The spy and his sniper gun
The M16 is not just a gun. It is one of the most dangerous small arms weapons to have seen service in all the world’s major wars since its invention. It is capable of firing 800 bullets per minute and ultimately, it is the same type of rifle that was reportedly used to kill Osama bin Laden, LAWRENCE SERETSE analyses Isaac Kgosi’s gun.
It is a known secret that the spy chief packs heat, just as supper time comes once a day, and a hold up at a traffic light could become a messy affair for those Gaborone thugs who should have a healthy appetite of fear for hollow tipped bullets.
Well, that is the sort of thing we only see in movies or unless you live in Gauteng of course, right? Well not exactly, it is now a potential occurrence in Gaborone, as the Spy Chief’s gun is not just your ordinary fit-it-in-my-pocket pistol; it is fit for full combat and it is moving around the city in the back of the spy boss’ SUV!
The Botswana Gazette confirms that the spy chief does not favour a small toy for his personal protection. The intel-ghost has adopted as his weapon of choice the same sniper assault rifle that the US NAVY SEAL SIX Team used to discharge a fiery projectile that killed the US’s most wanted terrorist of all time- Osama bin Laden. Celebrated for that in the US, Kgosi’s sniper rifle is nicknamed a “celebrity weapon.”
A couple of months ago, in February, two chaps who have since been arrested and denied bail are said to have broken into the Directorate of Intelligence and Security (DIS) Director General, Isaac Kgosi’s house in Gaborone West.
While the burglary account left those who claim to know how dangerous a man the spy chief is, astounded, what resonated more was the conspiratorial debate about whether the two young thugs were either very brave or extremely foolish when pulling out their little operation. General consensus is the latter.
Although having been quickly arrested; there is this one detail they either did not know about or knew about and had a better way to deal with, should their little escapade become a sticky affair. General consensus is, the former.
The two would be house breakers, according to court documents did not appear to have been armed. The charges do not indicate that the 24-year-old and the 27-year-old burglars had brought along an arsenal that would keep a well-trained spy boss contained, should he had emerged from behind the couch squeezing his artillery.
The M16 that Kgosi owns is not an ordinary personal machine; it is classified as a weapon of war since the Vietnam conflict. Throughout its history the M16 has seen more action than brothel beds and has taken more lives than critics argue it can save.
The Heckler & Koch M16 rifle, officially designated Rifle, Calibre 5.56 mm, M16, is a United States military adaptation of the Armalite AR-15 rifle. On the open market it costs between US$700 to $1300, however a fully “spec’d” out rifle post 1986, when US federal regulations stopped the sale of the weapon with full auto receiver, costs in the region of US$16 000 (approximately P170 000).
According to its official profile, the M16 was adopted in 1969 and replaced the M14 and the US Secret Service agents brandish them.
Sources say Kgosi’s weapon is an Armalite Rifle variant M16A2 who’s other hybrids are the M4A1, and an M16A4, it is fully equipped with a perforated barrel, for reduced sound, telescopic sights, laser guide and other tailor modified specifications, it is his weapon and no one else’s.
The M16 is reputed to have as its advantage, its light weight, select fire capability (full-auto capable), high rate of fire on full auto, light recoil and light weight “varmint” cartridge (allowing the user to carry a lot of ammo). The weapon can hold 30 rounds of 5.56mm ammunition and it can fire 800 rounds per minute. Its hardiness is legendary with some M16 variants being said to have fired more than 20,000 rounds with “minimal degradation of accuracy,” due to barrel heating, it is also reported to fire well after being submerged in water and not completely drained, an official website mentions.
Currently, the M16 is in use by 15 NATO countries and more than 80 countries worldwide including the Botswana Defence Force, where Kgosi retired as Colonel to serve under the Office of the President and subsequently as head of the intelligence agency. Together, numerous companies in the United States, Canada, and China have produced more than 8,000,000 rifles of all variants, reports indicate.
When the social media commentators were intellectualizing about the could-have-been fate of the two burglars purported to have broken into the spy boss’ house; none had the slightest idea that an M16 stays at a convenient disposal, not to say that he would shoot at them.