In a video released today Al Qaeda spokesman Adam Gadahn encourages terrorists to use American gun shows to arm themselves for potential Mumbai-style attacks. Gadahn's video laid out a new tactic for Al Qaeda to continue their murderous terrorist agenda:
America is absolutely awash with easily obtainable firearms. You can go down to a gun show at the local convention center and come away with a fully automatic assault rifle, without a background check, and most likely without having to show an identification card. So what are you waiting for?
At gun shows buyers can purchase guns from private sellers without passing a background check. An investigation by the City of New York showed that even buyers that identified themselves as people who "probably couldn't pass a background check" were able to purchase guns at gun shows. The investigation also showed the wide variety of guns available at gun shows.
In addition, people on terrorist watch lists are not forbidden from purchasing guns and many have done just that. Gadahn's instructions come in the wake of Associated Press reporting that showed that more than 200 people with suspected terrorist ties bought guns legally in the United States last year. Following the AP report Representative Mike Quigley introduced an amendment to the Patriot Act that would give the Attorney General the authority to block gun sales to individuals on terror watch lists. The amendment was voted down.
Following the assassination of Osama bin Laden Huffington Post contributor Cliff Schecter wrote about the threat of suspected terrorists with largely unfettered access to guns:
If you don't think we should get on this forthwith, just remember, there are those who will want to take revenge for bin Laden's killing. And there are those who will continue to plan attacks on the United States because it is such a tempting target. They may not have the capabilities to pull off a large scale attack like the one on 9/11. But by allowing them to purchase Jared Loughner's Glock with an assault clip, or (God help us) explosives, we are asking for trouble.
Hopefully most of remember what happened in Mumbai, India. It only took guns, some explosives, a few cell phones, and a hijacked fishing vessel to terrorize an entire city and commit mass murder at train stations, luxury hotels and in the streets. Could it happen here?
Footage from Gun Show: Undercover
Former head of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and Explosive National Tracing Center Jerry Nunziato discussing gun shows and showing anti-aircraft ammunition he purchased at an Ohio gun show: