Weapons from the Russia-Ukraine War: An Emerging Source of Terrorism Threat in the UK?

Nov 13, 2023 | Deep Dive, Tactics & Methodologies

Author: Oliver Hair ASyI, 
Threat Analyst 

Read Time: 15 minutes
“Our borders are not as secure as they should be and much greater efforts should be made to prevent the illegal transportation of weapons and people into the country. It would be naive in the extreme to assume that would-be terrorists will not attempt to exploit any such weaknesses.” – Lord Toby Harris, 2016.[1]

In September 2023, The Telegraph reported that the New IRA had allegedly acquired “two hand grenades, a handgun, more than 50 rounds of ammunition and more than a kilogram of plastic explosives” from the front line of the war in Ukraine, prompting fears that military equipment from the Russia-Ukraine war has already made its way to the UK.[2]

    Terrorist actors have previously demonstrated the intent and capability to conduct attacks using illicit weaponry in the UK and Western Europe. As a result, this report seeks to explain and assess:

      • The threat posed by unregulated weapons from the Russia-Ukraine conflict to the UK.
      • The ways in which unregulated weapons have previously entered the UK.
      • How previous conflicts have led to the transfer of unregulated weapons into the hands of non-state actors.
      • How terrorist actors have previously gained access to illicit weapons in the UK.

      This article does not discuss the frequency and severity of terrorist attacks; instead, it highlights certain factors that could influence the terrorism threat landscape in the UK in the long term. Any reference to the UK is in reference to the UK mainland.

        To read further assessment on this report from Dr Martin Gallagher, please click here. Dr Gallagher is a former Superintendent with Police Scotland, and holds a PhD in Criminology, Masters Degrees in Terrorism Studies and Criminal Justice Studies, and a Degree in Philosophy. He has over 50 publications, and writes on a variety of topics including terrorism, organised crime, leadership and police technology.

        Executive Summary

        • In the long term, it is likely that there will be an increase in the number of unregulated weapons available on the European criminal marketplace as a result of the Russia-Ukraine war and the significant amount of weaponry that has entered the conflict through foreign aid.
          • It is almost certain that terrorist actors have the intent to conduct attacks in the UK using weapons originating from conflict zones. However, it is highly unlikely that individuals in the UK would currently have the capability to gain access to weaponry originating from the Russia-Ukraine war.[3]
            • It is highly likely that UK firearm legislation and border control processes have significantly reduced the capability of terrorist actors to access weaponry in the UK. It is also likely that the ongoing conflict in Ukraine would restrict the transfer of significant amounts of weaponry away from the conflict as the frontline demand for small arms and weaponry almost certainly remains.[4]
              • Although it is highly unlikely that a significant amount of weaponry from the Russia-Ukraine war could enter the UK at this time, it is likely that firearms and explosives would be the primary type of weaponry to enter the UK. E.g., pistols, rifles, hand grenades, etc.
                • It is highly unlikely that individuals in the UK would have the capability to succeed in transferring high sophistication weaponry from the Russia-Ukraine war to the UK. E.g., Rocket-Propelled Grenades, Man-Portable Air-Defence Systems, etc.
                  • According to the National Crime Agency (NCA), firearms in the UK are typically sold to Organised Crime Groups (OCGs) and urban street gangs in major cities, it is, therefore, highly likely that any terrorist actor with the intent to conduct an attack would be reliant on OCGs, local criminal markets, and their own connections within the illicit weapons market to gain access to weaponry.[5]
                    • There is a realistic possibility that OCGs would avoid supplying terrorist actors with weaponry in order to protect their business from criminal investigation and association with terrorist actors.[6] However, there is a realistic possibility that terrorist actors could seek to deceive OCG actors in order to gain access to weaponry by concealing their true motivations.[7]
                      • CAVEAT: There is a realistic possibility that a significant proportion of media reporting surrounding the transfer of unregulated weaponry away from the Russia-Ukraine war to Western Europe could be considered “a tool of informational warfare” conducted by the Russian state.[8]

