Did Weapons Stolen From Gaddafi’s Stockpile Kill The U.S Ambassador To Libya?
12:00 AM, September 14, 2012
In the aftermath of the Libyan civil war and the country’s liberation from Muammar Gaddafi, mountains of weapons were stolen and looted from across the country. The United Nations and NATO have been trying to secure the lost munitions that they fear could reach Al Qaeda and other outfits in North Africa, but with little success. However, it appears that the grenades, rockets, and machine guns have already fallen into the wrong hands. On Monday, the U.S Ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens, was killed by suspected rebels who launched a grenade into the consulate, killing Stevens and his colleagues. While several U.S. experts are pointing a finger at a Libya-based offshoot of Al-Qaida who may have infiltrated the crowd protesting against an anti-Islamic film, others are claiming that it was simply a well-armed crowd which went out of control. Irrespective of which version is correct, the moot point is that it has become very easy for in Libya now to have access to weapons such as man-portable rocket launchers, grenade launchers, heavy machine guns and a variety of small arms. Stockpiles of many of these weapons are reported to have been abandoned in the desert by rebel forces following the grisly death of Libya's former dictator, Muammar Gaddafi. In 2011, John Brennan, the White House Advisor for Counterterrorism, admitted that several surface-to-air missiles, Man Portable Air Defense Systems (MANPADS) and other weapons from Qadhafi’s numerous stockpiles have already reached terrorist or soon will. The Libyan Transitional National Council (TNC) with the help of NATO forces acquired bombs and other munitions from Germany last year to be used in Libya by rebel forces fighting Gaddafi loyalists. The French military in 2011, admitted to supplying weapons to civilians fighting against the regime. The UAE, Saudi Arabia and Qatar reportedly supplied weapons such as anti-tank weapons and anti-aircraft missiles to Libyan rebels at the behest of the U.S. which actively advocated a no-fly zone over Libya which culminated in a U.N. resolution that led to French and British forces launching air operations. However, the no-fly zone rapidly converted itself into a no-drive zone as French Rafale and British Eurofighter jets attacked ground targets including the convoy of Muammar Gaddafi.
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