Published: 11 Oct 2019 |
A craft submachine gun used by a far-right shooter in Halle, Germany, jammed several times, probably saving more lives, but it’s no reason to breathe easy – the know-how and gear for improvised weapons are just around the corner.
The suspect, described in German media as a neo-Nazi ‘loner’ Stephan B, was thrust into the limelight not only because of his anti-Semitic manifesto, but also because of the weapons he used. His attack drew comparisons to the deadly Christchurch shooting rampage, in which 28-year-old white supremacist Brenton Tarrant slaughtered 51 people at a local mosque.
But the German’s gun lacked the reliability and firepower of Tarrant’s military-grade rifles, with the former frustrated by his weapon’s repeated jams and failures.
The gunman delivers a message to the camera before beginning an attack on a synagogue in Halle © Reuters
In fact, technology to produce the craft gun is widely available to almost anyone who has basic plumbing skills, Maksim Popenker, a renowned Russian arms expert, told RT.
The similarity between this video and New Zealand attacker’s underscores that these are not isolated attacks by people merely holding similar beliefs. Today’s attack is another installment from a global terrorist network, linked together via online safe havens much like ISIS.
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BREAKING: PDF document, appearing to be manifesto of #Halle #Germany attacker Stephan Balliet, emerges online, showing pictures of the weapons and ammunition he used and reference to his live stream. States objective to “kill as many anti-whites as possible, Jews preferred.”
These firearms were designed in the UK several decades ago, and in order to make them, you need standard engineering tools and metal parts available at any hardware store.
Popenker denied speculations that the gun in question could have been 3D-printed partially or in full. “Most of the improvised weapons have been made without 3D printing,” he said, explaining that such technology widely relies on plastic parts that are unable to endure the shocks and heat.
Some Western media found the German shooter’s weapon was identical to a so-called Philip Luty submachine gun, named after a British man convicted for terrorism and illicit weapons possession. He believed that UK gun control laws were “fascist”, and created detailed instructions on how to make firearms from commercially available parts.
Popenker, who has authored several books on Russian and Western small arms, says that unlike 3D-printed weapons – which widely use plastic elements – improvised guns made of metal “have been around for quite a long time,” and the necessary know-how can be found online and on paper.