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Pics of AK-47's? Help Track the Missing Iraq Weapons

If you are a journalist working in a conflict zone you might be able to help contribute to an ongoing investigation to track down weapons lost during the Iraq war.

Since 2003 the American army has lost more than 110,000 AK-47’s. The arms have likely leaked into informal arms networks and have begun to spread to militant movements around the world. While many weapons surely stay in Iraq, others probably have found their ways into the hands of militant movements in Africa and across Asia.

Many of us journalists in conflict zones take photos of militants posing with their weapons. If you have photos like that in your archives, then you might be able to zoom in on the serial numbers of the guns. I’m collecting as many serial numbers as possible and sending them on to contacts who have access to databases that might be able to ID the origin of the weapons.

Most AK’s have identifying marks on their right side. Usually just above the clip or below the barrel. The marks aren’t always numbers (sometimes just symbols) but they are large and often will show up on a hi-res image.

Please send me whatever gun images you have along with where you took the photo and the date it was taken. If we come up with a match I’ll credit you with helping break the story.

As you can imagine, if we come up with a match this will be big news.

Feel free to e-mail me or post here at : sgcarney@gmail.com



by Scott Carney at 2007-12-24 06:37:16 UTC (ed. Mar 12 2008 ) Chennai , India | Bookmark | | Report spam→

1: Who are you?

2: Who do you work for?

3: Who’s investigation?

5: What’s in it for you?

6: Why jeopardize my contacts?

7: Why jeopardize myself?

8: What assurance do you give that I will not be pursued by the US government (photos of insurgents are known to generate interest to the US government, how they were shot, and how do you know them)?

9: Who are your “contacts”?


by George “Funky’ Brown | 24 Dec 2007 07:12 (ed. Dec 24 2007) | LA, United States | | Report spam→

by Nick Morris | 24 Dec 2007 07:12 | sab diego, United States | | Report spam→
Good point. I should have introduced myself a little more properly.

(1, 2) I’m an American investigative journalist based out of Chennai, India. I contribute to WIRED, National Public Radio, the New York Times, National Geographic (Television), BBC, and a bunch of other organizations. You can find out about me on my website at http://www.scottcarneyonline.com

(3) I am doing this investigation on my own, but am very interested in collaborating with anyone who can help with the project. I have no doubt that if I get a match that this will be publishable in a major outlet.

(5) This is my job. I’m sure that the people on this board also work on difficult projects like this.

(6) I don’t think you will be jeoprdizing your contacts. All I"m looking for are the serial numbers. You can crop out faces if you want to. I’m not interested in them.

(7) I’m assuming that you have already taken the photos. We all hang out in conflict zones from time to time. I’m not asking you to do extra reporting, just to look through your archives.

(8) If you want me to keep your identity confidential I am happy to do that. I’ve been doing investigations for years and have never had trouble with the government trying to get my records)

(9) My contacts are researchers at well-known conflict research institutes with access to arms databases.

I hope this helps sum up who I am.


scott carney


by Scott Carney | 24 Dec 2007 07:12 | Chennai, India | | Report spam→
OK Scott, details are always nice. I’ll dig through my files.

by George “Funky’ Brown | 24 Dec 2007 07:12 | LA, United States | | Report spam→
Wow. Needles in a very very big haystack. But yeah… would be interesting to find a match.

by BignoseTW | 24 Dec 2007 08:12 | Taipei, Taiwan | | Report spam→

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Scott Carney, Investigative Journalist Scott Carney
Investigative Journalist
Chennai , India ( MAA )
George “Funky’ Brown, Advertising Photographer George “Funky’ Brown
Advertising Photographer
La , United States ( LAX )
Nick Morris, Photojournalist/Photograp Nick Morris
(The Image Group Photography)
San Diego Ca , United States
BignoseTW, Videographer/Photographer BignoseTW
(Tobie Openshaw)
Taipei , Taiwan


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