                      Introduction

                      • Past conflicts point to a high risk of weapons trafficking from Ukraine in the post-conflict phase. According to the 2021 Global Organised Crime Index, Ukraine had one of the largest illegally trafficked arms markets in Europe prior to the conflict.[9]
                        • The rapid supply of Western aid and weaponry to Ukraine during the Russia-Ukraine war and significant media reporting on the subject have prompted fears that military equipment could fall into the hands of terrorist actors in the UK or re-emerge in the hands of violent non-state actors in conflicts around the globe.[10]
                          • In September 2023, The Telegraph reported that the New IRA had allegedly acquired “two hand grenades, a handgun, more than 50 rounds of ammunition and more than a kilogram of plastic explosives” from the front line of the war in Ukraine, prompting fears that military equipment from the Russia-Ukraine war has already made its way to the UK.[11]
                            • While in the long term it is likely that there will be an increase in the number of unregulated weapons available on the European criminal marketplace as a result of the Russia-Ukraine war, it is highly likely that the majority of these weapons would be accessed by OCGs and urban street gangs rather than individuals with terrorist intent.
                              • Whilst it is likely that the volume of aid supplied to Ukraine has led to challenges in monitoring and controlling weaponry throughout the region, it is highly likely that UK weapons legislation and the international community’s ability to combat the transfer of unregulated arms out of conflict zones has significantly reduced the capability of terrorist actors to access illicit weaponry in the UK.[12]
                                • This paper seeks to understand the threat posed by unregulated weapons from the Russia-Ukraine conflict and the ability of terrorist actors in the UK to access these weapons. It explores how weapons enter the UK, how previous conflicts have led to the transfer of unregulated weapons into the hands of non-state actors, and how terrorist actors have previously gained access to illicit weapons in the UK.

                                How do Unregulated Weapons Reach the UK?

                                  • Although it is almost certain that the overall availability of illicit weaponry in the UK remains lower than in other Western European countries, in 2018, the Small Arms Survey estimated that there were 978,000 unregistered firearms in England, Scotland and Wales.[13]
                                    • According to the NCA, while pistols, revolvers and shotguns are the most frequently found weapons in the UK, there has been a gradual increase in the number of full-automatic weapon seizures in the UK in recent years.[14] This section seeks to understand the primary ways in which unregulated weaponry reaches the UK.
                                    • It is highly likely that the majority of unregulated weaponry that enters the UK would be smuggled by OCGs for their own use in tandem with the importation of drugs and other illicit materials from countries in central and eastern Europe.[15]
                                      • Experts have suggested that the free movement of people within the European Union has facilitated a system of micro-trafficking or “ant trade”, where individuals smuggle low quantities of weapons across Europe with other illicit materials.[16]
                                        • According to the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organised Crime, “the necessary infrastructure and networks for a surge in firearms trafficking …are already in place”.[17]
                                          • It is highly likely that weaponry intended for the UK is often processed in Belgium and the Netherlands before being imported from France. Means of importation would likely include: parcels, private maritime vessels, concealment in private vehicles, or in heavy good vehicles via ferry ports, train stations, and postal hubs.[18]
                                            • Although it is highly likely that the UK’s distance from Europe, UK firearms legislation, physical borders and border control processes have substantially reduced the capability of OCGs to smuggle weaponry into the UK, individuals have previously demonstrated the intent and capability to smuggle large quantities of illicit weaponry into the UK (see case study below).
                                            Case Study: Michael Defraine and Harry Shilling
                                            • In 2016, two individuals responsible for “Britain’s biggest known gun-smuggling operation” were sentenced to life in prison for shipping approximately £100,000 worth of weapons into the UK. The import allegedly contained 22 Kalashnikov-style assault rifles, nine machine guns, 1,000 rounds of ammunition and 58 magazines.
                                              • According to the National Crime Agency, the weapons were from the same Slovakian gun store as the firearms used in the 2015 Charlie Hebdo and kosher supermarket attacks in Paris. The weapons were originally sold legally as deactivated “acoustic expansion weapons” and were subsequently illegally reactivated. [19]
                                              • It is likely that a significant proportion of weapons that enter the UK are reactivated or converted blank-firing weapons that have been legally purchased by European OCGs and subsequently (re)activated and sold on criminal marketplaces.[20]
                                                • It is highly likely that certain terrorist actors in the UK would have the capability to convert deactivated weapons. Experts suggest “individuals with basic engineering skills have been able to circumvent firearms legislation by converting legally obtained air weapons and blank-firing imitation firearms and reactivating deactivated firearms”.[21]
                                                  • On 9 July 2023, the NCA revealed that over 700 firearms had been recovered in the UK in a single operation. A significant proportion of the firearms were reactivated weapons. During the investigation, seven of the cases reportedly involved individuals with extremist views or those who presented a potential terrorism threat.[22]
                                                  • There is a realistic possibility that the diversion of legal imports through theft or intentional diversion is an alternative mechanism through which terrorist actors could gain access to weaponry in the UK.[23]
                                                    • Registered firearms dealers have previously demonstrated the intent and capability to exploit loopholes in firearm and ammunition legislation in order to import firearms that are subsequently diverted to the illicit firearms market. For example, in 2017, a registered firearms dealer was sentenced to 30 years in prison for diverting legally imported antique firearms and home-made ammunition into the illegal firearms market between 2009 and 2015. The firearms were allegedly linked to over 100 crime scenes in the UK.[24]
                                                      Case Study: 2016 Murder of Jo Cox MP
                                                      • An Extreme Right-Wing terrorist conducted a Firearms and Bladed Weapons attack against Labour MP Jo Cox. The perpetrator used a sawn-off Weirauch .22 hunting rifle that police stated had initially been legally owned by a pest controller before it was stolen from his car in August 2015. It was reported that the perpetrator had not stolen the rifle himself and according to the police, the rifle likely passed through a number of hands before it reached the perpetrator. [25]

