Israel Eyes Threat of Islamist Takeover of Western Weapons in Arab States

(Investigative Project on Terrorism) Yaakov Lappin - While Sunni Arab states have bought some of the very best military capabilities the West has to offer, this development holds the potential for danger to Israel should these states be overrun by radical Islamists. Outgoing Israel Air Force Commander Maj.-Gen. Amir Eshel acknowledged on Jan. 24 at the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv that Israel is planning for this danger as a necessary precaution. "Even if we have shared regional interests [with these Sunni countries now], we do not know what will happen in the future. Western military sales to these countries have reached $200 billion. This is state-of-the-art weaponry. It is not just about the quantity," Eshel said. It is the Air Force's responsibility to assume that "something will collapse." Most of the Arab countries' spending spree has gone into their air forces and surface-to-air missiles. The Israel Air Force must ensure it can deal with these capabilities, he added, in the event of future jihadist revolutions.

2017-02-09 00:00:00

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