the tech-support contractor at the D.N.C. who fielded the call, was no expert in cyberattacks.

OK, so what did he do, like a good DC Millennial? You got it, he googled, and then resumed slacking off.

His first moves were to check Google for “the Dukes” and conduct a cursory search of the D.N.C. computer system logs to look for hints of such a cyberintrusion.

No, serious slacking off.

By his own account, he did not look too hard even after Special Agent Hawkins called back repeatedly over the next several weeks — in part because he wasn’t certain the caller was a real F.B.I. agent and not an impostor.

“Like, how do I, like, know you’re a like real FBI agent, doooood? Thats what I tell girls in bars myself.”  Again, this loser is supposedly their cyber-D contractor. You know how to find out if somebody’s really from FBI? Ask for a meeting at the Field Office. Hey, even if you’re a plush-bottomed cyber Weeble unwilling to leave your Aeron chair, you can ask them to send you something from fbi.gov, and then check the headers to see if the address is forged. (If you don’t know how to forge a header and how to spot a forged header, you have no business within grenade range of a mail server).

From there, the Times story collapses into, mostly, the same unsourced stuff in the Post stories. If these guys make something up and repeat it to each other, they call that “corroboration.” That’s not how intelligence works.

It does come back to the tale of the incompetent Tamene and his incompetent 30-something supervisor, Andrew Brown. Tamene ran some over the counter tools — the DNC was not running an IDS, Intrusion Detection System — and thereafter decided that the FBI guy was a phony, lacking Tamene’s great wealth of knowledge, and wrote a couple of CYA memos, and quit taking calls.

Mr. Tamene’s initial scan of the D.N.C. system — using his less-than-optimal tools and incomplete targeting information from the F.B.I. — found nothing. So when Special Agent Hawkins called repeatedly in October, leaving voice mail messages for Mr. Tamene, urging him to call back, “I did not return his calls, as I had nothing to report,” Mr. Tamene explained in his memo.

In November, Special Agent Hawkins called with more ominous news. A D.N.C. computer was “calling home, where home meant Russia,” Mr. Tamene’s memo says, referring to software sending information to Moscow. “SA Hawkins added that the F.B.I. thinks that this calling home behavior could be the result of a state-sponsored attack.”

There are some Democrats quoted by name, generally about the bad feelz that resulted when their misconduct, lying, or biting the hands that fed them got aired in public.

For the people whose emails were stolen, this new form of political sabotage has left a trail of shock and professional damage. Neera Tanden, president of the Center for American Progress and a key Clinton supporter, recalls walking into the busy Clinton transition offices, humiliated to see her face on television screens as punditsdiscussed a leaked email in which she had called Mrs. Clinton’s instincts “suboptimal.”

“It was just a sucker punch to the gut every day,” Ms. Tanden said. “It was the worst professional experience of my life.”

Well, you should probably either work for people you can say positive things about, or take care to stifle your impulses to criticize your lords and masters. Because anything put in writing is at the mercy of anyone who finds it. And anything put on an unsecured server — and from Hawkins’s phone call, the DNC knew they were unsecure, and they kept writing the sort of two-faced stuff they’re now angry about seeing in print.

Bear in mind that no fewer than five New York Times reporters were exposed in Wikileaks, coordinating their stories with the DNC or the Clinton campaign; and one non-Times hack, Glenn Thrush of Politico, who repeatedly gave Democrats the chance to shape his reporting, was hired as a Times hack as of this week. That’s what they’re looking for — partisan subservience. They seem to believe they have a right to collude, lie and slant their stories, and the people who exposed them (even if they’re Russians) are the only villains. Had the US lost the Cold War, every one of those would be licking the boots of their masters in the Soviet Ministry of Propaganda. If they didn’t aim higher than boots. (Hell, those who were old enough to be around pre-1991 probably spent the 70s and 80s doing it already).

Update

A British associate of Julian Assange says that it was not a hack, it was two separate insider leaks. Reported at ZeroHedge:

Update: David Swanson interviewed [Briton Craig] Murray today, and obtained  additional information. Specifically, Murray told Swanson that: (1) there were twoAmerican leakers … one for the emails of the Democratic National Committee and one for the emails of top Clinton aide John Podesta; (2) Murray met one of those leakers; and (3) both leakers are American insiders with the NSA and/or the DNC, with no known connections to Russia.

