U.S. Terror Training
Indictment Echoes Violence Policy Center Warning
2002 Credit Card
Armies Study Described Exact Scenario
WASHINGTON, DC�A federal
terrorism indictment released today by the U.S. Attorney in the Eastern
District of Virginia tracks exactly a scenario the Violence Policy Center
(VPC) warned against in its 2002 study Credit
Card Armies: Firearms and Training for Terror in the United States.
The VPC report described
the ease with which potential terrorists can arm themselves under America's
weak gun laws. The study included excerpts from a terrorist training manual,
"How Can I Train Myself for Jihad," which contains a section on firearms
training, with this advice: "In other countries, e.g. some states of USA,
South Africa, it is perfectly legal for members of the public to own certain
types of firearms. If you live in such a country, obtain an assault rifle
legally, preferably AK-47 or variations, learn how to use it properly
and go and practice in the areas allowed for such training."
The indictment described
in detail how a group of conspirators in the suburbs of Washington, DC,
did exactly that, buying and training with assault weapons freely available
in the American gun market.
alleged terrorists even used credit cards to make purchases central to
their conspiracy," said Tom Diaz, VPC senior policy analyst and author
of Credit Card Armies. "The indictment paints a frightening picture of
how the alleged terrorists were able to build an arsenal and train with
it. Unfortunately, preventing access to these military style weapons is
the one area of the war on terror that the Ashcroft Justice Department
has chosen to ignore. Anyone reading this indictment understands the need
to renew and strengthen the federal assault weapons ban which is scheduled
to expire on September 13, 2004, unless Congress takes action."
The Violence Policy Center is a
national non-profit educational foundation that conducts research on violence
in America and works to develop violence-reduction policies and proposals.
The Center examines the role of firearms in America, conducts research
on firearms violence, and explores new ways to decrease firearm-related
death and injury.
Friday, June 27, 2003
Violence Policy Center