It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.

 

Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.

 

How Terrorists Really Get Their Weapons (and will continue to do so)

page: 1
20

log in

join
share:

posted on Dec, 14 2015 @ 02:26 AM
link   
After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, many Soviet military personnel found themselves without a paycheque. They had no money for their families, and had no prospects of employment. What they did have, however, was access to a vast stockpile of weapons, ammunition and military equipment. So they started selling it. After a while, the sale of military equipment was even sanctioned by former Soviet officials. It was a way of making money for the crippled state of Russia and CIS states.

So, we know why they began to do this. But how did they do this? After all, international arms trades are highly regulated... at least the officials ones are.

I want to introduce you to my favourite make of plane - the Ilyushin IL-76 AKA Candid. The IL-76 is a massive cargo plane, known for its in-flight movies - the glass cabin providing a fantastic view of ground and air.



The thing about the Ilyushins, is that they have a lot of extra storage space, spaces which don't even show up on the plane's blueprints. These aren't just small compartments. We're talking like 10 extra tonnes. So, just say that Amnesty International wants to deliver some humanitarian aid to, say, Uganda. They don't actually own their own planes, so they outsource the job to some cargo flight company. They find that there are several of these cargo companies willing to do the work for next to nothing, so of course they choose these companies, which usually happen to be based in former Soviet states. Why do they work so cheaply? Well...

These planes are crewed by ex-Soviet air force personnel. They have years of experience, and are damn good at flying in and out of dangerous places. They are so nonchalant - всe хорошо! I was terrified as we came in for a landing, the plane pulled up at literally the last second, and the crew just laughed at my fear. They can land in all kinds of conditions, and they have to, because getting shot at is a regular occurrence. They can corkscrew down or basically nose-dive in, which makes them harder to hit with surface to air missiles.

I'd love to tell the story properly, but for the sake of brevity, I'll just mention it briefly - in 1996, Starikov's Candid crashed in Belgrade en route to Libya. Everyone died. The crash site was quickly cordoned off by secret police, but they didn't hide it as well as they thought. Bits and pieces belonging to fighter jets were found, and it was said that Gaddafi would miss out on his delivery. Sanctions be damned, these crews fly anything.

At Entebbe airport, our IL-76 crew greeted the customs officials like old friends. Our cargo was ostensibly humanitarian aid, tents and blankets and things. But we also had some extra tonnes, and these crews don't like to waste space! Now, I won't say too much detail. But there are a lot of Kalashnikovs in Africa, and they have to come from somewhere! Customs officials in many countries don't care. End user certificates are forged all the time. People know about this, and they don't give a sh*t. The charities who commission these crews don't give a sh*t. Customs officers don't give a sh*t. This is how the crews make their money, and how they're willing to work for so cheap. The real money lies in this "grey cargo".

Sometimes, international organisations like Interpol or the UN make a lip-service attempt to curb this activity. Viktor Bout, a pilot, was arrested in Thailand in 2008 for allegedly trying to sell arms to the Colombian rebel group FARC. Many people were angry about his arrest and extradition to the US, with good reason. You see, most of the time, the pilots don't even know what cargo they're actually carrying. In this business, you don't ask questions. One time, I think it was a Candid (but it might've been an Antonov, can't remember) was shot at, and would've caused the plane to crash and burn, but the bullet happened to hit something very solid, which deflected it. This plane was carrying tanks. The bullet hit one of the tanks, and this is how everyone survived.

A lot of people in the West are totally unaware of this industry. They donate some money to some charity, and just kinda assume that the money will end up helping some poor people in some African country. It's not just charities which facilitate this massive black market industry - the United Nations is a big one. And they keep allowing it to happen. It's not just in Africa, the Middle East is also a big market. So is South America. Western governments are not directly funding terrorist groups. But they allow it, by allowing the UN and various charities to keep on outsourcing flights to companies based in countries like Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan etc, because they're cheap (and now we know why they're so cheap).

These people happily sell arms and equipment to groups like Al-Shabaab, the Taliban, Islamic State, etc. The industry big-wigs based in Baku and such places see war as a golden opportunity. They do not care about selling guns to terrorists. This is how they make money. I've been out of the loop for a few years now, but Sharjah in the UAE was (possibly still is) a major hub for black market arms dealers. Interpol knows this. The UN knows this. Yet this industry is still thriving. IL-76s and Antonovs crash all the time, and you'll never hear about it. Planes disappear and reappear, sometimes they are in two places at once! The key word is smokescreen.

