United States Security Threats

Data and information about security threats from the United States black market. Intelligence and security data collected from government agencies, news articles and other public information sources.

$3 Billion in revenue is lost to parts suppliers in the United States due to counterfeit auto parts.

Source: Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association, “Counterfeiting-FACTS,”(accessed: May 1, 2006).

Police departments across the United States report up to 500,000 weapons are lost each year due to small scale burglary in the country.

Source: Rachel Stohl, “The Tangled Web of Illicit Arms Trafficking,” Center for American Progress, October 14, 2004, (accessed: November 15, 2006).


In Iraq, the prices of small arms have increased since the U.S. invasion. According to a report by the New York Times, Kalashnikovs were priced between $75 to $150 in early 2003. By late 2006, the prices increased to the range of $210 to $650. In some areas of Iraq, the price has increased to $800, with compact Kalashnikovs favored by Osama bin Laden selling for as much as $2000.


According to the Mexican Department of National Defense, 10,579 guns were seized in Mexico that originated from the United States. This figure is up from the 3,214 guns that were seized in 2002.

Source: Chris Hawley, “Bush broaches U.S. gun smuggling,” Arizona Republic, March 15, 2007.

According to the non-governmental organization Asia Against Child Trafficking, the cheapest kidneys sold on the black market are from the Philippines.

Filipinos who sell their kidneys on the black market are paid an average of $1,500, up to 20 times cheaper than the $30,000 average price of a kidney sold in the United States.

(More organ trafficking statistics.)

(Prices of black market organs.)

Source: Jocelyn Uy, “Filipino kidneys cheapest in world black market, says NGO,” Inquirer, March 31, 2008.

A report from Shared Hope International has found that in a single month more than 400 children were working as prostitutes in Las Vegas.

(All human trafficking facts.)

Source: Associated Press, “Report labels Las Vegas a hub of child sexual trafficking,” Seattle Times, March 25, 2008.

A smuggler was charged by authorities in California for stealing endangered iguanas from a nature preserve in Fiji.  According to law enforcement officials, the man smuggled the iguanas into America through his prosthetic leg.

Based on recording made to an undercover officer, the smuggler stated that he previously offered 3 iguanas for sale at the price of $32,000, or roughly $10,600 each.

See a complete list of exotic animals for sale on the black market here.

Source: “Man ‘steals iguanas in fake leg’ ,” BBC News, September 22, 2007.

The figures are based on notice of violation letters sent by the Recording Industry Association of America. The figures were based during the time period of September 2006 to mid-February 2007.

According to the Christian Science Monitor, here are the top ten schools that illegally download music from the Internet:

1. Ohio University

2. Purdue University

3. University of Nebraska, Lincoln

4. University of Tennessee, Knoxville

5. University of South Carolina

6. University of Massachusetts at Amherst

7. Michigan State University

8. Howard University

9. North Carolina State University

10. University of Wisconsin, Madison

For more on this issue, please visit our Music Piracy page.

In the late 1990s, 90 percent of illegal immigrants in the US from Mexico were believed to have paid a human smuggler to guide them over the border.

Source: Ken Ellingwood, Hard Line: Life and Death on the U.S.-Mexico border, (New York: Pantheon, 2004). Page 85.