                                                      How do Terrorists Gain Access to Weapons in the UK?

                                                      • Whilst, according to the NCA, weapons in the UK are typically sold to OCGs and urban street gangs in major cities, there is a realistic possibility that firearms could be accessed by individuals with the intent to conduct a terrorist attack.[26]
                                                        • It is highly likely that terrorist actors in the UK with the intent to conduct a firearms attack would be reliant on local criminal markets and their own connections within the illicit weapons market.[27] Terrorist actors in the UK have previously demonstrated the intent to use criminal connections in order to gain access to firearms, including:
                                                            • 2014 – London – Two university students were convicted after plotting an Islamic State inspired attack in London. The individuals plotted to kill police, soldiers, and civilians in a drive-by attack using a moped.[28] Official records show that the individuals had acquired “a working firearm and ammunition” from a couple of criminal individuals.[29] The perpetrators did not have a street-crime profile and reportedly relied on a low-level street criminal from within their community to obtain their weapon.[30]
                                                              • 2017 – UK – The UK’s then most senior counter-terrorism officer, Assistant Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Mark Rowley (now Commissioner of Metropolitan Police), noted that terrorist actors who have sought but failed to acquire firearms have primarily turned to “criminals in the communities they hail from…often…people involved in low-level organised crime or gang activity”.[31]
                                                            • There is a realistic possibility that OCGs would avoid supplying terrorist actors with weapons in order to protect their business from criminal investigation and association with terrorist actors.[32] However, there is a realistic possibility that terrorist actors could seek to deceive OCG actors in order to gain access to weaponry by concealing their true motivations.[33]

