Terrorists prefer the M4

Guy Sagi, Editor of the NRA’s Shooting Illustrated, reported on his blog that the FBI have arrested five men who attempted to purchase 10,000 M4 Carbines as well as Stringer missiles. Terrorists, like children who play computer games, must also think it is “cool” to pack an M4. From the Justice Department press release

The complaint also alleges that Dani Nemr Tarraf conspired to acquire anti-aircraft missiles and conspired to possess machine guns. According to the complaint, in or about mid-June 2009, Tarraf asked whether the UC could supply guided missiles and told the UC that he (Tarraf) wanted the UC to export approximately 10,000 “commando” machine guns [Colt M4 Carbines with short barrels] from the United States. On or about July 28, 2009, in Philadelphia, Tarraf paid the UC a deposit of approximately $20,000 toward the cost of purchasing FIM-92 Stinger missiles and approximately 10,000 Colt M4 Carbines and shipping these items outside the United States.

I wonder where these men thought they would be able to source spare parts, magazines and ammunition once they had purchased the weapons.

Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


  • Lance

    It dosnt surprise me. Im WW2 Germans who infiltrated US forces during the Battle of the Bluge used M-1s they captured earlier in the war. The Germans said good things about there oppents rifle. In Vietnam VC units used captured M-1s and M-16s captued from ARVN and still to this day have stock piles of Old M-16A1s left behind from the early 70s. While at a fireing range in Cu CHi I talked to vietnamese solders there. Most Vietnamese personel I ment there in 2006 liked the M-16 over there issued AK-47s.

    You dont have to be a good guy or a good country to like a good weapon. America always has had the best rifle out there. (Except the 30-40 Kreg but thats a differnt era and story).

  • Chris

    As for spare parts, once they have the main assemblies, outfits in Eastern europe, china and extensive small arms factories spread throughout Pakistan could turn their hand to some bits of machined metal no problem…

    Ammo? Again no problem to make, might be worth doing a piece about illegal small arms factories throughout the world, you’ll be surprised just how extensive, sophisticated and BUSY they are!

  • Bill Lester

    The Vietnamese like the M-16 in its original lightweight form because they are for the most part physically of very small stature. The M1/M2 carbines were also popular for the same reason.

  • Pete

    “Terrorists, like children who play computer games,”

    Lie! H&K is the preferred arms supplier of all mall ninjas and COD fanboys!

  • Danny

    I’m a kid who plays computer games, and even I realize it isn’t cool to pack an M4.

    I use an ACR!

    • Danny, LOL, the terrorists probably asked for the ACR, but were told they would have to wait till next year.

  • jdun1911

    In the Middle East the vast majority of terrorists that are fighting Israel went with the AR. This switch started in the ‘90s when the terrorist saw how effective the AR was used against them.

    Parts are easy available. These terrorists either make the AR in house or import from Iran.

    Video: Notice all the AR and not one AK.

    Terrorist children training with toy AR.

    Iran AR use by Hezbollah in the second Lebanon war with Israel.

    Hezbollah with AR in second Lebanon war. Home made?



    Israeli PSD AR with color tape marking to ID between friend or foe.


    • jdun1911, thanks for the pics. I know the lebenese and syrian militias (not Hezbolla) were fond of the M16

  • Squidpuppy

    Well, if you plan to infiltrate and dispatch an enemy, it makes sense to train with their weapons; particularly if those weapons are common within your enemy’s domain. That doesn’t say anything about weapon superiority; just tactical sense.

  • SpudGun

    Reading the actual Justice Department Report, this seems more like organized crime then hardcore terrorists. The guys were buying phones, video game consoles and cars to begin with.

    It was the undercover FBI guys that offered up the weapons to see if the gang would bite. I wouldn’t be suprised if the Stingers and M4’s were destined for Mexico rather then Afghanistan.

    From an LE point of view, if you charge the defendents with Terrorism, then you can pretty much lock them and throw away the key.

    As much as I’d like to celebrate this as a major blow against the terrorists, I’m not entirely convinced.

  • jdun1911

    Hezbollah, Hamas, PLO, Lebanese militias, Syrian militias, etc. all went with the AR starting in the 90’s. Ditch their AK and whatever when the Israeli started to switch over to the M4.

    There are a lot of government military, agencies, and elite units in the Middle East that runs AR. Lebanon military/agencies/elite, Saudi agencies, Jordan military/agencies/elite, Syrian elite (some, IIRC), Iranian elite (some IIRC) to name a few that use the AR in the region.

  • Lance

    The Lebeanese Government have had M-16A1s since before the civil war. Jordan Saudi Arabia and Kuwait have them since there US allies. Hezbolla still uses AKs however. Iran bought a few M-16A1s before the fall of the Shah nad kept them threw the Iran Iraq war and threw today. Along with the H&K G-3 Iran makes there guns on there own. China sold Iran there CQ which are cheap M-16A1 copys. Iran makes them along with G-3s and buys AK-47s from China. Hamas use alot of AK-47s but President Obama sold older M-16s and even a few M-4s to them. He thinks doing this will bring peace…. Think again. Isreal I beleve use M-16A1s in reserve uits and M-16A2 and M-4s in front line uiets. WIth the Galil in there Spec Ops.

    Dispite this Isreal is the biggest user of the M-16 in the Middle East. most other coutries use either G-3s or AK-47s. Syria dosnt use M-16s they use AKM-47s. Some Terrorist they support may have bought M-16s frm Irans adiquated stockpile.

  • I wouldn;t be surprised if the Obama Administration tried to concoct new anti gun laws by using spin about terrorists choosing M-4s or whatever. The simple fact is that these crooks were trying to buy guns in the USA. What would they have got here other than M16A2s or M 4s? I doubt that they would have been able to get 10,000 AK 47s or AKMs over here. Had they tried to buy these somewhere else, they may have had a different preference.

    Reading too much into this preference is only going to lead to flawed conclusions.

  • Jim

    When did Obama sell weapons to Hamas?

  • Lance

    Earier this year the Obama administration sold the “Paslistinian” govermant new weapons to replace the ageing AK-47s, SKSs and AKMs the PLO had. hamas quicly go ahold of these eapons. Obama has sent US military adivisors ro hlep train the terrorist as well.

    Sorry no matter what they say PLO Hamas ect ther all Islamo Nazi Terrorists. They all want all none islamic people to die and are connected to osma Bin Laden. And there no such thing as Palistine. It all Isreal and the Islamist dont deserve one inch of Isreali land.

    • Remember “firearms, not politics”

  • Lance


    • Lance, no problem.

  • Simon

    Where are they going to get the spare parts, etc.? Why, at gun shows, of course. At the one in Raleigh last week, you couldn’t move for Stingers, though the prices were still a bit high.

    Wait – stingers? I thought you said primers. Never mind.

    The Provisional IRA used AR-18s and AR-15s heavily, and were very picky about brands- hence the slogan “a ballot paper in one hand and the ArmaLite in the other”.


  • Billy Oblivion

    I wonder where these men thought they would be able to source spare parts, magazines and ammunition once they had purchased the weapons.

    Being used to AKs they didn’t realize they needed spare parts.

  • jdun1911

    AK doesn’t need use parts because once is broken it stay broken, ie dumpster.

    • As jdun1911 said, and the native blacksmiths know how to forge parts if needed … good luck trying to train them to make reliable parts for the M4.

  • Lance

    Its easy for us AMericans to get AR parts but in the mid east they are a AK shoot and dump.