Be sure to read TIME’s recent article on How Europe’s Terrorists Get Their Guns with contributions from Arquebus Director, Paul James.
The rise in so-called “lone wolf” terrorists operating with relative autonomy partly explains the shift in tactics: guns require less expertise to use than bombs. Making and transporting a bomb requires effort and communication, which in turn leads to a higher risk of being discovered by the authorities.
“The fact is that we are seeing homegrown, localized threats within communities, who know where firearms are,” Brian Donald, chief of staff of Europol, the E.U.-wide policing organization, told TIME in an interview after the Copenhagen attack in February. “They don’t have to have a big terrorist network to support them, they can go out and buy one [weapon] on the street. That is what the police in Europe are facing.”