The US Justice Department says it plans to bring more cases against weapons brokers and companies that violate export laws as part of the US’s ‘war against terror’.

The department does, however, admit that not all thefts are tied to terrorists, according to reports in Bloomberg news.

Prosecutors will target the illegal transfer of products such as assault rifles, missile parts and medical devices that can be made into nuclear triggers.

Previously prosecuted companies include engineering and manufacturing company ITT Corp, which was fined $100m for exporting weapons-grade night-vision technology to China.

In 2005, 108 countries tried to obtain protected or sensitive US technology.