So, just for the good folks at Hot Air, I am going to revisit my investigation. Dating back to March Libyan Surface to Air Missiles (SAM) were stolen by Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM). We will start with the most recent update; a segment on Strictly Right Radio (Andrew Lawton & Ben Swenson) and work our way back. The last link will show just how far ahead of CNN and other main stream media outlets we were.
And there are other pieces that I published outlining this across various websites. But this post is strictly to bring Hot Air up to date. Since they have a thousand topics everyday to cover I hope that this can make their life a little easier and possible give them some more free time.
*Use Contact Page for additional info. I am releasing a map of last known locations of the surface to air missiles soon.
You know the deal. I’ve been tracking stolen SAM’s (Surface to Air Missiles) from Libya by Al Qaeda Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) for 5 months. Strictly Right Radio was the only one to cover this topic as it happened. Now, for the first time, hear Ben Swenson and I talk about it on Strictly Right Radio. Clicking Image will open in new tab to Take That Media
The segment on Al Qaeda’s Libyan missiles starts around 18:00. But its Strictly Right, you should be listening to the whole show! And that’s exactly why I didnt edit it and cut it down 🙂
Behind the Scenes
Originally, a 90 minute podcast on this was supposed to be done on Pat Dollard’s Night Watch. Guess what? An hour before the show we got new intel. We then felt that we should push the show back so we could cover all of the new info we received. But once again we are scooping the mainstream media; months in advance. Stay tuned!!
PS: To Wikileaks-You suck. I’m one guy with a phone and a computer. You are a worldwide organization with hundreds of thousands of (stolen) intelligence docs in your possession. I can do more to make the world a more open and safer place by noon than you have done in your entire history. Your implosion is a shining example of why we don’t let asshats like you obtain intel.
On March 26 of this year we reported on Al Qaeda stealing surface to air missiles (SAM’s) from munitions depots in Libya. Moammar Gaddafi in an act of desperation opened up munitions depots. His intention was to let his supporters arm themselves. Instead Al-Qaeda Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) ended up acquiring everything from shoulder-fire man portable units to old Soviet SCUDS. From our March 26th report (“When did Officials know? Al Qaeda Steals Libyan Missiles”):
“Someone is not being totally honest. On March 25, 2011 AFP (via Breitbart.com) reported a story of Justice Secretary Ken Clarke warning of another Lockerbie style attack. This was a very specific warning considering the broad scope of possible threats to civilians. Thats because Clarke and other officials had already received the report of Al-Qaeda stealing nearly 100 Surface to Air Missiles from Libyan munition dumps.”
The day after we began to investigate the claims leaders in Niger and Chad had tried to alert the press of the theft; also included in our report in the above links. They were ignored. For the past 5 months the media largely ignored all claims of SAM thefts. But now that the turmoil has settled down the confirmation of the missing missiles is now coming to light.
Also in our March report the main concern was the current No-Fly zone imposed by NATO. This tactic would push commercial airliners away from central north Africa. In doing so the north shores would have a much more crowded airspace with more planes. All of which would become easy targets for any radical with a shiny new SAM. The revamping of Sudanese Air Traffic Control addressed these concerns; something we referenced in our initial report. In the reports below we finally see the news agencies addressing this issue as a plausible threat and serious concern; 5 months later. The main stream media has seen the tarnishing and fine patine of the Arab Spring materialize. Now the news is about the dangerous results produced. The hope of freedom and democracy is barely visible under the quickly corroding surface of the Arab Spring.
Breaking News!! (Not Really) The press starts to investigate claims
CNN finally dispatched reporters to cover this lead just 5 months after the original story broke (as referenced above). In the report CNN innacurately cites the number of Libyan SAM’s to be at least 20,000 units. While this is fairly close the real number of working units is more in the range of 12-14 thousand units. CNN also adds that figure in for a little bit of sensationalism. The entire stockpile has not fallen into the hands of Al Qaeda (AQIM). The current figure from on the ground intel operatives is approximately 19 units. Click Image for Video and full report
No Evidence of Missing Missiles-But Black Market “Prices Dropping“. Uhhh What?