                                                            Previous Examples of Illicit Weapons Attacks in the UK and Western Europe

                                                            • Terrorist actors have previously demonstrated the intent and capability to conduct attacks using illicit weaponry in the UK and Western Europe. It is almost certain that many of the weapons used in the attacks were sourced using illicit networks and the techniques explored in the above sections. Examples include:
                                                                • 2023 – Essex – An individual was charged with terrorism and firearms offences relating to “extreme right-wing terrorism”. The individual was charged with single counts of preparation of terrorism, possession of a prohibited firearm, and possession of ammunition without a firearms certificate.[34]
                                                                  • 2022 – London – An Islamist terrorist actor was intercepted whilst in a taxi from Brighton to Lewisham, South London, on the way to buy a firearm. The perpetrator later pled guilty to preparing to conduct a terrorist attack against a Christian speaker, Hatun Tash, at Speakers’ Corner in Hyde Park.[35]
                                                                    • 2017 – UK – The UK’s then most senior counter-terrorism officer, Assistant Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Mark Rowley (now Commissioner of Metropolitan Police) revealed that half of the UK terrorist plots that were foiled in 2015-16 involved terrorist actors who had tried to gain access to guns.[36] Media reporting suggests that five of the 10 terrorist attacks foiled by UK police and security services involved attempts to access firearms.[37]
                                                                      • 2016 – Birstall – An Extreme Right-Wing terrorist conducted a Firearms and Bladed Weapons attack against Labour MP Jo Cox. The perpetrator used a sawn-off Weirauch .22 hunting rifle that police stated had initially been legally owned by a pest controller before it was stolen from his car in August 2015. It was reported that the perpetrator had not stolen the rifle himself and, according to the police, the rifle likely passed through a number of hands before it reached the perpetrator.[38]
                                                                        • 2016 – Poland – A French national was caught smuggling anti-tank grenade launchers, detonators and 125kg of TNT into Poland from Ukraine, as well as machine-guns and 5,000 rounds of ammunition. Officials in Kyiv said the man, allegedly a far-right sympathiser, was planning attacks on French mosques during the 2016 European football championships.[39]
                                                                          • 2015 – Paris – Three coordinated teams of Islamist terrorists conducted complex Firearms and Person-Borne Improvised Explosive Device attacks across Paris, targeting the Stade de France, bars and restaurants, and the Bataclan Theatre. There were 130 fatalities and over 100 others were left in a critical condition. The majority of casualties resulted from “primarily automatic AK-pattern assault rifles and handguns acquired from intra-European criminal sources”.[40] The weapons allegedly originated in miliary stockpiles in the Balkans before ending up in the hands of criminal groups in Belgium.[41]
                                                                            • 2015 – Paris – Two Islamist terrorists conducted a Firearms attack against the offices of Charlie Hebdo, a satirical French newspaper.[42] There were 12 fatalities and 11 others were injured. Media reporting suggests that the firearms used originated from the Balkans and Eastern Europe; deactivated weapons from Slovakia, converted to live-firing for the attack.[43]
                                                                              • 2015 – Paris – An Islamist terrorist took members of the public hostage inside a kosher supermarket in Paris using firearms. It is alleged that the individual was affiliated with the perpetrators of the Charlie Hebdo attacks that had happened two days earlier. There were four fatalities in the supermarket attack.[44]
                                                                                • 2013 – London – Two Islamist terrorists conducted a Vehicle as a Weapon and Bladed Weapons attack against a member of the British military, Lee Rigby. The perpetrators used a vehicle to ram the victim before attacking him with knives. One of the perpetrators had acquired a handgun which, although it did not work, “was to be used at the scene to keep the public at bay and to threaten the armed officers when they arrived”.[45]

                                                                              Outlooks and Assessments

                                                                              • It is almost certain that terrorist actors have the intent to conduct attacks in the UK using weaponry originating from the Russia-Ukraine war. However, it is highly unlikely that individuals in the UK would have the capability to gain access to weaponry originating from the Russia-Ukraine war at this time.[46]
                                                                                • Sophisticated firearms legislation and border control processes paired with the limited availability of unregulated weapons on the illicit market in the UK almost certainly provides a high barrier for entry for any terrorist actor with the intent to conduct an attack in the UK using illicit weaponry. It is also likely that the ongoing conflict in Ukraine would restrict the transfer of significant amounts of weapons away from the conflict as the frontline demand for small arms and weaponry remains.[47]
                                                                                  • Although it is highly unlikely that a significant amount of weaponry from the Russia-Ukraine war could enter the UK at this time, it is likely that firearms and explosives would be the primary type of weaponry to enter the UK. E.g., pistols, rifles, hand grenades, etc.
                                                                                    • It is highly unlikely that individuals in the UK would have the capability to transfer high sophistication weaponry from the Russia-Ukraine war to the UK. E.g., Rocket-Propelled Grenades, Man-Portable Air-Defence Systems, etc.
                                                                                      • It is highly likely that any terrorist actor in the UK with the intent to conduct an attack using weaponry originating from a conflict zone would be reliant on OCGs, local criminal markets, and their own connections within the illicit weapons market to gain access to weaponry in the UK.[48]
                                                                                        • There is a realistic possibility that terrorist actors could be inspired by the use of novel technologies during the Russia-Ukraine war to conduct attacks in the UK. E.g., Commercially available drones have been modified to carry explosives and target Russian positions extensively during the conflict.[49] While it is highly likely that terrorist actors in the UK would, currently, use drones primarily to conduct hostile reconnaissance, there is a realistic possibility that terrorist actors could be inspired to conduct attacks using drones in the long term.
                                                                                          • It is highly likely that any terrorist actor with the intent to conduct an attack in the UK at this time would prioritise the use of a low-sophistication methodology. E.g., Bladed or Blunt Force Weapons, Vehicle as a Weapon, or Fire as a Weapon.

                                                                                          Intelligence Cut Off Date: 13 November 2023

                                                                                          Case Studies: The Impact of Access to Surplus Weapons and Links to Terrorism

                                                                                            Previous instances of conflict have resulted in the transfer of surplus weapons into the hands of terrorist actors globally. The following section explores a number of case studies from previous armed conflicts.

