US called the top source of terror arms -- in thefts

The United States is the world's largest supplier of arms to terrorists through thefts from its armories. The Center for Contemporary Studies, which reviews social and political trends, said guns stolen in raids on US Army depots in Europe ended up in places like Northern Ireland, Bangladesh, and El Salvador.

The US Army admits that enough arms to equip 8,000 men were stolen from depots from 1971 and 1974. And in 1978, the report said, over 120 automatic rifles disappeared in one raid at a US stockpile in Norway.

Lax US gun control adds to the problem, the center said. It is relatively simple, for instance, to buy an Armalite sporting gun in any American town and turn it easily into a high-velocity aut omatic rifle.

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