August 12, 2003


NEW YORK The United Nations, under pressure from the Bush administration, has decided to move a stash of submachine guns out of the organization's New York City headquarters.

The MP5s, made by Heckler and Koch of Germany, are to be moved to U.N. peacekeeping operations overseas, State Department sources said.

The United Nations purchased the restricted weapons for the personal protection of Secretary-General Kofi Annan in his travels around the New York metropolitan area.

The weapons often were visible in the support van of Mr. Annan's motorcade as it moved throughout the city.

It was not clear why Mr. Annan's bodyguards needed such weapons, said sources within the State Department's Diplomatic Security Service (DSS). . . .

Key factors were the U.N. security department's lack of formal status as a law-enforcement agency and the risk of non-U.S. citizens gaining access to the weapons, State Department sources said.

You're nobody if you don't have submachinegun-wielding guards.