Whilst nothing is certain in Libya, this news report is vindication of my own position as regards to who might be funneling weapons to terrorists. This comes with a bit of caution that in reality anything is possible, meaning that some people who are Islamists could indeed forward weapons to Al Qaeda. I will not discount that possibility.
Since I first heard the rumours that weapons were being transported and the implication for those rumours was that the Islamists in the opposition forces were taking the few weapons that they possessed and were passing them to Al Qaeda or to Hamas, depending upon which version was being spouted, I was smelling a bit of a rat. The opposition forces had few weapons and what they found they were using. On the other hand, Daffy Duck had a large cache of weapons dotted around the countryside. The sources were claiming that the weapons convoys had gone through Chad and Niger. Really? What these sources did not report is that Daffy Duck is allied to both Chad and Niger. What they also did not report is that the border between Libya and Niger closest to Sirte, a Gadhafi stronghold.
At the same time there have been rumours about weapons moving across the Algerian border. Really? Algeria is another Gadhafi ally, and in fact one of the “news” agencies that has been used by people hostile to the Libyan opposition was one that was tied to Algeria. The report that I read pretty much summed it up for me as simply pro-Gadhafi propaganda. If that report was true then the Algerians were firing upon those “Islamists” if they crossed the border. I doubt that they were able to send any convoys via that route.
In my view this led me to conclude that if anyone was smuggling weapons out of Libya, then it had to be Gadhafi and his goons that were doing the smuggling. (my conclusion could always be wrong but it seems that for the moment such a conclusion is vindicated).
In the past few weeks there has been mention of missing weapons: missiles, chemical weapons etc. Considering that the opposition would not know the location of the chemical weapons, it is a sure bet that if such weapons are missing then Gadhafi and his henchmen are behind their disappearance.
Here is a snippet from the report:
Jeffrey Feltman, the US assistant secretary of state and the most senior international visitor to arrive in Tripoli since the fall of Col Gaddafi, said Washington was concerned about the spread of both conventional and non-conventional weapons.
He said he had people working “quietly” with the National Transitional Council particularly on the hunt for surface-to-air missiles, of which more than 15,000 are said to be unaccounted for from Col Gaddafi’s weapons dumps, and chemical weapon precursors.
“It’s a potential risk not only to Libya but to the region,” he said.
The rebel military official in charge of securing Tripoli International Airport told The Daily Telegraph yesterday his men were scouring an area of more than 30 kilometres for missing weapons.
The Libyan authorities and their western backers are nervous about allowing the airport to reopen to scheduled passenger flights until they can be sure there can be no threat from any SAMS still in the area. There is also the fear that they may be sold to terrorist groups who could use them to target civilian planes anywhere.
“The policy of Gaddafi was to scatter these missiles through civilian homes,” the commander, Mukhtar al-Akdar, said. “We have great difficulty when we try to collect them as some of the local people are very pro-Gaddafi.”
He said he had cleared “70-80 per cent” of the relevant area and found a number of SAMS already.