“In a Dec. 10 story, The Associated Press incorrectly reported that a gun exported by a Serbian manufacturer to a Florida-based company was involved in the Nov. 13 Paris attacks. In fact, the gun in question was not involved in the attacks and has been in Mexican government custody since March of this year, according to U.S. authorities.” Wait. What? This one gets curiouser and curiouser . . .
The AP report was based on information from the Serbian gun manufacturer Zastava, which cited to AP an advisory from the Serbian Interior Ministry. The advisory quoted Interpol authorities as saying a gun manufactured by Zastava with a particular serial number was used in Paris. The AP story should have made clear that the connection between a Zastava gun with that serial number and the Paris attacks was based only on this advisory.
Sure, OK, right. Get two sources – just like Pacino and Hoffman in All the President’s Men. Still, how did the Serbian Interior Ministry get it so wrong? Accidentally on purpose?
Zastava said it exported a gun with that serial number to Delray Beach, Florida-based Century Arms in 2013. According to the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the gun was received by Century and eventually sent to a federal firearms licensee in the United States and purchased by an individual in February 2014. In March of this year it was recovered at a crime scene in Mexico and is still in the custody of Mexican officials, ATF said.
Hmmm. An American gun store gun finds its way to a Mexican crime scene recovered by the Mexican authorities and reported to the ATF. That, my friends, is the exact same narrative as the infamous ATF anti-gun-running gun-running operation code-named Fast and Furious. Only F&F was shut down on in 2011, after disaffected ATF agents revealed the black bag op in an online forum.
Assuming that there’s no new F&F underway, how did the Serbian Interior Ministry get it so wrong? Hanlon’s Razor suggests a misplaced digit but I’m not so sure. What are the odds of them mistaking a gun in Mexican custody for a gun used in the French terrorist attacks? History tells us that anything that involves the ATF is inherent malicious.
Serbian authorities declined to provide any additional details this week on the advisory cited by Zastava or what it was based on. Interpol said it could not provide additional material because it only acts as a clearinghouse for information among police agencies. Interpol said it would defer to the information from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives on the case.
Down the rabbit hole we go . . .