POLICE last night revealed an arsenal of more than 10,000 weapons destined for the hands of terrorists and organised gangs around Europe.
A continent-wide operation stopped weapons including anti-aircraft guns, howitzers and grenades falling into the hands of extremists in France, Spain and Belgium.
Some were previously described as being powerful enough to “bring down an aircraft”.
Europol announced the vast haul in January but only now have Spanish police published images of the devastating arsenal.
Among the stash were 10,000 rifles, 400 howitzers, anti-aircraft guns, grenades, pistols and revolvers.
Spanish cops also found a factory in Bilbao maintaining and reactivating old guns so they could be re-
Much of the cache is thought to have been bought legally through auctions before being reactivated.
They were then sold from the Spanish distribution centre which used a sports shop as its legal front.
Five people were arrested following the raid back in January.
A Europol statement said: “The seized weapons had an easy journey in the black market and posed a significant risk of being acquired by organised crime groups and terrorists.”
Spanish police seize weapons worth ten million euros
A probe into European gun runners was launched following an attack on Brussels’ Jewish Museum in May 2014.
The attacker Mehdi Nemmouche was later arrested in Marseille, France, while carrying a Kalashnikov.
Following the original raid, Spanish police tweeted: “These are the 12,000 weapons, some capable of bringing down aircraft, intercepted from organised crime.”
In November 2015, Islamic extremists wielding automatic rifles similar to those seized killed 130 people in attacks on Paris, including a bloody gun assault on the Bataclan theatre.