Note: still waiting for some to turn up in Mexico, Central America.
5,000 Libyan MANPADS Secured
Some May Have Been Smuggled Out
Apr. 12, 2012 - 11:14AM | By ANDREW CHUTER |
A team of weapons experts has been unable to rule out the possibility
that a number of man-operated portable weapons secured from Libya may
have leaked out of the country or been acquired by terrorists.
(Mahmud Turkia / Agence France-Presse)
LONDON — A multinational team of weapons experts has secured and
destroyed 5,000 Libyan man-operated portable air defense systems and
components left over after the fall of the Gadhafi regime, according
to the British Ministry of Defence. The team has been unable to rule
out the possibility that a number of the weapons may have leaked out
of the country or been acquired by terrorists.
"The team has concluded that most remaining MANPADS are likely to be
under the control of regional military councils and militias," the
British said, adding that they were helping fund the Libyan
authorities and the U.N. implementation of a disarmament,
demobilization and reintegration program to bring the remaining
systems back under the control of the central government.
A joint military-civilian team made up of U.K., French, U.S. and
Libyan personnel have been in country since last August helping to
track down the large numbers of weapons left by Gadhafi's regime.
The U.S. government estimates Gadhafi's forces had about 20,000
MANPADS in their armory at the time of the regime's collapse, raising
fears that the weapons could fall into the hands of terrorist
The British MoD said in a statement released April 12 that thousands
of the weapons had been destroyed during the conflict, and that
inspections of more than 1,600 ammunition bunkers had "identified,
secluded, disabled or confirmed as destroyed 5,000 components and
The MoD was unable to give a breakdown of weapon types found, but
they are likely to be mainly Russian-built SA-7 Grail missiles.