Approximately 20,000 portable surface-to-air missile and Russian made anti-tank missiles as well as rifle and anti aircraft ammunition have gone missing in Libya. A couple of those weapons are explained in the graphic above. (Click on to enlarge).
After a 6 month civil war that ended Qaddafi’s 42-year rule and sent him into hiding allowed the regime’s extensive armories to be fully exposed and available to looters, former rebel fighters or anyone with a truck to carry weapons away.
Weapons that could be used to knock down military planes, helicopters or drones as well as cause destruction and damage to innocent civilians.
With the US govt unsure as to who is leading the rebels in Libya and Defense Secretary Robert Gates stating that its “very possible that Al Qaeda is leading the rebellion” and the significance impact of Hamas and Hezbollah in the area makes this matter gravely serious not only for America’s security but also for Israel’s security.
Today, the White House released a press statement saying it will boost efforts to find and destroy the weapons stockpile and last week, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called on Libya’s new leaders to secure the chemical weapons and convention weapons supply.
Yet at the same time, visits by The Associated Press to weapons caches around Tripoli (the capital of Libya) show that many remain poorly guarded and have already been heavily looted.
AP reported that 12 rebels wandered around one site where a large hangar was strewn with the boxes of missing weapons. Rebels at another site were leaving with a load of tank shells they said they were taking to a safe place for storage. They acknowledged, however, that they’d found the site unguarded.
At one unguarded site, Bouckaert said he found 100,000 anti-tank and anti-personnel mines. Elsewhere, he found weapons caches hidden under fruit trees.
On a positive note, the U.N. chief weapons watchdog said Wednesday that Libya’s remaining chemical weapon stockpiles are believed to be secure but we must remain ever viligent.
Let’s pray that we find them and confiscate the weapons before they are used against us and/or our allies.
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