The US Intelligence services consider Assange to be under Russian control, so it’s anybody’s guess whether Murray’s statement is a Russian smokescreen, or absolute truth, and whether or not the leaker(s) exist. The effort to find them itself has risks — an organization can be rendered ineffective completely by a mole hunt. Where does security consciousness end, and paranoia begin? And don’t even paranoids have real enemies.

For your consideration: Russian cyber operators are laughing their asses off at the USA right now — whether or not they had anything to do with the hack, it’s a win for them.

To the Wall!

The Wall Gun, that is. This monster is up for sale in Rock Island’s December Premiere Auction.

belgian-wall-gun

The marlinspike looking thing was meant, they assume, to go into a socket in a fortress wall. (It appears to be well forward of the point of balance, for some reason). In most respects, this 5’2″ long, 33-lb .75 caliber rifle is just an overgrown percussion rifle-musket. A way big one.

How big is it? Here’s a snapshot.

wallgunvsgarand-768x1365

And it’s also about the weight of three of those M1s.

It is a breech-loading(!) percussion gun, so was probably made between 1840 and 1870, but there are no guarantees. The sights resemble those used in the latter half of that period, as on an 1853 Enfield or 1861 Springfield. The unusual breech-loading mechanism is shown below.

Such guns may have been equipped with multiple removable chambers to promote rapid fire.

We also find the spring-steel pistol grip interesting. We do not recall having seen such a thing anywhere else in the world of firearms. Anybody?

This rifle comes from Belgium. Belgium has very little in the way of defensible positions on its borders. Accordingly, it has not only often been overrun itself, it has provided the unhappy battlefields for many a Great Power throwdown, from Waterloo to the Bulge. (Even earlier, Julius Caesar fought local Germanic tribes here).  Its defense in the First World War was armed neutrality, which failed spectacularly; after a postwar period of alliance with France and especially Britain, its strategy in the Second was ultimately the same (Belgium broke the alliances and declared neutrality in 1936, after the Anglo-French alliance didn’t react to Nazi repudiation of Versailles and militarization of the Rheinland), with an even more spectacular failure resulting. Fortresses were a major part of Belgian defense plans at all time of Belgian independence; some fortresses held out in World War I (think of Namur) but they were made irrelevant by technological and strategic advances by 1940 (consider the fate of Eben Emael and its brigade-sized garrison, defeated in detail by 78 gliderborne combat engineers).

In any event, fortress weapons were a Belgian specialty, one of several rational responses to the very difficult problem which is the defense of a small coastal nation from much larger neighbors.

RIA has relatively little information on the weapon, apart from what may be gained by inspecting it. It might reward European patent research. They do offer some general thoughts on the class of arms.

These guns can essentially be described as massive longarms. Initially designed as muskets, but developing into rifles as the technology became available, these guns are roughly the height of a man and accompanied by an appropriately large bore. If their size wasn’t enough to identify them on sight, the presence of a large hook or post on their bottom usually will. Used to help mitigate recoil, the use of such hooks can be traced back to the earliest of firearms, such as the arquebus and hand cannon. Posts or spikes (also called “oar locks”), as seen on the firearm featured in this article, are more indicative of the weapon’s placement at fixed positions in a fortification, as opposed to hooks which could be used on fences, bulwarks, trees, window sills, etc. While the post style may not be usable in as many locations as the hook, it would allow for easy swiveling and pivoting once in position. Not all wall guns have such devices.

Despite their many designs and firing mechanisms over the years, they were valued for pretty much three things: range, accuracy, and punch. Any one of those is a huge advantage should your opponent not have them, but all three is downright devastating. Though playing the intermediary role between small arms and artillery, these oversized longarms often served with artillery, and with notable success.

RIA doesn’t know of any tactical guidance for the employment of these monsters, but notes that it must have been highly limited and readily countered by a thinking, adapting enemy.  The US used them in the Revolutionary War (in flintlock, naturally) and that and a little more history is embedded in the Rock Island Auctions blog post. Read The Whole Thing™.