Now, as the former Soviet pilots grow older and/or die in horrible crashes, there is a shortage of pilots skilled enough to make these flights. This is really the only major problem the industry faces. A pilot might be able to fly a Boeing 747 just fine, but that doesn't mean he'll be able to successfully maneuver into Mogadishu while avoiding being shot at. It takes real skill.

So now you know how these terrorist groups keep getting their weapons. If you've ever donated money to, say, Amnesty International, sorry, but you've probably helped facilitate terrorists. I think probably the best way to help stop this is to spread awareness - like I said, many people have no idea that all this is going on!

Otherwise, war will only continue. Stricter regulations need to be placed upon aid organisations and UN contractors. I apologise for the length of this post, but it really is a huge issue with many more factors that I haven't even gone into here for the sake of brevity. It's not a black market, it's a black industry. And the Islamic State is a prime customer. Oh, and it's not just weapons. Drugs too. Lots and lots of drugs.

So you see, arms trades hitch rides on the backs of UN and charity missions. This is not a theory, this is not a conspiracy. This is reality. This is what is actually happening.

For those of you who have managed to read through my novel of a post, if you have any questions, I am sure I will be able to answer. I am fairly well acquainted with this trade, and think it is very important that something is done, in order to at least hinder the violence. I have huge respect for these pilots and aircrews because they are brave and good men, but not so much their bosses.




posted on Dec, 14 2015 @ 03:35 AM
link   
All sounds very plausible and believable.

Thank you for sharing. I never donated to the big wig charities anyway. I like to keep it local.
I will use this info as an interesting anecdote when frequenting a gathering or another.

Kind Regards



posted on Dec, 14 2015 @ 03:40 AM
link   
a reply to: DeepThoughtCriminal

Thank you for laying this out. As you probably know, Viktor Bout owned several retired military aircraft which he used in his gun running business. (I just wanted to bump this thread.)



posted on Dec, 14 2015 @ 03:51 AM
link   
a reply to: GamleGamle

There is plenty of information available if you know where to look. There was a film made in 2005 with Nicholas Cage called "Lord of War" which is based (I think) on Viktor Bout's activities. It's not bad, I thought it was a fun film.

There are some books, too. One which I haven't personally read but have heard good things about is called "Outlaws, Inc" by Matt Potter, a journalist who flew with Candid crews to Africa and the Middle East.

I recommend reading the full story of Vladimir Starikov too.

As I said, the information is out there, but you kind of have to know what to look for, if that makes sense. It has a lot to do with organised crime in Russia and Central Asian countries.



posted on Dec, 14 2015 @ 03:59 AM
link   
a reply to: DJW001

Yes, Bout was totally aware of what he was doing, but it's hard not to like these guys. This is the first time I've ever posted about this on the internet, even though I grew up in this world, because I greatly respect these pilots and don't want to ever cause them any detriment. These are guys with families, with kids whom they love. They are extremely talented, and brave. They are good men. But, with the rise of the Islamic State, well, something needs to be done. I don't blame the aircrews, but rather the ones in charge, the ones who orchestrate it all.

In the early 90's, you could buy an IL-76 for about $300,000 USD. That's really, really cheap for one of these huge planes. Viktor was just one of many who snapped up these planes and made a nice living. Arresting him did nothing to stop the trade. It was all just for show.

If the US government really wanted to stop this trade, they would not have just stopped at arresting Viktor Bout. It makes me wonder just how complicit they are.



posted on Dec, 14 2015 @ 08:33 AM
link   

originally posted by: DeepThoughtCriminal
but Sharjah in the UAE was (possibly still is) a major hub for black market arms dealers.


you've just shocked me , im from Sharjah , are you sure that this is true ? i have never heard of this before , do you have more information on this .



posted on Dec, 14 2015 @ 09:14 AM
link   

originally posted by: Dr UAE

originally posted by: DeepThoughtCriminal
but Sharjah in the UAE was (possibly still is) a major hub for black market arms dealers.


you've just shocked me , im from Sharjah , are you sure that this is true ? i have never heard of this before , do you have more information on this .


The weapons are a part of an arsenal that existed in Iraq and Libya, that became "available" when NATO bombed Libya and when the US bombed Iraq into stone age. At which time Al Qaida came into possession of a huge Arsenal. During the Afghan war, a lot of weapons found their way into Al Qaida's hands. These were soviet made weapons, that were bought by US, through nations in the middle east. It's always been the "idea" to blame it on the Russians, except lot of these weapons aren't provided by Russia ... and today even China manufactures an M16, which is sold to the ME. The US made weapons that came into their hands, were weapons left behind by the US and that were given to the Iraqi army.

