A pistol associated with the Muslim terrorists who killed 130 people in Paris on November 13 was exported originally to the United States in 2013 from Serbia. This claim emerged from a statement by the head of the Zastava arms factory, Milojko Brzakovic.
According to the Serbian arms manufacturer, the serial number on the M92 pistol matched that of a pistol exported to an American online arms dealer in May 2013. He did not say how the pistol made its way from the United States and to Europe.
Approximately seven of the weapons associated with the attack in Paris, or discovered afterwards, were made at the factor in Kragujevac in central Serbia. Of these, most were produced before the former Yugoslavia was divided as a result of the fratricidal civil war between Serbians, Croatians, Montenegrins, and Bosnians in the 1990s. Most of the weapons found were modified versions of the Russian AK-47, also known as the Kalashnikov.
Speaking to the press on December 10, Brzakovic said all the weapons were delivered legally but said that they may have entered illegal channels thereafter. Brzakovic said the arms shipped from Serbia are strictly under government control. “We submit a request to our government to give consent and authorize the export. Until we receive that, we make no contract. Once we get a permission to export, we make a contract and arrange the dynamics," he said.
Brzakovic said, "One was delivered to Bosnia in 1983, one to Skopje, Macedonia in December 1987, one to Golubici, near Knin (Croatia) in 1988, one to Zagreb (Croatia) 1987." He added that the M92 pistol "is a semi-automatic weapon, a hunting and sporting weapon ... it cannot fire barrage fire, only single shots ... which are legal in America." The pistol was exported to Century Arms
: an online firearms dealer based in Florida. Brzakovic said that his firm exports as many as 25,000 firearms to the deal every year. While the pistol or so-called “shortened Kalashnikov, was semi-automatic as delivered, but was subsequently modified for automatic fire. It sells for about $460 in the U.S.
Century Arms advertised in 2013 that it was selling the AK-style pistol, PAP M92, as a "a brand new firearm from the Zastava factory in Serbia."
In order to export firearms legally, an individual or company must be registered with the Department of State, which oversees items coming under the U.S. Munitions List. The State Department decides whether or not to grant an export request, basing itself on a variety of issues, e.g. the type of weapon and its destination. Firearms’ serial numbers are not tracked by the State Department unless exported as single items. The names of licensed weapons exporters is not made public since that information is considered proprietary.
Brzakovic insisted that Zastava is innocent of transferring firearms to terrorists. He said, "Here's where the weapons ended, there's the data. Zastava cannot be blamed for where it went afterward." However, Brzakovic said that the weapons could have been sold illegally even while they were delivered legally at first. "Wherever there are wars, there are bigger possibilities for abuse and to hide the channels for guns. They end up where they shouldn't," Brzakovic said. He said, "We have a data base in the factory for the last 50 years, we know where a gun has been delivered."
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