Libya weapons status 'murky'

Sept. 8, 2011 at 10:30 AM
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WASHINGTON, Sept. 8 (UPI) -- Revelations of missing weapons in Libya may be cause for concern and at least one senior U.S. military official said the arms situation post-Gadhafi is "murky."

With Tripoli falling into rebel hands, investigators are uncovering looted weapons depots across the country, with everything from small arms to heat-seeking missiles reported missing.

Matthew Schroeder, an arms expert at the Federation of American Scientists, tells The New York Times it's worrying that so much of the arms cache in Libya is missing.

"In cases where stockpile security is found to be lacking, immediate steps should be taken to correct any deficiencies," he warned.

Washington officials have expressed concerns over the security of weapons stockpiles in Libya. Gilles de Kerchove, the top counter-terrorism official with the European Union, said from Brussels that al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb, al-Qaida's North African branch, may have acquired a significant stockpile of weapons during the Libyan war.

But one senior U.S. military official who spoke with the Times on condition of anonymity said it was curious that there haven't been major attacks on NATO forces given the growing concern over missing weapons.

"It's all very murky right now," the officer said.

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