Strictly Right Radio Co-Host Ben Swenson brought this to my attention. Swenson was the first one that I called in March after meeting with my internal investigative team. On Aug. 25 The Associated Press reported the State Department position that chemical and nuclear material in Libya were secure. Fine. Nukes were not the issue here. After all, Al Qaeda doesnt own haz-mat radiation rated suits so they cant handle the material anyways. The main question at hand was; have Islamic Fundementalists obtained any sophisticated weapons? From the AP report regarding missiles and rockets:
The fate of thousands of rockets is less clear, and other U.S. intelligence officials and counterterrorism experts criticized slow work by State Department to locate and buy back dangerous munitions like the estimated 15,000 to 25,000 shoulder-fired missiles in Gadhafi’s weapons stores.
Two U.S. officials said the prices of such missiles in the region have fallen, suggesting that some of Gadhafi’s weapons may already be reaching the market, though there is no sign that al-Qaida-linked terrorists have managed to buy any.
That was August 25 2011. Do you see how fast things change in the Intelligence community? Compare this report to the CNN one from today. The AP report from August was leaning towards the reality that as long as the nuke material was ok most of the other weapons probably fell under the same status. The State Department echoed this sentiment days later in the daily press briefing. This will be addressed in the next post. I cant give all the good stuff away now 🙂 This barely scratches the surface
Coming up-Behind the Scenes in N. Africa and US Intel Community
In the next installment we will go over:
1) The route that the stolen man portable air defense systems (MANPADS)
2) Where some units are now residing in Sub-Saharan Africa
3) What the State Dept. knew vs. what they told journalists
4) The details of the Intel briefings in the U.K. and the U.S. from March 2011. A true secret intelligence tell-all
5) Destination Gaza: The closest vantage point for radicals to strike Israel
6) Iran attempts to take a leadership role amongst those holding the SAM’s
7) Dismantling SCUD warheads and salvaging parts vs. MANPADs kept in working order
Someone is not being totally honest. On March 25, 2011 AFP (via Breitbart.com) reported a story of Justice Secretary Ken Clarke warning of another Lockerbie style attack. This was a very specific warning considering the broad scope of possible threats to civilians. Thats because Clarke and other officials had already received the report of Al-Qaeda stealing nearly 100 Surface to Air Missiles from Libyan munition dumps. That was reported by AFP today, March 26. Instead of just telling us-he dropped a hint based on the intel. Thanks for nothing mate!
The original story was cautious and specific due to the report they received. It would have stayed that way had it not been for at least 3 individuals now confirming the theft excluding people already named in the two reports.
Stolen or Given to Al-Qaeda?
DEVELOPING. Remember that Gaddhafi has spent more time letting the world know that Al-Qaeda forces have teamed up with the rebels against him. However, munitions depots have been opened to arm his supporters whom in turn have been captured and/or killed by rebels. Some upon capture have defected. Retaliation is likely. Conducting an attack in the conflicted area has a zero percent probability. Again this is why we got the “Lockerbie” warning from Ken Clarke. (This section will be updated as new intel is confirmed)
Where are they heading? Where will they Fire from?
DEVELOPING. Recent communications suggest the number of (stolen) Surface to Air Missiles is lower than 100k. Possibly as low as 30k (text msg translation error)19k may have made it into hands of Al-Qaeda but unconfirmed. There is still a question of distinction between RPG’s and SAM’s.(NOTE: SAM models have not been identified-high numbers indicate shoulder fire rockets-NOT large Vehicle mounted units) While Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb’s territory operates more comfortably just south of Libya and more towards Western Africa; security has already been heightened in those areas.
Moving East allows them to easily transport SAM’s into states that are currently having trouble maintaining security(ie Egypt, Sudan, and Somalia). It also give them access to many international commercial flight paths (more than central Africa) and multiple targets. Serious security flaws exist in both the East Africa as well as West Africa. Snippets from Sudanese revamp of Air Traffic Control.
The same wide diversion away from Libyan airspace is happening now and it is also why radicals are heading east. Compromised ground security, flaws in air traffic control make areas mentioned above most likely strike points.