Anti-Aircraft Missiles On the Loose in Libya

(New York Times) C. J. Chivers - Five months after the armed uprising erupted in Libya, a new round of portable anti-aircraft missiles - weapons that governments fear could be obtained by terrorists and then fired at civilian jetliners - have been slipping from storage bunkers captured by rebels. In February, large numbers of the missiles slipped from the hands of Gaddafi's government as the rebels established control over eastern Libya. Recently, rebel gains in the western mountains opened up new ammunition stores. On a recent day, 43 emptied wooden crates had been left behind on the sand inside the entrance to an ammunition depot captured last month from Gaddafi's forces after repeated NATO bombings. The stenciled markings showed each crate had contained a pair of lightweight missiles called SA-7s. Gaddafi is thought to have acquired as many as 20,000 of these missiles in arms deals with the former Eastern bloc. Andrew J. Shapiro, assistant secretary of state for political-military affairs, described the unsecured missiles in Libya as "one of the things that keep me up at night."

2011-07-15 00:00:00

Full Article


Visit the Daily Alert Archive