I was reading about this on Reddit, and a poster mentioned the presence of weapons being smuggled due to the Balkan conflicts. I thought that sounded a little fishy but after a little research I found out a bit about weapon smuggling in Europe. From the 2012 EU conference “Fight against illicit trafficking in firearms”:
Legally owned weapons in the EU continue to feed the illegal market, powerful and highly dangerous weapons continue to be smuggled - apparently without great difficulty - over our external borders, notably from countries in the EU’s neighbourhood, where weak management of stockpiles, looting, and corruption fuel the illicit market. There is evidence that criminal groups creatively exploit new technologies, for example making and distributing weapons from spare parts bought legally on the Internet, by converting lawful air guns into more dangerous weapons, and by re-activating neutralized weapons bought both outside and inside the EU
Okay, not super specific. But then I found this from a WSJ article in 2010, sources come from Europol:
Rocket launchers or assault rifles such as AK-47s are available in the European Union for as little as €300 to €700, according to Europol, the European police agency based in The Hague.
Europol says organized crime groups and street gangs are “routinely using firearms in populated areas, posing a significant threat to the general public and law enforcement personnel.”
In a statement released this morning, Europol said the firearms mostly come in through suppliers in South East Europe.
“The establishment of firearms ‘pools’ in major cities in Western Europe has significantly increased the local availability of weapons to criminal hubs. This system of shared access gives criminals a rapid route to firearms that can be hired for a given period of time, as well as lowering the cost and the risk of being caught in possession,” the statement said.
I also found a really interesting report on Italian mafias that detail where they get their weapons:
http://www.smallarmssurvey.org/fileadmi ... r-4-EN.pdf
This chapter from a larger report indicates that criminal gangs in former Yugoslavia and Albania are a major source of weapons, which sometimes includes RPG’s.
So yeah, I guess I buy the argument that there could be RPG’s floating around Paris and one or more of them are in the hands of these terrorists. Unfortunately, I have a bad feeling that this might turn into a Mumbai-style run and gun series of attacks. Time will tell.
Fight against illicit trafficking in firearmshttp://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_SP ... 841_en.htm
Going Cheap in the EU: AK-47shttp://blogs.wsj.com/brussels/2010/07/1 ... eu-ak-47s/
Edited to add this bit I just read in the linked PDF on Italian mafia arms:
Police seized two underground
bunkers that contained, among other weapons, 10 missiles, 10 bazookas, 50 AK-pattern rifles, 35 pistols, 7 sub-machine guns, 10 anti-tank bombs, 400 kg of explosives, and some bulletproof jackets; most of these weapons originated in Eastern Europe, the former Yugoslavia, Iran, and Afghanistan (Viviano, 1996, p. 20).