Contrary to popular opinion and misleading information, the purchase of firearms or explosives are not the weapons of choice by terrorists or sympathizers/radicalized individuals. Unlike firearms, which hold a finite number of rounds and have the potential to misfire, or explosives which require the acquisition of components and its successful construction, edged weapons allow attackers to continue their attacks until they are physically stopped. Additionally, the ability to purchase an edged weapon from any retail location and the lack of any scrutiny or concern over the purchase provides an atmosphere of ease for the attacker(s).
As seen below, you will learn how edged weapons are a rite of passage for youths becoming men, and enlightenment for believers of the Islamic religion. Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) which produces and disseminates an English language publication found online, “Inspire” magazine, has focused on lone-wolf style of attacks over the last few years. This strategy has carried over into the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) also known by its Arabic language acronym Daesh, who similarly disseminates its own English language magazine online, “Rumiyah.” Both publications provide the necessary inspiration, concepts and tactics needed to plan an edged weapon terror attack by individuals in any country.
Through the easy accessibility to the internet and social media on mobile devices, terrorists and their sympathizers have unlimited access to motivation, tactics, techniques, and procedures for planning several types of terrorist attacks, including edged weapon’, vehicular, firearm, and explosive attacks. Online publications and security measures observed demonstrate how large-scale attacks, like the two bombings of U.S. Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, the attack on the USS Cole, or the September 11 attacks, are no longer the preferred method of choice. The use of edged weapons is not only easier to master and obtain but have a more psychological effect on the public. This effect poses more of a concern as edged weapons can be brought into many if not all locations without being noticed or confiscated by law enforcement or security personnel/guards. This can be observed daily in the number of edged weapons brought into facilities, such as box cutters, nail punches, screw drivers, scissors, envelope openers, among others.
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