eRumor This story says that
European officials are finding .22 caliber guns that are
manufactured to look like cellular telephones. It warns
travelers to be careful, for example, around airport authorities
because they are having to contend with judging whether cell phones
carried by air passengers may be lethal.
Truth There have been many media
of these cell-guns including a report by Lucrezia Cuen on
ABCNews.com on December 6, 2000. Most of the information in
this particular eRumor comes from that report.
The cell-gun can fire four .22 caliber rounds.
(Photo: U.S. Customs Service)
A real example of the story as it has
NDU SECURITY AWARENESS - TRAVELLERS
Below forwarded for your information and awareness when travelling
Check out this video clip.
The video clip confirms this is a real threat. The point about
overseas law enforcement officials' sensitivity to cell phones
should be a warning to you and make the point that such
officials, especially customs officials don't play jokes. So obey
their instructions courteously and promptly
Here is something you should be aware of in your travels. These new
covert guns were first discovered in October when Dutch police
stumbled on a cache during a drug raid in Amsterdam. In another
recent incident, a Croatian gun dealer was caught attempting to
smuggle a shipment through Slovenia into Western Europe.
Police say both shipments are believed to have originated in
Yugoslavia. Interpol sent out a warning to law enforcement agencies
around the world. European border police and customs officers are at
a heightened state of alert at all ports, airports and border
"Beneath the digital face lies a .22-caliber pistol a phone gun
capable of firing four rounds in quick succession with a touch of
the otherwise standard keypad. European law enforcement officials
stunned by the discovery of these deadly decoys say phone guns are
changing the rules of engagement in Europe. It means police will
have to draw their weapons whenever a person being checked reaches
for their mobile phone. Although cell phone guns have not hit
America yet, the FBI, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms,
and the U.S. Customs Service say they've been briefed on the
new weapons. Realistic Appearance. "If you didn't know they
were guns, you wouldn't suspect anything," said Ari Zandbergen,
spokesman for the Amsterdam police. "Only when you have
one in your hand do you realize that they are heavier,"
says Birgit Heib of the German Federal Criminal Investigation
Agency. "The guns are loaded by twisting the phone in
half. The .22-caliber rounds fit into the top of the phone under the
screen. The lower half, under the keyboard, holds the firing pins.
The bullets fire through the antenna by pressing numbers on the
keypad. Amsterdam police says they are very sophisticated machines
constructed inside gutted cell phones which do not light up or
operate as real phones. These are very difficult to make. We believe
experts are involved. " The video clip shows the cell phone
actually firing. Again, these phones have not hit the US, but they
are in use in overseas. Keep that in mind if you are going
through customs and are asked to turn over your cell phone to
be checked. Never joke with Customs Officials.