Large guns like this were often used as “punt guns” by market hunters, but those were even larger-bore smoothbores, used to take many waterfowl (usually, sitting waterfowl) in one shot. Four- and even two-bore punt guns exist, monsters even against this .75 in. rifle. Market hunting was once common, especially in the USA, but was outlawed even here in the 20th Century, after causing at least one species extinction (passenger pigeon).

If you’re looking for something a noodge more modern, we can recommend this article by Pete at TFB on a couple of catastrophic silencer failures… at least one of which turned out to be entirely exogenous.

Inland’s Repop of the Ithaca M37 Trench Gun

It’s become fashionable to resuscitate the names of old gun manufacturers, when the original firms have left the gun market or are tuning up their harps in the Great Beyond of corporate afterlife… pining for the fjords, as it were. One of the latest is Inland, originally a division of General Motors that was pressed into service making war materials, including firearms (notably M1, M1A1, M2 and M3 Carbines) during World War II. We’ve shown you the Inland carbines before. They’re nice enough, but are up against originals that are still available in quantity.

m37-display-1

But another Inland repop is a bit surprising — the M37 military shotgun. To tell the truth, we didn’t know that the USG ever used the original M37 of the Ithaca Gun Company. We always had Winchesters (M12s, which were good, and M1200s, which weren’t) and in more recent years Remington 870s or Mossbergs which we think were COTS purchases, not from the regular procurement system. As far as the Ithaca M37 goes, we seem to recall seeing it in Vietnam photos of Marines.

We never found much use for a combat shotgun, although a running buddy in Afghanistan liked the high/low mix of M14 and sawn-off 870. The one time he fired the 870 around us, he was responding to an Afghan’s insistence that nobody in the village knew where the lock to the cave door was. (Yes, there is a such thing as a locked cave door in Afghanistan. Or there was before Bryan blew it to Kingdom Come. After which, the village elder remembered where he left his key ring, mirabile dictu. Allah truly does work in strange ways, habibi).

m37-display-2

 

Anyway, Shawn at Loose Rounds shares Bryan’s fondness for the military 12-bore, and the new M37 spoke to him:

[W]hen I got to the NRA 2016  show… I wanted to see that M37 in the worst way. I was not let down.  After just a few minutes of handling it, I asked for a T&E sample.

Sample in hand, he took these atmospheric M37 pictures with Vietnam-era web gear and uniforms, including some things popular in SF, like the Bata boots and the Gerber Mk II fighting knife.

m37-display-3

Then he traced the ancestry of the M37 from John Browning on down:

The Ithaca as a military “trench gun” is likely not as well known by many. The action of the shotgun would look familiar to a lot of hunters out there.  Though the first thing you may think when seeing its action is the Mossberg 500, it and the 500 are really a simplified version of the most excellent Remington Model 31  shotgun. The M31 itself an evolution from the M17. The Model 17 designed by no less than John Browning himself.

When Shawn gets a T&E sample, he doesn’t take a few pictures and send it back. He wrung this thing out for months. Some conclusions:

The short riot/trench shotgun is a pleasure to handle. It’s fast and easy to work with and the slick action is as fast as lightening. The original M37s would indeed “slam fire”  but this one will not. As I understand it, this was done at the request of Inland when having the guns put together for them by Ithaca prior to the converting to “trench gun.” I know some will gripe about this, but let it go. It’s a fact of modern America that lawyers and sue happy anti-gun activists would salivate at trying to prove the gun defective in court. For those who do not know,” slamfire” refers to the lack of a disconnector in the originals that lets the hammer fall as long as you hold the trigger back. Just like the M12 and M97 etc.

Do go to LooseRounds.com and Read The Whole Thing™. There are videos of the gun being fired, pictures of targets shot for accuracy, etc.

 

Will the US Air Force Sign Lloyd’s Open Form?

Once-classified image of a Mark IV nuclear bomb, a descendant of the WWII "Fat Man" plutonium bomb.

Once-classified image of a Mark IV nuclear bomb, a descendant of the WWII “Fat Man” plutonium bomb. Click to embiggen.