                                                                                            “The Tesco of the world’s illegal arms trade”.[50]

                                                                                              • Since 2011, Libya has been a hot spot for illicit weapons sales. Media reporting suggests that after the Libyan revolution and Western intervention, the tightly controlled weapons stores of the Gaddafi regime were looted and the region was flooded with tens of thousands of small arms, including surface-to-air missiles.[51]
                                                                                                • Experts suggest that the fall of the Libyan regime enhanced the capability of terrorist organisations, as large quantities of weapons were illicitly trafficked.[52] E.g., in 2015, a United Nations Security Council (UNSC) report concluded that “arms originating from Libya significantly reinforced the military capacity of terrorist groups’ operations in different parts of the region, including in Algeria, Egypt, Mali, and Tunisia in particular”.[53]
                                                                                                • On 30 August 2021, the US completed their withdrawal from Afghanistan, allowing the Taliban to seize control of the country and establish a new government. Media reporting suggests that approximately $7 billion of military equipment was left behind by the US including aircraft, air-to-ground munitions, military vehicles, small and light weapons, etc.
                                                                                                  • It is alleged that the Taliban now controls over 2,000 armoured vehicles, including US Humvees, and up to 40 aircraft potentially including UH-60 Black Hawks.[54] There is a realistic possibility that such weapons could be exploited by terrorist groups such as al-Qa’ida and Islamic State – Khorasan Province.[55]
                                                                                                    • It is highly likely that the Taliban would have the intent to illegally traffic weapons in order to raise money and that the illegal movement of arms throughout the region would pose a substantial threat to regional states in the long term.[56]
                                                                                                    • ­The smuggling of unregulated weapons from the Balkans has been a concern since the wars in the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s. According to experts from the UN and Europol, there are more than three million illicit weapons in the six countries of the Western Balkans plus Croatia; an average of 30 weapons per 100 inhabitants.[57]
                                                                                                      • Weapons originating in the former Yugoslavia have previously been used by criminal actors in the UK. For example, in 2013, an individual linked to OCGs in the UK conducted a grenade attack against two members of the police. Media reporting suggests that the grenades used for the attack originated from the former Yugoslavia and that the individual had up to 20 grenades in his possession at one time.[58]
                                                                                                      • Between 1968 and 1998, Muammar Gaddafi supplied a significant number of arms to the Irish Republican Army (IRA) in shipments from Libya. At its height, four separate shipments of arms were allegedly delivered in the mid-1980s, providing the IRA with approximately 1,000 Kalashnikov rifles, Semtex plastic explosives, heavy machine guns, Sam-7 missiles and anti-aircraft guns.[59]
                                                                                                        • It is highly likely that following the signing of the Good Friday Agreement in April 1998, terrorist actors in Northern Ireland have retained pieces of weaponry. Experts suggest that successor organisations to the IRA have retained firearms acquired during The Troubles.[60]

                                                                                                        Expert Insight

                                                                                                        “This is a timely report from Pool Re, that provides a balanced and non-sensationalist perspective on conflict firearms and the likelihood of them falling into the wrong hands. I agree with the findings that this is not an immediate threat for us in the UK, but history teaches us that connections and networks change and what may not be viable today may well be a profitable and attractive business proposition for Organised Crime tomorrow.”

                                                                                                        Dr Martin Gallagher, former Superintendent with Police Scotland, Terrorism and Organised Crime subject-matter expert and academic.

                                                                                                          PHIA Scale

                                                                                                          The “Probability Yardstick” (below) is a standardised instrument used to provide professional intelligence assessments. Judgements made using the yardstick are relative and reflect the analyst’s confidence in their findings and assessments.

                                                                                                            • Almost Certain: An event is assessed to have a greater than 90% chance of occurring.
                                                                                                            • Highly Likely: An event is assessed to have a 76% to 90% chance of occurring.
                                                                                                            • Likely: An event is assessed to have a 55% to 75% chance of occurring.
                                                                                                            • Realistic Possibility: An event is assessed to have a 40% to 54% chance of occurring.
                                                                                                            • Unlikely: An event is assessed to have a 25% to 39% chance of occurring.
                                                                                                            • Highly Unlikely: An event is assessed to have an 10% to 24% chance of occurring.
                                                                                                            • Remote Chance: An event is assessed to have a less than 10% chance of occurring.

