In November 2010 more than 100 arms manufacturers attended an international arms show in Tripoli. The British offered armored vehicles for the Libyan police force, tear gas, sniper rifles and communications systems for the T-72 tanks, while the French proffered Rafale military jets and the Milan antitank missiles. Only two German companies attended, Ruesselsheim seeking aircraft maintenance orders and Munich's Rohde and Schwarz, demonstrating its technology for radio surveillance.
Rebels have now found G36 guns from the German company Heckler and Koch, Sueddeutsche Zeitung reported Friday. If larger quantities of German weaponry are discovered, it could indicate an international arms smuggling "secret channel."
Michael Ashkenazi from the Bonn International Center for Conversion, a peace research institute, observed that so far there is little indication that many German guns are circulating in Libya. Ashkenazi said, "It could be that Gadhafi once privately bought a few G36s at some time and didn't think to equip his army with them."
If there are larger stocks of G36 guns in Libya, it might be assumed that they come from Spain or Saudi Arabia, where they are manufactured under license. Ashkenazi added, "It would have been even easier for Gadhafi's people to acquire the guns in the United States."