So, it's not true ... like most US propaganda, they live by Göbbels theory ... the bigger the lie, the more believable it is.



posted on Dec, 14 2015 @ 09:24 AM
link   
a reply to: bjarneorn


So, it's not true ... like most US propaganda, they live by Göbbels theory ... the bigger the lie, the more believable it is.


I'm not sure what your point actually is. Are you implying that the United States captured Russian weapons in enormous quantities to supply to terrorists? Could you link to your source for this propaganda? Or is it just "common knowledge?"



posted on Dec, 14 2015 @ 09:45 AM
link   

originally posted by: DJW001
I'm not sure what your point actually is. Are you implying that the United States captured Russian weapons in enormous quantities to supply to terrorists? Could you link to your source for this propaganda? Or is it just "common knowledge?"


The US didn't Al Qaida did ... and during the Afghan war, weren't the mujahedeen supplied with "Russian" made weapons, through CIA deals? Correct me here, if I'm wrong ... but I recall them having kalashnikov's, not M16's.



posted on Dec, 16 2015 @ 04:30 AM
link   
a reply to: Dr UAE

Yes, this is true. As I said, I have been out of the game for a while now, so I am not sure if Sharjah remains a hot spot for arms deals, but in the 90's and early 2000's, it was the place to be.

All I can really find is some mentions of Sharjah in articles mostly about Chichakli and Bout:

Context of '1993-1995: Former US Intelligence Agent and Arms Dealer Victor Bout Develop Town that Becomes Hub for Al-Qaeda and the 9/11 Plot'



In the spring of 1993, Victor Bout moves to Sharjah, United Arab Emirates (UAE), and begins to use it as the central hub of expanding business empire.


Africa's 'merchant of death' sold arms to the Taliban




In March 1995, Bout and Frenchman Michel-Victor Thomas founded Trans Aviation Network Group (TAN), according to U.N. and intelligence reports. Between 1995 and 1997, the company’s operating base was Ostend in Belgium, an airport frequently cited by human rights groups for hosting companies and individuals involved in arms trafficking. TAN also opened offices in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates.




One of Bout’s planes flying from Albania via Sharjah


Most of my information comes from my personal involvement in this trade. When I saw that you, a resident of Sharjah, was surprised at this revelation, I tried to find some sources to prove it to you, thinking that would be easy.... but to my dismay, most of the information is about Viktor Bout. Apparently the Sharjah operations are described in detail by a journalist called Matt Potter in his book Outlaws, Inc, which I have not personally read, but it was recommended to me by a former associate as being a fun read, because it's so accurate.

As you are no doubt aware, Dubai grew really fast. During its rapid transformation from relatively insignificant town to major world city, most of the focus on was on Dubai, not Sharjah. Sharjah was like Dubai's sneaky sister. Aircrews and traders gathered to meet. My father took me there, there was a whole lot of men sitting around laughing, talking, drinking, smoking - Russian and Arab, a total break down of cultural barriers in the brilliant light of money. I was only a kid, but I knew that business was being done. Sharjah was where ex-Soviet airmen met with terrorists. Several companies were set up there. If you wanted to make connections, you went to Sharjah.

Actually, it's probably not surprising that you were unaware of all this. Most people in the world have no idea. I think these days most companies are based in CIS states, I am not sure who survives in Sharjah.



posted on Dec, 16 2015 @ 05:10 PM
link   
a reply to: DeepThoughtCriminal

Yeah I have seen that movie. It was enjoyable. It was at least different.


Vladimir Starikov. Gotcha. Yes it makes sense. Thank You.



posted on Dec, 16 2015 @ 05:42 PM
link   
a reply to: DeepThoughtCriminal

I have thought about what you have written and there are no disagreements from me S&F. Even Mexico which I used to fly a corporate plane into and out of was a den of, "for a price anything goes". Turbo props were 75$ no inspection of the aircraft contents and 150$ for a Lear or Sabreliner jet. There used to be a thriving business flying all kinds of stuff (at night) to an isolated Mexican airport and upon landing the aircraft was unloaded by Mexican military. Mostly electronic T.V.s VCRs etc etc . Dunno if it is still going on for it has been several years ago.. Old DC-3s and Convairs were used..

Countries want to go to a cashless society so they can have complete control over anything and everything except the occasional barter process. People always find a way to make money and governments always find a way to get what they think is their fair share.. A Bank laundries hundreds of billions of drug money and the government comes in an gets a percentage with no one going to jail.. Yet woe be unto you if you try to horn in on their monopoly unless you are sanctioned..

Probably better if everyone continues to think unicorns and skyfairies will set things right.



new topics

top topics



 
20

log in

join