The weapons of terror have become industrialised since the Old Man of the Mountains sent his Assassins armed with their long knives to persuade his enemies of the justness of his cause and Jael, one of the first of the ‘freedom fighters’, carried out the political assassination of Sisera by hammering a tent peg through his skull. But the three essential requirements of such weapons remain the same: availability, simplicity and efficiency. Other requirements have been added over the years. It is now necessary for terrorists to be able to kill a number of people from a distance, so firepower has become important. This entails the use of automatic weapons but not those with too rapid a rate of fire, for the limited amount of ammunition that can normally be carried on a mission of terror precludes its waste. The guns and ammunition must have stopping power for it is dangerous to allow a man to remain capable of firing back; one lucky bullet could wreck the whole operation. To conduct urban terrorism, weapons need to be concealed, so miniaturisation is also essential. When these characteristics are added to easy access to guns, the bullets to fit them and the simplicity which precludes weapons jamming at a vital moment, the perfect weapon of terror emerges.
KeywordsBurning Europe Explosive Liner Trench
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