Black market supply and demand: The flow of illegal weapons from the Western Balkans to Islamist militants in Western Europe

Adrian Shtuni - IHS Jane's Terrorism & Insurgency Monitor

  • According to European counter-terrorism authorities, some of the weapons and ammunitions used by Islamist militants in terrorist attacks in Western Europe since 2010 originated from the Western Balkans, particularly from Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

  • The routes used to smuggle the weapons from the Western Balkans are similar to those established and operated by organised crime syndicates for drugs and people trafficking, and smuggling migrants.

  • Although Western European Islamist militants will continue to procure firearms through traditional contacts with organised crime elements, the emergence of dedicated weapons-smuggling channels run by Balkan militants for ideological, rather than financial, motives remain possible.


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