by Stephen Bryen
Terrorists in Tel Aviv, dressed as ultra orthodox Jews, have killed four Israelis, injured another very critically, and wounded another seven. Two of the terrorists are reported captured, one shot and another is said to have escaped. The shootings took place in a popular market area in an upscale neighborhood in Tel Aviv.
The gunmen reported used a home made version of the Carl Gustav gun.
These guns are cheap and are locally made. Haaretz reported that there are shops in the West Bank, especially in Nablus, producing these weapons at near rock bottom prices. The typical gun sells for between $800 and $4500, depending on quality. This is much cheaper than a Kalashnikov which can sell for $15,000. Because they are made locally, and can be produced by any competent machine shop, they are a feature of the criminal and terrorist underground.
Producing the guns requires some innovation. As Ha’aretz reports, ” They’re manufactured from weapons that were originally used in paintball ranges and were subsequently sent to be scrapped. However, weapons-makers in lathe shops affix a 9mm bore to them and fill them with ammunition, creating a deadly weapon.”
It is likely the terrorists hid the weapons under their garments. How they got to the Tel Aviv market and how one apparently escaped is still uncertain. The situation is fluid. This attack is consistent with threats coming from ISIS, but there are plenty of other ISIS-type groups on the Palestinian side capable of such an operation. Hamas has praised the killings and shooting. The fact that the guns are being manufactured in the West Bank area suggests strongly that Hamas and ISIS has established a strong foothold there and can carry out operations, perhaps with plenty of local support.
The idea that leaving the West Bank on its own would make things better is a joke. It would mean even more guns and greater danger to Israel and to its neighbors.
Similar dangers exist in Europe, and European authorities are increasingly worried about attacks this summer. It is clear that the FBI is concerned that the US is also a target. The latest publication of “lists” of people as targets is one indication of the high profile of the developing threat. The fact that US borders are, for the most part, open and that Carol Gustav knock offs can easily be produced on US territory, means that what happened in Tel Aviv can happen in New York, Los Angeles of the District of Columbia. Unlike Israel where there is a much higher security profile, Americans are sitting ducks for such an attack.