A Canadian diver, Sean Smyrichinsky, was harvesting sea cucumbers off British Columbia when he found something that Mother Nature didn’t put there. When he described it to locals, he got the surprise of his life: they think what he found was an atomic bomb missing since it was jettisoned from a struggling B-36 in 1950.

It’s not confirmed, yet, but the US and Canadian Navies are responding to the site. Quoth the Beeb:

The story of the lost nuke has plagued military historians for more than half a century. In 1950, American B-36 Bomber 075 crashed near British Columbia on its way to Carswell Air Force Base in Texas. The plane was on a secret mission to simulate a nuclear strike and had a real Mark IV nuclear bomb on board to see if it could carry the payload required.

Several hours into its flight, its engines caught fire and the crew had to parachute to safety. Out of a 17-person crew, five didn’t make it.

Map of where the lost nuclear bomb might have landedImage copyrightROYAL AVIATION MUSEUM OF WESTERN CANADA
Image captionPeople have been searching for the lost nuke for years

The American military says the bomb was filled with lead and TNT but no plutonium, so it wasn’t capable of a nuclear explosion. The crew put the plane on autopilot and set it to crash in the middle of the ocean, but three years later, its wreckage was found hundreds of kilometres inland.

Dirk Septer, an aviation historian from British Columbia, says the US government searched the wreckage but couldn’t find the weapon.

“It was a mystery to everyone,” he told the BBC. “It was the height of the Cold War and they were just paranoid that the Russians would get a hold of it.”

Crew members have said they dumped the bomb in the ocean first, fearing what the payload of TNT could do on its own if it were detonated.

Canoe near Haida GwaiiImage copyrightGETTY IMAGES
Image captionThe Haida Gwaii islands are a remote area off the coast of British Columbia

A spokesperson for DND told the BBC the department had conferred with its American counterparts, and that the object the diver found could very well be the bomb. The American military do not believe the bomb is active or a threat to anyone, he said, but Canada is sending military ships to the site to make sure.

Quite a remarkable thing, if this really is found.

So the question becomes, will the USAF sign Lloyd’s Open Form? (That may be out of date, but it’s what shipowners and/or captains used to have to do to promise to pay rescuers/salvors). And what’s the salvage of a nuke worth?

Sources: BBC report, The Telegraph.

Can Cannon… Can’t

As you may recall, we were early adopters of the XProducts Can Cannon, which is great fun to fire. (We’re still waiting, by the way, for X Products to contact us about fixing it so we don’t have to use it only on a registered SBR lower). But it never occurred to us to fire it at anything. The guy at The Wound Channel on Yoot Oob is not like that:

And, as you’ll see, his Can Cannon is great at breaking cans, not so good at breaking anything else. A windshield, weakened by being taken out of its perimeter support structure of an automobile? For crying out loud, a pumpkin? 

Can’t almost anything smash a pumpkin? Well… watch the video. The Can Cannon can’t.

We suspect he’s using very light beer cans, not stout name-brand soda cans, which we’ve found best. But we haven’t tried busting stuff at point-blank range; it’s more fun trying to hit stuff at longer range, which is quite a challenge with unstable cans in the smoothbore Can Cannon.

Update

While XProducts never contacted us, their website does describe how to get the Can Cannon legalized here. The original version is not legal, except on a registered (NFA MG or SBR) lower. We’ll have to do that when we’re back home, and then we can use it on whatever lower, not just an SBR one.

Wednesday Weapons Website of the Week: Horst Held

horst_heldWhy would we make a single dealer the Wednesday Weapons Website of the Week? Well, Horst Held is not just any dealer. Not when you take into consideration the historic significance and quality of the collector pieces Horst is selling. Even if some of them are priced in the nosebleed range, his collection is broad enough, deep enough, historic enough, and packed enough with odd curiosities — like the flintlock revolver currently on the front page — to be an education in itself.

We first came across his site while trying to decode the mysteries of the repeating pistols of Weipert (Vejprty), Bohemia. For example, he has two Gustav Bittners in stock. Given the prices he has placed on them, all we can do is look, but he has characteristically included numerous photographs of these peculiar and historic “missing links” between the first single-shot and double-barrel cartridge pistols, and the true semi-automatic service pistol which came along in a few years and rendered the repeaters, operated lever-action (usually by action of the trigger guard), obsolete.

