After federal raid, Buzzfeed finds Arkansas arms company was searching for napalm | Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

After federal raid, Buzzfeed finds Arkansas arms company was searching for napalm

Posted By on Tue, May 15, 2018 at 2:47 PM

click to enlarge NAPALM: The incendiary weapon at use in the Korean War. - US AIR FORCE NATIONAL MUSEUM
  • US AIR FORCE NATIONAL MUSEUM
  • NAPALM: The incendiary weapon at use in the Korean War.

Buzzfeed reporter Aram Roston has a tantalizing but murky story about THOR Global Defense Group, a Van Buren company that sells specialty long-range rifles and other small arms to customers in the U.S. and abroad.

Earlier this month, for unknown reasons, the company was searched by investigators from the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and Homeland Security Investigations, which is the criminal investigation arm of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

KFSM reported at the time that Crawford County sheriff's deputies "said investigators [were] checking paperwork in relation to some sort of weapon." The U.S. attorney's office for the Western District of Arkansas wouldn't comment to reporters.

Now, Buzzfeed's Roston has obtained a document that shows the company sought to buy large quantities of napalm in 2017. Roston spoke to Gretchen Davis, a salesperson at Thor, who confirmed the company had indeed been searching for napalm but wouldn't say for what reason or on behalf of what customer. The document, which is dated April 11, 2017, seeks a quote for "the current monthly maximum production" of "napalm gel." He writes:

Davis insisted that the napalm was legal to buy. “Hon, I deal in military products,” she said. “If a military needs napalm, I can place an order.” But she added that this napalm was not for military use: “It was for a legal application. It was not for war.”
Davis answered "no" when asked whether the ATF / ICE raid concerned the napalm, but wouldn't elaborate.

Roston also says Thor has been supplying firearms to the CIA and to special forces of the U.S. military, though the article provides no direct proof of that relationship. Davis also wouldn't say whether the CIA was the customer for Thor's attempted napalm purchase.

Davis said Little Rock attorney Graham Catlett represents the company. When reached by phone, Catlett said he could not comment on any matter concerning his clients or confirm that he is or is not representing any particular company.

In addition to supplying arms to domestic and international clients, Thor Global Defense Group also operates a shooting range in Van Buren.

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