NIGHTWATCH: Libya as Arsenal for Muslim Terrorists

04 Inter-State Conflict, 05 Civil War, 07 Other Atrocities, 08 Proliferation, 08 Wild Cards, 09 Terrorism, 10 Security, 10 Transnational Crime, Government, Military, Officers Call, Peace Intelligence
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Algeria-Libya: Algerian soldiers found a large weapons cache on 24 October in Illizi in east central Algeria, near the border with Libya. The weapons included 100 anti-aircraft missiles, more than 500 MANPAD shoulder-launched anti-aircraft missiles and hundreds of rocket launchers, rifles, landmines and rocket-propelled grenades.

Comment: Algerian authorities have not commented about whom they suspect stored the weapons, except to suggest they came from Libya. Illizi is on the road several hundred kilometers southwest from Tripoli, Libya. This is one of the routes used to smuggle Libyan weapons to militants and terrorists in Mali.

The cache contents help confirm where some of Libya’s large store of man-portable shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles (MANPADS) went after the weapons depots used by Qadhafi’s forces were ransacked and their contents carried off. This is an important discovery, but only a portion of the weapons that are unaccounted.

Five hundred MANPADS would be more than enough to neutralize French air superiority in Mali, had they reached the militants there. Libya has become the arsenal of Muslim terrorists.