Bittner Repeating Pistol, (7.7mm?) cased with tools, ammo and en-bloc clips, from Forgotten Weapons. We believe this pistol to be in the personal collection of Horst Held.

Bittner Repeating Pistol, (7.7mm?) cased with tools, ammo and en-bloc clips, from Forgotten Weapons. We believe this pistol to be in the personal collection of Horst Held.

He also has a page on those strange hybrid weapons that incorporate a pistol or revolver and some kind of knife or sword blade, with an awful lot of examples, not including the rare Elgin Sword Pistol. The Elgin may be rare in absolute terms, but it’s common compared to his examples, like this Dumonthier revolver with a folding bayonet!

horst-held-dumonthier

And then there’s a Dreyse needle-fire — but it’s not the celebrated Prussian rifle of 1870, but a double-action needle-fire revolver.

But there’s far more here than just that. If you can look at this site and not learn anything, we’ll be very surprised — “By the heathen gods that made ye, you’re a better man than I am, Gunga Din.”

And if you look at the site, you’ll almost certainly be entertained. You may not want to spend thousands on exotic antiques, but you’ll marvel at the ingenuity that went into some of these artistic creations, even as you wonder at the thought processes of the designer who thought it might be practical.

Comparing Nuclear “Deals”: South Africa and Iran

FOOM!

FOOM!

The Foreign Policy Institute has an interesting, brief comparison of the Iran deal, which they opposed, with the nuclear disarmament of South Africa.

They point out that the President said this, announcing the Iran deal:

An unprecedented inspections regime.

The most comprehensive and intrusive inspection and verification regime ever negotiated.

The most vigorous inspection and verification regime by far that has ever been negotiated.

Pretty much every word of that was a lie. There is, essentially, no independent inspection; there is no verification; there is instead a date certain that erases even the fiction of inspection. Iran, of all nations, has been put on the honor system, as if “honor” means anything to mohammedan savages, anything but a handy excuse to murder your daughter or sister.

The contrast they use depends on a fantastic report, Revisiting South Africa’s Nuclear Weapons Program, that does a thorough analysis of the rise and fall of this historically unique program — the only time in history that a nuclear power unilaterally disarmed. The document is here with links to free .pdfs. FPI describes it thusly:

Revisiting South Africa’s Nuclear Weapons Program provides a detailed account of the development of South Africa’s nuclear program, from its embryonic stages, in the 1950s, as a nuclear research and development center to its eventual production, beginning in the late 1970s, of six nuclear warheads. According to the authors, Pretoria, in the program’s early years, likely wished only to acquire the option to develop nuclear weapons but harbored no desire to operationalize this capability. Ultimately, however, the apartheid regime altered its strategy largely in response to rising fears of Soviet expansionism, hoping that the mere possession of the warheads — rather than their actual use — would deter aggression.

It’s actually quite a good study of a little-known armament program.

FPI then contrasts South African open disarmament with Iran’s mockery of international engagement, whilst maintaining a clandestine nuclear arms and delivery systems (the ballistic missiles are a key nuclear technology, after all) program.

The essential difference, however, seems to have been missed by FPI’s Tzvi Kahn. The RSA, unlike the Islamic Republic of Iran, wanted to disarm. (It’s also a fact that they didn’t want to leave a nuclear capability in the hands of a nation that has potential to give rise to a Mugabe or Amin). The Iranians are not the least interested in disarming. It sounds like madness, but their cult preaches to them that they will rule the world, and they mean to do just that. Nuclear weapons are a means to that end. Iran has no interest in disarming, and must be disarmed by force or economic pressure — neither of which is palatable to an administration more attuned to Iran’s aspirations and interests than to America’s.

Terrorism: Economy of Force

ISIL flagOne of the consequences of our contretemps with the Russians is that we’re experiencing a Great Relearning of things they learned in long conflict with Chechen and other Islamists. One of them is this: attacking terrorist funding and logistics only goes so far, because compared to national armies or security services, terrorism runs on a shoestring budget. It is by its very nature an economy of force operation.

