December 31, 2009

Houston Wets Itself Over Glorified Pipe

Read this story and you'd think that Houston Police ran across a terrorist with heavy-duty, anti-tank weaponry.

It isn't until you get to almost the end of the article that they finally reveal that the "rocket launcher" is nothing more or less than a fiberglass tube.

Prosecutors said there are no state charges for having the unarmed launcher or possessing Jihadist writings, unless they contain some type of threat.

The former director of Houston's FBI office said rocket launchers can be dangerous if they're in the wrong hands.

"I don't know any other use for those weapons except in combat," Don Clark said. "I've had them in combat, used them in combat. That's what they are used for."

The weapon is the warhead and rocket; the tube is a single-use disposable item.

So one of two things happened here. This jihadi wannabe acquired a used (and therefore useless) AT-4 tube (probably via an online aution like this one), or he bought the Airsoft version.

I'm quite sure it can be terrifying. It just simply isn't a weapon, no matter how much drama the media attempted to stir up here to justify the amont of time they spent on this story.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at December 31, 2009 07:27 PM

Yep. Reminds me of an op-ed I wrote for the Orange County Register years ago, when Los Angeles County and then-state Attorney General Bill Lockyer were trying to "get tough" on gun shows. State agents made a spectacle of seizing several "illegal" weapons from the now-defunct Great Western show, including a "rocket launcher." It turned out exactly has you would expect. Big photo-op. No charges. I blogged about today's hysterical story and reminisced about the old days here.

Happy new year to you!

Posted by: Ben Boychuk at December 31, 2009 08:08 PM

Yeah -- no more dangerous than spent shell casings.

Posted by: Rhymes With Right at December 31, 2009 10:21 PM

So, jihadist writings and the launcher tube for rocket. Alright, he can't kill anyone with just the tube any more than he can shoot someone with a gun without any bullets.

But... how do we know he doesn't have a rocket? Not much point in obtaining the tube if you don't have a rocket.

Before I shrug my shoulders, I'd want to know whether this jihad-aficionado has one or is trying to get one.

Posted by: Silvering at January 1, 2010 01:57 AM

But... how do we know he doesn't have a rocket? Not much point in obtaining the tube if you don't have a rocket.
They are made as a single use unit.
That means the tube is useless once the rocket come out. They are made to be disposed of on the battle field, and the last thing you do is dispose of something with technology or an offensive use for your enemy to then use against you.
That also is the only way you can get one as a private citizen. after use, it is useless, and therefor able to be legally owned as a curio.
Now, as it is useless militarily, that does not mean it is useless. The early tube were just the right size to hold the spoon on a grenade that had the pins pulled. a bit of hacking, a trip wire and hanging the tube in a tree and some schmuck comes along and trips the trap. . . several grenades fall and detonate. . . usually without them hitting the ground. . .causing mayhem. Soldiers learned to either keep the tubes, or destroy them after use.

So he had something that has all the same use as a section of PVC. And trust me, I can get damned destructive with bits of PVC.

Posted by: JP at January 1, 2010 02:38 AM