                                                                                                            Time Spans

                                                                                                              • Short Term: 0 – 6 Months.
                                                                                                              • In the next 12 months.
                                                                                                              • Medium Term: 12 months – 5 Years.
                                                                                                              • Long Term: 5+ Years.
                                                                                                          End Notes

                                                                                                          [1] londons_preparedness_to_respond_to_a_major_terrorist_incident_-_independent_review_oct_2016.pdf
                                                                                                          [2] Russian grenades seized in New IRA probe ‘may have been stolen from Ukraine front line’ | BelfastTelegraph.co.uk
                                                                                                          [3] National Strategic Assessment (NSA) Campaign 2023 – Firearms – National Crime Agency
                                                                                                          [4] EU: Proposed Gun Laws Addresses Claims That Ukraine War is Leaking Illegal Arms (occrp.org); Mark-Galeotti-and-Anna-Arutunyan-Peace-and-proliferation-The-Russo-Ukrainian-war-and-the-illegal-arms-trade-GI-TOC-March-2023.pdf (globalinitiative.net)
                                                                                                          [5] vrede_syntheserapport_safte_lr.pdf (flemishpeaceinstitute.eu); Fulfilling Clandestiny: Reframing the “Crime-Terror Nexus” by Exploring Conditions of Insurgent and Criminal Organizations’ Origins, Incentives, and Strategic Pivots (rand.org); Illegal firearms – National Crime Agency
                                                                                                          [6] project_safte_uk.pdf (flemishpeaceinstitute.eu)
                                                                                                          [7] (PDF) Modelling Entrepreneurial Endeavour in the Nexus between Terrorism and Organised Crime: Does Supporting Terrorism Present a Red Line in Organised Criminals Pursuit of Profit? (researchgate.net); (PDF) Terrorism and Organised Crime: Co-operative Endeavours in Scotland? (researchgate.net)
                                                                                                          [8] Weapons Trafficking in Ukraine: Threat or Diversion Tactic? | Royal United Services Institute (rusi.org)
                                                                                                          [9] Squeezing the sponge: post-conflict Ukraine poses a great risk of firearms trafficking. | Risk Bulletin #16 – August 2023 (globalinitiative.net)
                                                                                                          [10] Weapons transfers to Ukraine raise fear of arms smuggling – The Washington Post
                                                                                                          [11] Russian grenades seized in New IRA probe ‘may have been stolen from Ukraine front line’ | BelfastTelegraph.co.uk
                                                                                                          [12] Sending Weapons to Ukraine Could Have Unintended Consequences | Cato Institute; EU: Proposed Gun Laws Addresses Claims That Ukraine War is Leaking Illegal Arms (occrp.org)
                                                                                                          [13] project_safte_uk.pdf (flemishpeaceinstitute.eu); How guns get into the UK – gun smuggling explained after spate of Birmingham shootings – Birmingham Live (birminghammail.co.uk)
                                                                                                          [14] Illegal firearms – National Crime Agency
                                                                                                          [15] How guns get into the UK – gun smuggling explained after spate of Birmingham shootings – Birmingham Live (birminghammail.co.uk)
                                                                                                          [16] Inside the ‘Ant Trade’ – how Europe’s terrorists get their guns (telegraph.co.uk)
                                                                                                          [17] Squeezing the sponge: post-conflict Ukraine poses a great risk of firearms trafficking. | Risk Bulletin #16 – August 2023 (globalinitiative.net)
                                                                                                          [18] Illegal firearms – National Crime Agency
                                                                                                          [19] Pair Jailed Over UK’s Biggest Gun Smuggling Plot | UK News | Sky News; Ringleader of UK’s biggest gun-smuggling operation jailed for 35 years | Gun crime | The Guardian.
                                                                                                          [20] Illegal firearms – National Crime Agency
                                                                                                          [21] Gun crime: the market in and use of illegal firearms (psu.edu)
                                                                                                          [22] More than 700 firearms recovered in ground-breaking NCA-led operation – National Crime Agency
                                                                                                          [23] SALW-Synthesis-Report.pdf (icct.nl)
                                                                                                          [24] Firearms dealer Paul Edmunds jailed for 30 years for selling weapons used in crimes | UK News | Sky News; project_safte_uk.pdf (flemishpeaceinstitute.eu); Antique-gun dealer jailed for 30 years for supplying to gangsters | Crime | The Guardian
                                                                                                          [25] vrede_syntheserapport_safte_lr.pdf (flemishpeaceinstitute.eu)
                                                                                                          [26] Illegal firearms – National Crime Agency
                                                                                                          [27] vrede_syntheserapport_safte_lr.pdf (flemishpeaceinstitute.eu)
