Armed Hostilities

Terrorist Weapons Sources and Extremist Attacks

Table of Contents
  1. Abstract
  2. Introduction
  3. Overview of the Author’s Position
  4. Assessment of Significant Facts
  5. Recommendations to Further Studies
  6. Conclusion
  7. References


The paper is devoted to the investigation of terrorist groups’ weapons sources and the use of various means of attacks by extremists. As a basis, the text from the book by Nance (2008) will be used. The author’s ideas are valuable for studying this problem and are one of the means of analyzing the issue. The facts presented in the text can be of practical value concerning the timely reaction of law enforcement agencies to the preparation of terrorist operations. Based on the results of the assessment, additional research may be devoted to studying the possible ways of eliminating extremist groups and cutting off weapons supply channels.

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Technical progress in the field of armament has led to the fact that modern high-precision weapons are used not only for the sake of preserving peace but also to threaten the population. Terrorist acts committed by extremists of various groups occur with the use of the latest military equipment that has tremendous potential in terms of damage. At the same time, the sources of arms supplies to attackers may be different, and security forces do not always manage to find and dismantle warehouses with weapons promptly.

This information is discussed in the book “Terrorist Recognition Handbook: A Practitioner’s Manual for Predicting and Identifying Terrorist Activities” by Nance (2008), and the author’s opinion is important in assessing the current situation. In order to successfully combat extremists and prevent attacks on civilians, it is essential to have data about the sources of supplies of military equipment and to know what types of weapons attackers used.

Overview of the Author’s Position

The constant threat of terrorist attacks is a reality of modern life. The situation is complicated by the fact that terrorists, as a rule, are well equipped with all the necessary means of hitting the population. According to Nance (2008), the weapons of extremists today include a variety of units, and both light and heavy equipment are used to strike and destabilize the situation. Also, the author notes the preparedness of terrorists in terms of conducting various types of combat (Nance, 2008). According to him, for example, sniper weapons that have always been used by the military exclusively are one of the means of extremists’ attacks today (Nance, 2008). The sources of obtaining such armament may be different, and weapons purchased from partners can become a tool for the acts of terrorism.

Assessment of Significant Facts

The use of modern high-precision weapons by extremists is the problem of great importance. As Basra and Neumann (2016) note, today, terrorists regularly sharpen their skills in mastering new techniques, which makes the task of fighting them even more difficult. Moreover, anti-terrorist agencies experience difficulties in finding the sources of arms supplies. Trade in military equipment is a very typical form of partnership. Accordingly, weapons can be bought legally but later used to threaten the population. This approach is natural for the modern market, which, nevertheless, plays into the hands of terrorists.

The aim of security forces is certainly the liquidation of large groups of extremists. According to Ellis (2014), single terrorists rarely resort to the help of massive and high-precision equipment. However, even such cases are possible, and the task of destroying any channels of supplying weapons to attackers is one of the primary ones in combating terrorism. The lack of opportunity to combat such a phenomenon poses a significant danger to the population since not only local threats but also large-scale terrorist operations are possible. In order to avoid them, it is required to prevent the purchase of weapons of mass destruction and take all possible measures to stop extremists from obtaining such equipment.

A great concern is a possibility of using the weapons of mass destruction for aggressive purposes. As Dimovski, Ilijevski, Babanoski, and Rusumanov (2016) remark, extremists manage to find ways to purchase this type of military equipment, and serious questions arise to the representatives of the authorities who are obliged to monitor any supplies of this type of weapons carefully. In case specific measures are not taken to prevent the sale of such armament to third parties, the global threat of attacks will continue to exist. Therefore, it is essential to not only achieve the complete elimination of the opportunity of buying heavy equipment by terrorists but also to conduct work aimed at protecting military property.

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Recommendations to Further Studies

In order to achieve success in detecting arms supply channels for terrorists, it is possible to conduct additional studies and analyze the cases of detection of such sources. As a rationale, researchers can resort to statistical data and mention the use of heavy armament and the weapons of mass destruction by extremists. Such an assessment may allow finding the possible ways of controlling the traffic of weapons and detecting warehouses for the storage of all combat units. Moreover, studies can be valuable in terms of highlighting the existing problem and drawing the attention of responsible agencies to its urgent solution.


Information about the sources of arms supplies to terrorists is of great importance for preventing extremists’ attack on civilians. The analysis of the weapons used makes it possible to understand that a variety of combat units are used by aggressively-minded groups. Supply channels can be different, including legal ones since the purchase of many types of weapons is acceptable today. The additional attention of responsible persons to the problem can be attracted by conducting studies on the topic of combating terrorism.


Basra, R., & Neumann, P. R. (2016). Criminal pasts, terrorist futures: European jihadists and the new crime-terror nexus. Perspectives on Terrorism, 10(6), 25-40.

Dimovski, Z., Ilijevski, I., Babanoski, K., & Rusumanov, V. (2016). Elements of the terrorism reviewed through instrumentum operandi, organizational setup and phases of realization of the terrorist act. Academic Journal of Business, 2(1), 231-237.

Ellis, P. D. (2014). Lone wolf terrorism and weapons of mass destruction: An examination of capabilities and countermeasures. Terrorism and Political Violence, 26(1), 211-225.

Nance, M. W. (2008). Terrorist recognition handbook: A practitioner’s manual for predicting and identifying terrorist activities (2nd ed.). Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press.

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