Recent analysis of high-profile terror attacks inspired by ISIL in France bears this out. We have edited the excerpt below: we have inserted values in $USD based on today’s rounded exchange rate ($1.22=£1), further rounded to the nearest $500 or so.

The string of attacks in France, which have killed more than 200 people in less than two years, were funded by jihadis selling cheap ‘made in China’ clothes and accessories on the black market, as well as insecure consumer loans.

Researchers at the Centre for the Analysis of Terrorism in Paris combed the bank accounts of bloodthirsty jihadis behind the Charlie Hebdo, Bataclan and Nice attacks.

The perpetrators of the January 2015 attacks, which targeted Charlie Hebdo and a Jewish supermarket – Amedy Coulibaly and brothers Chérif and Saïd Kouachi – spent a combined total of £23,000 ($28,000).

More than £18,000 ($23,000) was used to buy a range of heavy weapons, including two sub-machine guns and two semi-automatic pistols, and a rocket launcher.

Heavy weapons? Well, it’s an English paper. If they looked in many of our readers’ gun rooms or safes, they’d go up like Guy Fawkes. FOOM!

Between them, Coulibaly and the Kouachi brothers killed 17 people: 12 people were killed in the attack on the Charlie Hebdo newsroom, and four people were killed in the attack on a Jewish supermarket. A female police officer was also shot dead by Mr Coulibaly.

The November 13 Paris attacks – when shootings at the Bataclan theatre and bomb blasts left 130 people dead and hundreds more wounded – were the most “expensive and complex” said the CAT researchers, and cost the radical Islamists a total of £73,000 ($89,000).

According to French weekly le Journal du Dimanche, where the study was published, ISIS chiefs gave each terrorist £2,600 ($3,000) to spend on the attacks – the rest they paid for themselves.

Two of the attackers, brothers Salah and Brahim Abdeslam, ran a bar in Molenbeek, Belgium, and took money directly from the till.

Hasna Aitboulahcen, the cousin of Abdelhamid Abaaoud, the ringleader behind the Paris massacre, gave the terrorists £3,500 ($4,500) before blowing herself up.

The extremists spent £24,000 ($30,000) on travel, £17,000 ($21,000) on secret hideouts, and £14,000 ($17,000) on suicide vests and guns, including six AK-47 rifles.

In addition, the ISIS executioners spent £10,000 ($12,000) on rental cars, and £7,000 ($8,500) on phones and fake ID.

The Nice attack, which took place on July 14 whilst crowds were busy celebrating Bastille Day, the French ‘Independence Day’, was the least expensive, and cost ISIS fanatic Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel no more than £2,200 ($2,500).

Mr Lahouaiej-Bouhlel, who has been described as a “sex-obsessed, pork-eating alcoholic”, used the money to buy a gun and to rent the 19-tonne lorry he used to plough through the Bastille Day crowds. The ISIS convert killed 86 people during the attack, including 30 Muslims.

CAT researchers also said that suspected terrorists’ bank accounts should be checked on a regular basis, as keeping an eye on their financial transactions could help prevent future attacks.

via How European ISIS terror attacks cost just £2,000 | World | News | Daily Express.

You should be reassured that, while the Diverse Vibrancy coming to a refugee shelter near you could very well kill you, at least they won’t be profligate spendthrifts whilst doing you, and they will dispatch you in a practical, economical manner.

The linked article says that surveillance of the suspected jihadis’ bank accounts might help to expose them — a few paragraphs where it describes how several of them scammed the necessary money off of cash businesses and thefts. That’s what passes for deep thinking in Journalistan.

Jamming their money up, or watching their money, is not going to be effective when they need very little money. It’s reminiscent of the great extremes and risks our special operations forces and airmen took to bust trucks on the Ho Chi Minh trail, when the while North Vietnamese combat effort in South Vietnam needed only 4,000 to 6,000 pounds of supplies of all classes daily. It sounds like a lot, but consider this: you not only had to bust trucks, you basically had to bust all of them, because the enemy ran his whole war on less than 2-3 trucks a day. But MacNamara never thought that one all the way through. (Show us your shocked face, on a screwup by Mac?)