                                                                                                          [28] Two convicted over moped drive-by London terror plot | Crime | The Guardian; R v Hassane and others sentencing remarks (judiciary.uk)
                                                                                                          [29] Two convicted over moped drive-by London terror plot | Crime | The Guardian; R v Hassane and others sentencing remarks (judiciary.uk)
                                                                                                          [30] vrede_syntheserapport_safte_lr.pdf (flemishpeaceinstitute.eu)
                                                                                                          [31] project_safte_uk.pdf (flemishpeaceinstitute.eu)
                                                                                                          [32] project_safte_uk.pdf (flemishpeaceinstitute.eu)
                                                                                                          [33] (PDF) Modelling Entrepreneurial Endeavour in the Nexus between Terrorism and Organised Crime: Does Supporting Terrorism Present a Red Line in Organised Criminals Pursuit of Profit? (researchgate.net); (PDF) Terrorism and Organised Crime: Co-operative Endeavours in Scotland? (researchgate.net)
                                                                                                          [34] Essex teenager appears in court over ‘extreme right-wing terrorism’ plot | ITV News Anglia
                                                                                                          [35] Man pleads guilty to preparing an act of terrorism targeting a Christian preacher at Speakers’ Corner – Pool Reinsurance
                                                                                                          [36] project_safte_uk.pdf (flemishpeaceinstitute.eu)
                                                                                                          [37] Police fear terrorists using UK black market to buy weapons for Paris-style gun attack | The Independent | The Independent
                                                                                                          [38] vrede_syntheserapport_safte_lr.pdf (flemishpeaceinstitute.eu)
                                                                                                          [39] Will guns from Ukraine end up on the streets of Britain? | The Spectator
                                                                                                          [40] Military grade firearms increasingly available to terrorists in Europe – report | Gun crime | The Guardian
                                                                                                          [41] Ibid.
                                                                                                          [42] Charlie Hebdo attack: Three days of terror – BBC News
                                                                                                          [43] Paris Attacks: How Europe’s Terrorists Get Illegal Guns (time.com)
                                                                                                          [44] Paris court hears how kosher supermarket attacker killed four | Charlie Hebdo attack | The Guardian
                                                                                                          [45] R -v- Adebolajo and Adebowale sentencing remarks (judiciary.uk)
                                                                                                          [46] National Strategic Assessment (NSA) Campaign 2023 – Firearms – National Crime Agency
                                                                                                          [47] EU: Proposed Gun Laws Addresses Claims That Ukraine War is Leaking Illegal Arms (occrp.org); Mark-Galeotti-and-Anna-Arutunyan-Peace-and-proliferation-The-Russo-Ukrainian-war-and-the-illegal-arms-trade-GI-TOC-March-2023.pdf (globalinitiative.net)
                                                                                                          [48] vrede_syntheserapport_safte_lr.pdf (flemishpeaceinstitute.eu); Fulfilling Clandestiny: Reframing the “Crime-Terror Nexus” by Exploring Conditions of Insurgent and Criminal Organizations’ Origins, Incentives, and Strategic Pivots (rand.org); Illegal firearms – National Crime Agency
                                                                                                          [49] Ukrainian army revamps commercial drones to attack Russian tanks, trenches | Reuters; Drones in Ukraine and beyond: Everything you need to know | ECFR; How Ukraine soldiers use inexpensive commercial drones on the battlefield | PBS NewsHour
                                                                                                          [50] MI6 warns Libyan arms dumps are ‘Tesco for world terrorists’ (thetimes.co.uk)
                                                                                                          [51] Libya has become a hub for online arms trading, report says – The Washington Post
                                                                                                          [52] SALW-Synthesis-Report.pdf (icct.nl)
                                                                                                          [53] Final report of the Panel of Experts established pursuant to S/2015/128 (securitycouncilreport.org)
                                                                                                          [54] Planes, guns, night-vision goggles: The Taliban’s new U.S.-made war chest | Reuters
                                                                                                          [55] The-Spoils-of-War-final-1.pdf (icct.nl)
                                                                                                          [56] U.S. arms left in Afghanistan are turning up in a different conflict (nbcnews.com)
                                                                                                          [57] Illicit weapons in the Western Balkans: a threat to Europe. | Risk Bulletin #2 – October–November 2020 (globalinitiative.net)
                                                                                                          [58] Hand grenades ‘rare – but they’re out there’ – BBC News
                                                                                                          [59] Analysis: The links between Libya and the IRA | The Independent | The Independent
                                                                                                          [60] project_safte_uk.pdf (flemishpeaceinstitute.eu)

                                                                                                          Author: Oliver Hair ASyI,
                                                                                                          Threat Analyst

                                                                                                          Read Time: 15 minutes

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                                                                                                          Left-Wing Anarchist Guilty of Preparing Acts of Terrorism
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                                                                                                          Left-Wing Anarchist Guilty of Preparing Acts of Terrorism

                                                                                                          “Andrew Tate Admirer” Jailed Following University Attack Plot
                                                                                                          Threat Analysis Threat Landscape

                                                                                                          “Andrew Tate Admirer” Jailed Following University Attack Plot

                                                                                                          Islamist Terrorist Sentenced to a Minimum of Five Years in Prison
                                                                                                          Threat Analysis Threat Landscape

                                                                                                          Islamist Terrorist Sentenced to a Minimum of Five Years in Prison

                                                                                                          Home Office proscribe Hizb ut-Tahrir as a terrorist organisation
                                                                                                          Islamist Terrorism Threat Analysis

                                                                                                          Home Office proscribe Hizb ut-Tahrir as a terrorist organisation

                                                                                                          Vehicle as a Weapon and Bladed Weapons Attack in Israel
                                                                                                          Threat Analysis Threat Landscape

                                                                                                          Vehicle as a Weapon and Bladed Weapons Attack in Israel

                                                                                                          Six Arrested Over Plot to Disrupt London Stock Exchange
                                                                                                          Single Issue Terrorism Threat Analysis

                                                                                                          Six Arrested Over Plot to Disrupt London Stock Exchange

                                                                                                          Individual Sentenced to Life in Prison for Attack Plot
                                                                                                          Threat Analysis Threat Landscape

                                                                                                          Individual Sentenced to Life in Prison for Attack Plot

                                                                                                          UK Podcast Hosts Sentenced for Terror Offences
                                                                                                          Right Wing Terrorism Threat Analysis Threat Landscape

                                                                                                          UK Podcast Hosts Sentenced for Terror Offences

                                                                                                          Individual Sentenced After Hostile Reconnaissance at Iran International UK Headquarters
                                                                                                          State Threat Threat Analysis Threat Landscape

                                                                                                          Individual Sentenced After Hostile Reconnaissance at Iran International UK Headquarters

                                                                                                          New Statistics Show Increase in Prevent Referrals
                                                                                                          Threat Analysis Threat Landscape

                                                                                                          New Statistics Show Increase in Prevent Referrals

                                                                                                          Seven Individuals Arrested Over Terror Plots Linked to the Middle East
                                                                                                          Islamist Terrorism Threat Analysis

                                                                                                          Seven Individuals Arrested Over Terror Plots Linked to the Middle East

                                                                                                          Individual Jailed for Hyde Park Firearms Plot
                                                                                                          Islamist Terrorism Threat Analysis

                                                                                                          Individual Jailed for Hyde Park Firearms Plot

                                                                                                          How to Stay Safe During the Festive Period
                                                                                                          Blog Security

                                                                                                          How to Stay Safe During the Festive Period

                                                                                                          Islamist Terrorist Conducts Bladed and Blunt Force Weapons Attack in Paris
                                                                                                          Islamist Terrorism Threat Analysis

                                                                                                          Islamist Terrorist Conducts Bladed and Blunt Force Weapons Attack in Paris

                                                                                                          2023 Annual Threat Report
                                                                                                          Annual Report Threat Landscape

                                                                                                          2023 Annual Threat Report

                                                                                                          Former British Soldier Found Guilty of Preparing Right-Wing Terrorist Attack
                                                                                                          Right Wing Terrorism Threat Analysis

                                                                                                          Former British Soldier Found Guilty of Preparing Right-Wing Terrorist Attack

                                                                                                          Suspected UK Member of Islamic State Sentenced for Terrorism Offences
                                                                                                          Islamist Terrorism Threat Analysis

                                                                                                          Suspected UK Member of Islamic State Sentenced for Terrorism Offences